Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for March 20th, 2023

Obvious Evidence

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Based on all the mice caught in our traps throughout the winter, it should come as no surprise that they navigate the harsh elements as well as long-legged wildlife, but I am always intrigued by the obvious evidence rodents are burrowing beneath the snow.

Despite the frigid overnight temperatures greeting me bitterly at each morning feeding the last few days, it appears one little critter was busy making tracks.

There is also obvious evidence of the increasing angle of sunshine and its growing influence by way of melting that is occurring despite the chilly air temperatures. That will prove to be a benefit when it comes to the threat of spring flooding. There is a deeper snowpack now than we’ve had in many years and if it were to melt all at once, flooding would likely occur.

There is an additional aspect that could dramatically influence whether we have any troublesome flooding this spring or not and that is the amount of rain that will fall in spring storms. Based on a recent video released by our county’s historical society, flooding from heavy rain can happen at any time of year. In 1942 there was a flooding rain that happened in September.



When I saw this video the first time, I realized I would quickly blame the extent of warming of our planet if this kind of flooding rain happened today. In my lifetime, I’ve never seen rain of the intensity described by Dr. James Vedder happen in the fall. But it did happen back in 1942.

Flooding rain fell in July of 1879 and washed away a mill and flooded my great-great-grandfather’s house a little over ten miles south of where we live now.

To me, this is obvious evidence that the steep ravines and many rivers of the “driftless region,” of which our county is included, are susceptible to flooding from heavy rain.

I wonder how many mice survive that kind of extreme weather.