Sunday, June 24, 2012

Monsoon arrives...

Three days of very hot, no breeze. Then yesterday afternoon the storm clouds came and meant it. That's the first good rain we've had in almost a year. Last year's monsoon was paltry and it hardly snowed at all in the winter. Yesterday we got a good pounding for almost an hour, then nothing for a while, then it gave us some more and cleared up just before full dark. It's clouding up again now but I don't think there's any rain in it. Still hopefully we'll have a good soak - not enough to wash away the Lair or any of its outriders, but good. I want to see flood water rush past the Lair, not under or through it.

For those who weren't around the blog when I built the Lair: It's not exactly right on a flood plain, but it is on pretty low ground. I'm on a meadow thirty or forty yards from a big wash and maybe ten feet above it. The wash is deep, and this plain doesn't look like it's been scoured by water in the memory of man but there is a gully behind the cabin that has caused me some thought. Outflow from the fully has jumped its channel at least once since I've been here. Since the cabin was built I've revised, straightened and deepened the channel and that worked the one time I've seen the gully run but it wasn't much of a run. In case the channel and berm don't keep the water polite, I'll just let the water go where it wants. The Lair's on nine concrete piers set on deep concrete pads, so the worst a flood could do is make a muddy mess. I'm much more afraid of fire.

Even down here, the greatest danger isn't flood but lightning. I don't worry about it much because there's so much high ground on all sides, but it's never far from my mind in a storm. My neighbors who built on ridges get lightning-struck often, and after taking some damage two of them spent big bux on lightning protection. They haven't suffered any damage since. Materials like that, I've been keeping my eyes open for.

Meanwhile, work on the new power/storage shed has come to a halt due to lack of materials. Framing for three walls has run me completely out of 2X4s. Y'know, it's a little ironic for a guy who's not exactly tied to materialism to have to say this, but I Need More Stuff.


Jim said...

Just idle curiosity. It there any sort of native timber you could use for post and beam construcion for these smaller projects?

Joel said...

Not around here. There's lots of pine in the forests to the south, but they're a long way away and every stick of it is owned.

Here's we've got juniper, which makes reasonably good firewood but is utterly, absolutely, completely and in every other way useless as lumber. People used to go to great lengths to find any that was even useful as fence posts.

Jim said...

Thanks. I suspected as much from your desertscape photos, but just wondered.

Wish there was some way to get the 60 ten-foot cedar rails now resting in my junker pickup to you. (Neighbor replaced a fence.) They're end-rotted but otherwise sound. I've tried to think of a better use for them, but they'll probably become firewood.

Joel said...

Boy, we could put those to use. Unless you just don't have the storage, I'd cut the ends clean and store them.