Rain here along the river since mid-morning. Now, four hours beyond noon, the showers are showing signs of letting up.
At it’s peak, the sky grew thick with low clouds the color of old campfire ashes. During those times it was very dark outside. You would almost have needed a flashlight to negotiate your way around the yard beneath the thickly-leaved sycamores and box elders.
Every so often, though, the light grew brighter. The view through the window changed from a landscape in charcoal to one of glowing greens as the illumination increased. Then the process would reverse, the light again dimming.
I noticed how the rain followed this light-dark cycle, decreasing as the light diminished, increasing when it came up. Why, I wondered? What was the connection? The pattern seemed odd, almost counter-intuitive. Shouldn’t it rain hardest during the darkest time?
On reflection, I decide it made sense—the darkest minutes would be those when a new band of showers was just moving in…a black, slow-moving freight train dragging its rain caboose behind. The mini-front’s dark line passes overhead and continues, the train huffing on, and the bulk of the showers come pattering through the leaves.
Anyway, that was my line of reasoning. I could easily be wrong as my practical weather savvy is best left to sticking my hand out, palm up, and proclaiming it to be raining should I feel a telltale wetness.
Every so often thunder rumbled. Not ear-splitting crashes; more the rolling reverberations of distant wagons crossing a wooden bridge. Alternately, there were times when the thunder sound was low and vaguely ominous, a soft warning, like a surely old dog who doesn’t really want to trouble himself to get up from the porch and bite you, but doesn’t want to be taken for granted, either.
Sometimes the rain turned into brief downpours, mini-monsoons that fell so furiously the raindrop curtain partially obscured the woods on the island across from the cottage. However, even when the rain was roaring through the leaves, I could also pick out the chirps and whistled song snatches from various birds.
When I opened the side door and began scanning the nearby trees, I spotted at least a dozen birds huddled patiently among the sheltering leaves. Chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, finches, titmice, a red-bellied woodpecker, nuthatches—they were all there, and whenever the downpour slackened, however briefly, they resumed feeding. Even the hummingbirds kept up their nectar sipping during the lesser showers.
Will, the grand-dog—a welcome house guest while my daughter and son-in-law are in Africa—didn’t seem to mind the rain; his business foray appeared unhurried. Moon, on the other hand, was having nothing to do with stepping outside during a shower. She gave a cursory glance through the open door, saw the water pouring off the eaves, looked back at me to see if I was kidding, and returned to her cozy bed, exercising the female prerogative to wait until drier conditions prevailed. Moon doesn’t accept a wetting without protest.
I’m glad for the rain. The river was looking a bit low. The flowers certainly needed a drink. And, of course, it’s been four or five days since I mowed the yard…can’t let that delightful chore lapse.
All in all, a day of showers isn’t an altogether bad way to spend a Saturday.