Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It rained today at the National Arboretum....a lot

Runoff from the Ellipse filled a small corrugated culvert and flooded both the upper and lower sections of the Fern Valley wet meadow. Bullfrogs croaked their appreciation. On a larger scale it pooled in the infiltration basin and the storm water pond on the Ellipse proper. The cattails were happy. In the Asian Collections, the tropicals finally had enough water; this Musa 'Basjoo' has grown from 2 to 9 feet in three months. It fell in torrents on the Administration Building mid-renovation. Towards the end of the day the sun crept out tentatively but retreated quickly and the rains resumed.

My drive to work this morning was one of the oddest I can remember. I left just after 6:00 am half an hour before sunrise (~6:40 and later every day) so the hour combined with the clouds made it pitch dark. It wasn't rained when I left but within a mile I was enveloped in heavy rain. And then out of it by the gas station, about 5 miles. It began to fall again in earnest before I finished pumping but still before I'd gone the 2 miles to the highway it'd slacked off again. Three miles later as soon as I turned on the Parkway the rains resumed for about a mile at which point they stopped again and the sky lightened enough that, had it not been drizzling, I'd have turned off my headlights! Five miles later as I turned into the Arboretum the skies darkened and the deluge resumed. Things continued along those lines all day and as a bonus we had incredibly loud thunder. Movie thunder.Endless rumbles of reverberations and echos.

70% chance tomorrow. And three new tropical storms forming.

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