inside the hoop house in the rain

October 29. Suddenly we’re swimming into winter. The first frost a few days ago, and now we’re 36 hours into this particular shower without pause, about 4 inches so far. Suiting up in a raincoat is part of going out the door – rubber boots, not yet. My Crocs can handle water an inch deep, and that’s how it is all the way across the solar garden to the big hoophouse. Inside the hoophouse the sound is an uplifting roar, like being inside a taut drum as it is tapped in quick quirky rhythms by a million fingers. The earth is drinking in all this water, but rain is falling faster than the solid clay soil can let it through. The underground aquifers are filling; the creek went from a trickle to 3 feet deep overnight. Some time in December the water table will rise so high that vernal pools will appear where the meadow meets the woods. The low corner of the farm will become a pond deep enough to make a yak swim (now there’s a story), big enough to host a huge winter gathering of Pacific chorus frogs.bestfrogyet

The frogs are waiting alertly in their usual summer haunts – everywhere we use water, from gardens to toilet bowls – and a few are beginning to warm up their singing voices with gritty throat-clearing calls. As the water rises they’ll congregate out there in their hundreds and thousands and start the party.

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