Rain, Rain, and More Rain

Right now the south is experiencing some record-breaking rain amounts.    I have been reading about the amounts they have received and the damage it has been causing.   Everywhere so many of us have been praying for rain, as much of the country is dry.    Our prayers are being answer, it seems we did not specify how much or when the rain should come and now it is coming in quantities we are not sure how to deal with.

I spent last week in a rural county in Montana that only gets 12.99 inches of moisture a year.   It is bunch grass and sage country with a lone hearty tree found once in a great number of miles.    They too were getting their rain in an unseasonable amount at one time.   When the rains broke it was some wonderful open spaces with breathtaking views and I knew that this job was what I was suppose to be doing this summer.


Driving in the rain on the two lane highways one could almost imagine that they were somewhere else. like the rainy Oregon coast, because it the clouds were so low and the vegetation crawled up close to the edge of the highway.    You could not see the Montana landscape.

I grew up in the Midwest where snow fences were common place to catch the snow as the wind blew it around.   Snow fences were rolled out each fall in fields off the highway each fall, nothing like they are in Montana, where they are build and stay in place year-round.   I have been here 13 years and the snow fences in Montana still strike me with awe.    I don’t think it is the snow that is the problem.    It is the wind that blows that causes problems.     I swear snow can fall at my house and the wind will carry it to the next county.    The rain was starting to break up for a bit when I took the photo of this fence, with a little snow still left that collected in bowls in the background.

As you can see we have monster tall snow fences that are never put away. The trees there give you some scale how tall they really are.

As you can see we have monster tall snow fences that are never put away. The trees there give you some scale how tall they really are.

My job this week was setting out gypsy and other invasive species moth traps.  I am given a book with a map with dots on it, along with hand-drawn site maps, where we are to set the traps out.    These take you to some of the most remote locations in the county.   When you are setting traps a sparsely populated county you can go for hours and miles and not see a sign of human existence except for the barbed wire fence and the cattle.   It also meant that I saw this sign often when I was  setting traps.   The rain made these roads a challenge to navigate, but there was only one time when I said this has reached the top of my 4-wheel drive skill level and turned around.  The rain was pouring, the road had miles ago turned to mud, there were blind hills and curves and I was about ten miles from the paved road.    There is one thing you don’t want to do is get yourself stuck miles from the last ranch house you saw in the pouring rain.


I got a break on the first day with the rain and am so glad I took this picture of one of the seasonal roads I traveled to set traps.  On this road I found more than mud and puddles I experienced something the locals call gumbo. I am not sure even how to explain it, but it grabs on to your tires and truck and doesn’t let go. It builds up inches thick on everything, making driving one nasty slow going experience.

I did capture one picture of the one of the three mountain ranges that surrounded me this week.   Even with the clouds and the distance there is always something that takes your breath away when you look up and see natures amazing handiwork.