I walked along River Run this evening after the rain. The air was cool, the sun had set and the landscape was idyllic. The bats were out by the dozens; the moisture had brought mosquitoes. Deer grazed in a meadow as three children, in sharp relief against the western sky, hopped across flat rock dam. The scene was different from previous weeks when the parched landscape seemed to ward off any movement. It was as if all of nature was celebrating this temporary break from the heat and drought.
Right before it rained, I wondered if I tried capture the rain, just a bit of it, how much could I get; an experiment was in order. I set four five gallon buckets under my rain gutter drains to measure what I caught. To see with my own eyes how much water could be harvested from my roof. In a short ten minutes the rain ended. What I had hoped would be a deluge abruptly ended. But, the bucket by my front door was full of water.
In fact, all four buckets contained similar amounts. I could not believe how much water I collected in such a short time. I have been fascinated with rain water collection for years, but thought I needed some fancy system to accomplish what a few buckets and ten minutes of rain provided. This example of using and reusing what we already have dovetails effortlessly with my philosophy of recycling. Rainwater. It nurtures our landscapes, nature, cools our atmosphere and the little bit I collect I can reuse!
Of course, we can't drink the water that falls from our roofs without proper filtration. Certain roofs such as composite roofs have toxins which we don't want to ingest nor give to our animals without a well researched filtering system in place. But the benefits of rainwater collection are important for us to consider as a community here in the Hill Country. Oh, and rainwater is free. So what are you waiting for? Recycle or reuse some free water. Your garden (and your pocketbook) will appreciate it.