Wheelbarrows and plastic buckets are the informal tools of rain measurement in the collection nursery and we use both as an informal gauge. We can also see how much pooling and runoff has occurred by the locations of tiny, floating bits of mulch that have been dispersed over the area. The real piece de resistance is a ground-level drain near the corner of the Smith Building that, when completely plugged during wildly heavy downpours, has been known to direct water beneath the Lab door, down the middle of the hall, out through the Interpretive Center, and onward towards Queen Creek. When the muddy imprint of the high water line in the Smith Building hallway is higher than the wheels of an industrial-size mop bucket, an official reading from the weather station becomes, well, academic.
Last night, we received .92" of rain (measured officially at the weather station). In a near repeat performance of last year, we all anticipate that this will be the "germinating" rain for this season's annual wildflowers.
Even though it started a little late, rain is always a gift -- and its timing couldn't be better, both for this holiday season, and for the year to come. Best wishes to all.