Growing up in Seattle, I was always looking for ways to turn rainy weather into entertainment. Rain gauges might not be the first thing to jump to mind. But, at the risk of sounding like my elementary school science teacher, measuring is fun (not to mention a good tool for the practical gardener). We've rounded up five favorite rain gauges - all of the low-tech variety.
NB: Fans of high tech (and those who prefer to stay indoors), should explore Oregon Scientific's Rain Gauge offerings.
Above: New England master craftsman Steve Conant makes rain gauges using the same custom techniques developed in the 19th century. The Conant Custom Estate Brass Rain Gauge is available in brass for $61.71 at Amazon.
Above: A smaller version of the Conant Rain Gauge measures 6.5 inches tall and mounts to a post or a wall; $15.99 at Brookstone.
Above: The Conant Grande View Rain Gauge uses a twisting brass stake to support the measuring tube and to mount the gauge into soft ground (a post-mounting option is also available); $40.99 at Van Dykes Restorers.
Above: Styled like an ice cube tray, LaCrosse Cascading Ice Cube Rain Gauge catches rain that filters through each canal, distributing it evenly up for a measurement capacity of six inches; $11.08 at Amazon.
Above: The LaCrosse Cascading Ice Cube Rain Gauge can sit on a table, railing, or patio for easy reading and emptying; a great rain gauge for curious kids.
Above: For the modernist, consider the Blomus Calla Rain Gauge. Made with a stainless steel rim and stake with an acrylic body; $70.19 at Amazon.
N.B. This is an update of a post that originally ran on September 19, 2012.
Finding your rain gauge a little low? Perhaps you need to read 11 Tips for Designing a Water-Conscious Garden or 7 Ways to Save Water in the Garden, from a Graywater Crusader