Dengler Domain: Rain

Sean Dengler

This year’s weather feels different. With farming, paying attention to the weather is key. Three tabs are open on my phone’s web browser with weather related information which does not include also checking the weather app. The previous two years were so easy. Look at the forecast, see no rain in the forecast, rinse and repeat, no pun intended. If there ever was rain in the forecast, wait a couple of days and that chance of rain would disappear like the dust in the wind.

This year, on the other hand, reflects an old saying. When it rains, it pours. The weather systems have been vastly different. During the previous two years, there were only a few small showers at the beginning of the year. This year showers turned on in April and have not stopped. May flowers may be on the way. Ideally, the spigot will turn off for a bit so every farmer can get the rest of the crop in, and then it can turn back on again. The land needs the rain until the drought map over Iowa looks less like a Gobstopper and more like a marshmallow.

Rain is good. These rainy days have been nice. These days were sorely missed the previous two years when it never felt like one was going to happen. When it did rain, it was brief. Having an old-fashioned soaker where the rain lightly falls throughout the day is wonderful. Downpours are no fun, but with a couple of years of not much rain, they are welcome back for the time being.

Rain is an underrated weather event. The peacefulness rain brings as it falls is beautiful. Being outside and listening to the calmness and enjoying the serenity is an experience most should enjoy. Running out of the rain to stay dry is easy, but this weather event is worth celebrating. This event means the Earth is replenishing its soil, plants, and streams. It is a beautiful regenerative process.

Hopefully, the rain will keep falling at ideal times for farmers for the rest of the year. Timely rains are great but having the right amount of moisture reserves to stave off dry times later in the season is even more important. Rain always provides a reprieve whether it is the coolness of the droplets, the potential drop in humidity, or the settling of the dust. Hopefully, the rain stays around for a while to help make the ground less dry than the previous two years.

At the end of the day, rain is healing. It is important, and it can be soothing. Having it consistently rain but not too much to prevent planting is important. Here is to more rain for the soil at the ideal time and keeping the plants growing.

Sean Dengler is a writer, comedian, farmer, and host of the Pandaring Talk podcast who grew up on a farm between Traer and Dysart. You can reach him at sean.h.dengler@gmail.com.