I took the dogs for a hike today, over to the draw on the North side of the 10 acres. What we call "going over to Uncle Al's", who is (was?) the property owner on our North boundary. With no heavy wind and rain today, it seemed like there were more birds out and about. A couple of Stellar's jays were hopping around the pine needle litter on the edge of the tree island, along with a male Downy Woodpecker who was peck-peck-pecking the limbs in one of the pine butterfly killed Ponderosas, and you could hear the nuthatches and chickadees talking.
Before I got to the section of the game trail that heads downhill into the draw, I could hear the water, so I knew that it was running harder than what I'd seen last week. Still, I was surprised to see that there was only one short section just uphill of the game trail that was dry; the rest was flowing as if it was April during Spring runoff. It is forecast to get colder and snowy over the next few days, so this will slow down or stop, but for now, this is an unprecedented phenomenon during our time on the mountain.
On the way back along the lower game trail, there's an area of mixed standing and downed dead trees that have been there for some time, and I noticed that the winds had broken off the top of one of the larger ones, bringing some more daylight to the area. I also wrestled with part of a long dead willow that had fallen over the trail.
If water was running in the North draw, it was a good assumption that it could be running in the draw behind the house and where our well is sited. No water visible uphill of the well, but it was running below, and by now I could hear trickling from the overflow tap on our cisterns - two buried 2000 gallon concrete septic tanks. We have artesian flow into our well for a lot of the year, (a lucky thing) and that seems to be happening now, when normally the pump would be running to get us water. On the top of one of the cisterns we have a flag on a pole to monitor the cistern's water level, and it is up as high as it will go. All the moisture we can get is as always most welcome - it is just so strange to see it flowing rather than in ice crystal form.