December 13, 2008

La Gringa finally gets her rain gauge

La Gringa's tropical-sized rain gauge, La Ceiba, HondurasLa Gringa's tropical-sized rain gauge

I can't help myself, I like facts and figures. It annoys me that there is no official recording of rainfall amounts for Honduras. Why? Panama has measurements! Of course, it varies a lot by area, so even if there were "official" measurements at the La Ceiba airport, I would want to do my own. It often rains in town when it doesn't here and vice versa.

rain gaugeI searched the internet for ages looking for a tropical-sized rain gauge with no luck. Some gauges are very large but still only measure 5-6 inches (13-15 cm.) of rain. I fell in love with this copper design in August 2006 but it was too small. When you are in the midst of a tropical storm, you don't exactly feel like going out in the rain to empty the gauge two or three times a day.

Then in March 2007 I joked about my 55-gallon drum rain gauge. While functional, I was looking for something just a bit more attractive than that. I was going use a 12-inch straight-sided vase that I had and have a base made similar to the copper one. Anxious to get started with my gringa-obsession of measuring, one day I stuck the vase out in garden, partially obscured and protected from dogs, I thought. But nothing escapes Chloe in her domain. Need I say more?

One day we saw these huge 24 inch (61 cm.) straight-sided vases at a hardware store and bought two of them − one will get broken, right? So, half the problem was solved. I was still talking about "my" rain gauge in March 2008. Who says I don't have patience? It only took us 28 months to get this rain gauge made.

El Jefe talked to several iron workers about making it. Some didn't have the right equipment to do the curves, some didn't want to bother with a small job, and two took our drawing and measurements and just never bothered to make it and lost the drawing. (When will we learn to keep a copy?)

La Gringa's tropical-sized rain gauge, La Ceiba, HondurasWe finally found someone willing to do it. Of course, he completely ignored our drawing and measurements but it turned out nice just the same. The base is about 5 feet (1.5 meters) so that it goes into the ground very deeply and is secure even when the ground is saturated.

El Jefe painted it for me and he was so eager to put it out that I didn't get a chance to mark the inches on it. I'll do that when this rain stops (check back with me in 6 months or so) and in the meantime, I'm carrying a ruler out there to measure.

I like it. I'm happy.

By the way, from sometime early Thursday morning until Friday morning, we had a whopping 16 inches of rain (41 cm.)! And that is a fact, not a guess.
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