I heard a weatherman say this evening that northern Ohio has topped its alltime record for rain and I have no trouble believing it. According to weatherman Mark Johnson of WEWS in Cleveland, nearly 54 inches of rain has fallen so far through the first nine-and-a-half-months, and we still have more rain to come in November and December.

From spring through fall, it just hasn’t let up. This past spring I spent a lot of time cutting firewood for my home in Wooster and there was one area where I was forced to leave the pieces in the woods because it was so wet.

At one point, several of the pieces were swept by flooding water, beneath a road culvert and into the pasture of the next farm over. The neighbor and I gathered them all up and I vowed to get the remaining pieces out of the woods before it happened again.

Well, here we are five months later and I still wouldn’t venture into that part of the woods with the tractor, at least not with the confidence of getting back out. I’m sure we’ll eventually get enough dry days in a row and I can get after the rest, but what a disappointing year this has been.

My losses are certainly minor compared to what farmers have fought all year, but they still sting, and I’m rather disgusted.

The three large pickup loads that I was able to remove from the woodlot did not weather as well as usual and were more prone to rot and mud than in most years.

I dumped one load on my concrete driveway and let it there a few days so it would get rained on, to rinse off some of the mud and dirt that had accumulated. It probably seems a little crazy to want your firewood to get rained on, but when you consider the two-plus inches of rain that have fallen the past day or two, in addition to the hail I had last night, it actually cleaned the wood up pretty well.

But enough of that. The nasty weather this year has affected a lot more than firewood. Crops and gardens are among the top, but I think there are more effects to be seen than we even realize. What will this do to the insect and animal life? I’m already seeing some odd bugs in the woods, and some in higher number than usual.

Many issues

And what about the plant life and the water table? Maybe I ought to look a few of these things up instead of asking. But I imagine this all-time record rainfall is going to have more effects than just wet ground.

I’ve been fortunate to keep my basement dry this year — a true “plug” for Drylok Masonry Waterproofer. There was that one issue around February when everything was a sheet of ice and some water skidded from my neighbor’s place against the foundation of my place, and seeped through at the bottom. But that was an unusual circumstance.

I’m just grateful this year is in the home stretch. I was taught to believe that every day is a blessing from the Good Lord. And I still do believe that, although sometimes the blessing isn’t as apparent as I would like.

When you consider just how wet it’s been this year, we probably are fortunate the crops are as good as they are. And that we’ve had as much sunshine as we’ve had.

But I still am ready to write this year out. The sooner, the better.

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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