The forecast was for a 50-percent chance of rain. Instead, I knew the chances were more like 100 percent.

No, my bad knees weren't acting up -- any more than normal. I certainly didn't have a divine message from above. That simply doesn't happen for me.

Instead, I knew it from the animals, and no, I'm no Dr. Dolittle.

Rather than talk to the animals, I watch them, or at least I try to.

So Monday, as I was heading to Cedar Bluff Reservoir, I found it interesting when I found my first casualty of the year.

A small snake had fallen prey to a passing motorist. I wasn't able to say what kind it was, but it most certainly had been out sunning itself on the county road.

As I traveled on, I passed one and then two other snakes -- both very much alive, before and after I passed them by.

They were both large bull snakes, that much was easy to see. One recoiled as my truck tire came perilously close to its head.

I'm not one of those aim-for-the-first-snake-that-you-see drivers, but I'm not about to send my vehicle careening into the ditch to avoid the rascals.

I don't like snakes. That much is certain. They are too much for me.

But I also recognize they are valuable predators, eating all sorts of critters that I don't like much either.

With three snakes on the road, with a small box turtle thrown in for good measure, it was easy to read the signs: Rain was ahead.

And in northwest Kansas where a long-lasting drought can be right around the corner, that's a good thing.

While there has been rain, you can't quite call this a wet spring, at least in the Hays area. Damp might be a better word.

So it was refreshing when nature proved it was right, and the rain started falling. To be sure, I could have done without the high winds Monday and the even higher gusts that night when the heart of the storm swept through, threatening to topple trees and power lines. But at least the hail was tiny, and didn't cause any damage at all.

Unfortunately, I keep forgetting that snakes on the road, don't usually mean rain that night. For me, it usually means rains are one or two days away.

I'm not sure how I got passed over on the quick-results list, but that's the way it works.

Snakes on the road: rain in the next two days.

And that's exactly what happened.

Monday night and into Tuesday morning, I picked up 0.85 of an inch of rain.

Tuesday night, when the big storms came through, it was 1.7 inches. I was one of the smaller amounts.

It was the hail and wind that caused the problems, although those silly little things called tornadoes certainly provided a scare. They even put me in the basement, not a frequent site for me when storms hit.

Instead, I'm usually out on the road.

To be sure, I was, traveling to the western end of Cedar Bluff Reservoir once again. There, to the west, was the storm that was pounding Gove County, and I'm certain I saw the wall cloud and tornado.

But the storm was eastward bound, headed, so it seemed for my little house in the country.

Making the quick trip back, I watched the radar, spotting both dimples that suggested the presence of rotation.

Fortunately for me, there was little damage. Others weren't so lucky.

Yet there is a bright side; the rains mean more water for Cedar Bluff.

The Smoky Hill River was already full, flowing water into the still low lake.

I'm hoping the rains, and several more, might mean even more water for the lake.

It's not quite fair that Webster and Kirwin have released their overabundance of water, while Cedar Bluff, and even Keith Sebelius near Norton, have been the ugly step sisters.

Perhaps its time for everyone to dance another little jig, whatever form they wish it to take, as a collective rain dance.

I'll watch for the snakes.