"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday 25 November 2017

Manna from...


On the 14th / 15th November the heavens finally opened and dropped some desperately needed manna from heaven on our smallholding.
How much water. in the dam? Nada.  Zilch.  Nothing.
January 2017 was dry.  Dry.  Dry.  Dry.
The dam was so dry that even the bentonite "seal" cracked open
We were teased for a week beforehand as Norway promised rain. 

And I checked 4 different weather forecast sites - twice a day - for that week - just to make sure that no ruddy high pressure system got in the way of the moisture laden cut off low.

(https://www.weather-forecast.com/locations/Swellendam/forecasts/latesthttps://www.windy.com/ and https://www.yr.no/place/South_Africa/Western_Cape/ and the weather ap on my phone.)

I was absolutely OTT, much to RMan's amusement.

He chose to wait and see what happened.  Not me.  I want to know so that I can make prior arrangements - like "RMan, please, pump the ruddy contents of the lower tanks to the higher storage tanks.  Pleeeeeease."  (He did 😀  T'was easier than having me constantly nag him...)
Norway's weather site predicted over 33mm of rain for the next week
The sky turned a promising colour...
When the sky turns this colour I KNOW rain is about to fall
...and, sure enough, the rains fell...
I haven't seen heavy rain fall on our patio for a long, long time
...and fell.
Our dam finally started filling up
The dam started filling up nicely...
Wow!! Doesn't that look amazing 😀

...but didn't quite overflow.  Plus, ALL our rain water tanks are now full again.
Filled to the brim with rainwater and run-off
Happy and contented - for now.  One good rainfall does not a drought break.  But it will certainly help to add some much needed moisture deep in the ground.
One of my favourite views of the dam
We have no further rain predicted for the next two weeks, and the dam has already receded as the bone dry banks absorb the water.

I spotted bees thirstily gulping and a Proischnura rotundipennis (damselfly)

But, enough water will remain so that the birds, wildlife and insects can wander over for a gulp whenever they need to.

P.S. kymber - thanks for all you've done so far, but please - don't stop the nekkid rain dances.  We were fortunate to have rain fall where we are, but the water catchment areas need rain - and LOTS of it...


  1. Glad the much needed rain arrived. x

  2. Marlin - Yup. I was so excited that I walked around on a high for 2 days - big smile on my face and a spring in my step ;)

  3. Oh my gosh, I'm SO excited for you all. MUCH needed for man and for beast. And insect and plant and every living thing in between. May this be the first of many (but not too many, we know all too well what too much can do). Soak it up (pun intended!)

  4. Such good news to have the rain. Love the dam pictures and well done with the water storage. Sending wishes more rain will follow :)

  5. Wonderful! I am so glad for you.

  6. I'm glad you got some rain. Having been through a couple of bad ones here in the Blue Ridge, I know how stressful that can make life.

  7. That's glorious news! What a relief, eh? Here's hoping more is heading your way. :)

  8. 1st Man - "Soak it up" bwahahahaha Not too much predicted in the immediate future, but I'm not giving up on prayers...

    Harry - The rain we had was very welcome - but not enough... :( I don't know how the farmers are coping!

    Leigh - That downpour certainly helped to moisten the ground. But more regular rain is definitely needed.


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