These maps, taken from NOAA’s website show what the early August rains did to change the moisture stored in our soil. For us, the rains lifted the pond by almost an inch and a half. They didn’t add enough soil moisture to fill the cracks in the vertisols, or create any puddles – but we have hopes that the slight increase in soil moisture will help at least some of the little alfalfa plants survive. At any rate, the NOAA website demonstrates how much more information on weather is available now compared to a half-century ago. The difference between July 31 and August 9 is impressive – though we will probably check again next week to see how the soil is doing.