Since we rely on grass for our livelihood, the first real rain of the fall is a big event. We generally need at least a half an inch of rain to germinate the grass, and the earlier in the fall it comes, the more grass growth we'll get before the cold and dark of December brings things to a halt. While we've had a few sprinkles since the autumnal equinox, tonight marks the first sustained rainfall of the season. This should be our germinating rain
Of course, while the rain is welcome, it complicates our outdoors work. I just returned home from moving 3 groups of sheep (in Grass Valley and Auburn). While the border collies love working in the rain (it's part of their Scottish heritage), I need more protective gear to make the day somewhat comfortable. Even the best rain gear leaves me somewhat clammy when I'm working; I've found that a wool shirt is the best underlayer for keeping me warm in the wet weather.
We also worry about the sheep in weather like this, particularly when they are lambing. The ewes and lambs in Grass Valley looked good - their wool coats enable them to deal with the wet weather, too. As long as they have enough feed and trees or brush for shelter, they seem to do fine.
Now I'm home. I've got a fire going in the woodstove, the Giants game on the radio, and a glass of whiskey in my hand - a great way to end the first real rainy day of fall!