Saturday, July 11, 2009

SATURDAY SHOWERS

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.

22 comments:

Jenn Jilks said...

I adore your reflections on nature. I am still pondering the lessons of the Spring peepers as they transform from aquatic to land animals in My Muskoka. What tells them to go for it?

We are seeing more rain on the horizon. Rain fills the creeks and rivers. I am most grateful.

Gail said...

Hi Grizz-

Lovely rainy Saturday, indeed. WIll is a cutie-pie!! :-)

I love your photos of the rain on the river and how your view changed form dark to light throughout the day. I think it is wonderful how you are part of it - like another natural element of the river that is necessary to it's design. Yes, quite necessary.

Rain is expected here tonight. A deer wandered on our property yesterday and I captured it with my camera. :-) I have them ready to goon my next post. Also, the rabbit stayed for a while although he positioned himself in the shadows so the picture was a brown blur. Oh well.

Have a lovely evening - I am going to pour some wine and sit on the back deck and watch and listen. I am always thrilled.

Love to you
Gail
peace......

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jenn…

There are more amazing things upon this earth than any us can ever imagine, let alone know and understand. Sometimes all we can do is observe and ponder—which is often all I manage, as you well know.

We needed the rain here, too. And thank you for your nice words.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Will is a cute dog—and a real gentleman.

I love rain. And we needed today's long offering of showers.

By the way, calling me "another natural element of the river that is necessary to it's design" is quite a compliment, at least the way I see it—though the river doesn't need me whatsoever. But I like being seen as just one more natural element in the landscape. A good one, always, I hope.

I'll be watching for those photos on your post.

It's sunny here now, and late as it is, I haven't even had lunch. So I'm going to fix a quick dinner and head onto the deck myself. Of course, skipping lunch, dinner, and every other breakfast, I still wouldn't starve to death much sooner than Thanksgiving.

Take care…

Wanda said...

Your second and last photos look like oil paintings to me...they captured the wetness of today well!...and the comment you left at my blog made me laugh out loud this morning...very very funny...sorry it caused you so much agony...but it really was a perfect blackberry crisp and tasted sooooo good!

Lisa said...

It's so refreshing to visit your blog. I feel like I am truly outdoors. The rain shots are grand, as is your telling of the scene as it unfolds. Simply lovely. And it's nice to hear a man's point of view in regards to nature. Many men could care less about the rain, how much we get, or the comfort it brings.

KGMom said...

I agree the rain photos are lovely. It must have been raining quite hard for the camera to pick it up.
The rain moved out of your part of the world, and moved into central PA, where this evening we have had thunder crashing rain showers.

The Solitary Walker said...

Some lovely observations here, Grizzled! I can just feel the rain on my skin and hear it pattering down from your evocative photos.

Bernie said...

Griz, this is one of your best post, so descriptive, I really enjoyed reading about your Saturday. I love storms, as strange as that may sound. Thank you for sharing.....:-) Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

I'm tellin' ya, that Blackberry Crisp nearly did me in! You can have my rain photos—your pie pix looked edible!

Thank you, though…and I'm glad I made you laugh.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lisa…

Thank you for your nice comments. I'm glad you enjoy your visits here.

I guess it depends on the man re. how much attention is paid to the natural world. Farmers, fishermen, and incorrigible writers who live on riverbanks are apt to be pretty serious weather watchers. (In my case, not too knowledgeable, but still interested.)

As to my masculine viewpoint, I'm guilty as charged…one X and one Y chromosome. And no ambiguity.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

It was raining hard, although I actually didn't photograph the most intense downpours. A slow shutter speed helped, but backlighting would have been better. Of course, I couldn't move the river and didn't intend moving me—so this was the best I could manage. To the eye, it was really raining harder, I think, than the photos show.

I assume you've been bonding with that new RAV4?

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

Thank you, truly.

I do hope the post turned out okay. I'm pleased you liked it. I'm still caught in the spell of your Ur-walk…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

I also love storms—the drama and power, the whole productions. This one was just…nice.

Thank you for your lovely comments.

Jayne said...

Who else can take a summer thunderstorm and turn it into prose! Glad you got some much needed rain... now, send some down here to northwest GA. :c)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

We did need the rain. The yard already looks greener, lusher. And this morning, the river is muddy and rising, already up several feet—which is appreciated, as well, because a stream needs a good scouring every so often.

Maybe you'll get some rain soon. BTW, I see you've started on your project. Good luck. Keep the faith, you can get it done on budget.

And thank you for your nice comments.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

I feel cooler already, just looking at your photos. I love all the shades of green and the rain, I can almost hear its misty sound...

Jain said...

It was quite dark here, too, eerie. I liked your light/dark cycle observation and will look for it with the next storm. Your first photo is superb - I can hear the rain on the river.

Robin said...

What a lovely place for a rainy day.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Teri…

The soft light and the saturated colors—particularly the wealth of different greens—is one of the things I also like about a rainy summer's day.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

I have no idea why this light/dark, hard/mild shower business is often the case—or if it's always the case. But I have puzzled over it before.

You know, I happened to check the light with my camera about 9:20 pm yesterday evening, pointing it at the same area where I took some shots under the hackberry tree (of the hummingbirds at the feeder, though I didn't run any of the pix)—and it was indeed much darker at noon when I took those few shots. Amazing.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Robyn…

It is…and today, under bright sun, also lovely, though the river is up several feet and the color of creamed coffee.

What 'till you see the riverbank in autumn, or winter! Lovely upon lovely upon lovely upon lovely—four seasons around. But then I'm prejudiced.