I already whined about the flooding in May. I've whined about the flooding in May all year. It is October. We are in a full-on drought again, and yesterday, I was still whining about the flooding in May.
Maybe today will be the last day I whine about the flooding in May?
I make no promises.
So. You get it. It rained almost the entire month of May. It was lovely, awesome, scary, depressing, and very muddy. The thing about being in a drought for over four years...all those low areas, which may have needed to be addressed for drainage purposes, get pushed to the back burner. Then the rain comes. I am doing my best to get those addressed by the end of this year. We are expecting to have a very wet winter. Not sure if it will happen, but even with all the flooding in May, I'm okay with it.
Bring it on!
Along with the rains, came tons of bad weather. High winds. Tornadoes. Hail. You know? Fun stuff. I can not count the times we had tornadoes tracking directly at us from the west. It happened over and over again. Each time, when they were a few miles out, they would take a northerly turn. This would give me one second to sigh in relief. Only one second. The tornadoes northerly turns put them directly in the path of one of my largest bee yards. As many times as I've tried, I can't picture what a direct hit by a tornado would look like on a bee yard.
It would have to bee utter chaos.
This particular bee yard was my first apiary off of my property. I was such a rookie back then. I didn't want my hives sitting up by the road. It is no small investment, and the thought of some kids or another outlaw beekeeper messing with my livestock was of big concern to me. No. No. I wanted this apiary concealed. So, I put it on the back fence of a fifty acre field. It was concealed alright. It was also almost impossible to get to after heavy rains.
Did I mention it flooded the entire month of May?
Many times over, I sat with the television tuned into my favorite meteorologist, scanner in hand and tuned into emergency services tracking and responding to weather related emergencies, checking twitter, running in and out to visually check storms myself, and praying. It was exhausting and this scenario repeated multiple times. Once I knew my home and livestock here were safe, I would switch gears to areas where I had apiaries set-up. Not to forget, texting and calling areas of family and friends. I would go through the motions of locking the barns down, making a run around the house to check for items that may end up in someone else's yard, cramming my truck into the garage, and grabbing the dogs.
My dogs were so sick of getting thrown into the bathroom for safe keeping.
Here is one storm I captured. It had been tracking directly toward my home. Then, made a turn and headed to the apiary I mentioned above. I headed out to check the girls. In this shot, it had already passed my bee yard, and was tracking directly toward the Blue Dog Bee Lady.
Side note: The Blue Dog Bee Lady never worries about storms. Doesn't watch the weather...nothing. One tornado earlier this year went right down the road in front of her house! When I checked on her...she said, "Oh. I heard sirens heading down the road. Wondered what was going on." After that conversation, I kept her updated via text of what was heading her way. She usually reported back with the color of her pajamas. You know. In case the house was flattened and I had to dig through debris to find her. Then, I would know what to look for. That girl is very low-key.
Several times, after a sigh of relief that the house was safe, I would load up in the truck and drive out to the bee yard. I started referring to it as a Fly-by. Reason being? I would get out there, unlock the gate and open it, then put my truck in four-wheel drive and never hit the brakes until I was safely back at the gate. There is a small winding gravel road leading through that property. It was usually under water in some places. It also ended about half the distance to the bees. Once you left the gravel, it was imperative you not hit the brakes. Just punch it and hold on! Once I was close enough to the see the hives, I would start a wide, sweeping turn. Counting lids as I went by. Once I knew the lids were on and the hives were intact, I gunned it and got the heck out of there.
Luckily, I never had to stop.
Getting stuck in the mud out there would require some help. When I say help, I mean someone with a tractor and a really big heart. Good thing I know a few people that would fall under that category. Luckily I never had to drag them out in the rain.