Saturday, July 30, 2011

AND THE RAIN CAME…


We had a dandy thunderstorm yesterday, about 6:30 p.m. I'd noticed a sudden early darkening outside, and soon afterwards, as rumbles and mutterings approached from the west, felt cooler air coming in through the kitchen window's screen—damp air that carried the unmistakable scent of earth and leaves and grass…and rain.

When I heard the first thrum of oversized drops on the leaves of the sycamores which shelter the kitchen side of the cottage, I stopped my supper preparations and went into the great room. There I grabbed a chair from the dinning table, opened the front door which leads to the side deck and has a good view of the river a few yards beyond, and placed the chair in the opened doorway—a front-row seat on the action.

And action I got! One of those violent clash-of-the-gods summer storms my Uncle Raymond used to call a "frog choker," where the sky goes black, thunder cracks and booms deafeningly, the earth trembles, lightening emblazons the sky, and the heavens seem to have their underbelly ripped open as torrents gush from above in tropical fury. At times the nearby island was invisible, lost behind sheets of rain, which pelted though the trees in a steady roar.  Wonderfully awesome!

After perhaps three-quarters of an hour the storm moved on. We needed that rain, having endured nearly three weeks of baking heat—though its relief was probably rather localized since the river, so far as I can tell, didn't rise more than an inch. Still, it made for good sleeping, plus I won't have to water the flowers today.

There's also a slight possibility of another shower this morning. I hope, since we're predicted to be heading back to days in the 90˚s for the foreseeable future. I'd like at least a few more hours of cooler weather. And I may get my wish because it's been overcast since daylight. Yet a few minutes ago a goldfinch, as gleaming yellow as any portending sun, lit briefly on a stem near the deck. If Mr. Goldfinch had his way, I suspect summer and its accompanying heat would last forever. 
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16 comments:

Beyond My Garden said...

A little further the Ohio, we received our smaller storm about 10:00 as I was falling off to sleep. I was all for it. While most of the summer has been perfectly wet, we were just starting to get too dry. I seldom water since we don't have much water so, like you we welcomed the storm.
nellie

Grizz………… said...

Nellie…

Here, we went from a record wet spring and early summer into intense heat and, for the most part, only infrequent rains. Not quite a drought, but things are sure dry; the earth is hard and cracked. The only saving grace has been those scattered rains were usually heavy, and lasted long enough to give everything a good soaking.

Watering is never a problem—other than the time and effort—as my well is deep and produces plenty of water. And of course, there's always the river to dip from by the bucketful.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love those storms. We don't get many here in North Yorkshire but we had a lot when I lived in flat Lincolnshire. We used to watch the rain bashing down on the road and bouncing up - we called it dancing fairies.
I suppose it was a late supper after all that sitting watching the rain?

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ
I felt like I was with you in awe of the storm - your words took me there in the best of ways. Hope your supper didn't burn while you were in the midst of nature's fury and glory.
I have a chair out by our garden waiting for you to come by and set-a-spell. See you soon,
love Gail
peace.....

Wanda..... said...

We missed the 6:00 one, had our 'clash-of-the-gods summer storm' about 10:00 last night, so watering the cucumber vines won't be necessary today.

Grizz………… said...

Weaver…

I've always loved thunderstorms—the noisier and flashier, the better. As a kid, whenever a thunderstorm rolled in, I'd take one of Mom's quilts and go out onto the front porch to watch. Our house faced west, the direction of most arriving weather, so I had a ringside seat…except that Mom usually made me come in when the lightening got close.

The pelting rain last evening did that bouncing business…

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

Nope, supper came out fine, and on time; I was just prepping veggies when the storm arrived; didn't actually toss and dress them until Myladylove arrived, which was about 15 minutes after the storm moved on.

That garden-side chair sounds delightful…

BTW, we went whole-hog Southern on supper this evening. I pan-fried chicken, made gravy for smashed potatoes, did coleslaw, baked biscuits. Our only departure from a downhome meal will be dessert, a sort of compote/fruit salad with bananas, oranges, grapes, apples, kiwis, pineapples, melon, and topped with a drizzle of vanilla/rum syrup. Yummm! I'll trade you a bowl—and throw in some great chicken—for a handful of those real tomatoes.

Grizz………… said...

Wanda…

I can't say today has been all that much cooler, though last night was great. But the rain not only saved me from today's watering plans, it also meant I could dig a few holes and move some plants without having to resort to the pick-axe.

I envy your garden…

Robin said...

Dear God,
Please don't let Mr. Goldfinch have his way.

I am prepared to bargain.

~Robin

(And Grizz, I love storms like that!)

Grizz………… said...

Robin…

We are BOTH prepared to deal! Or THREATEN! Or, if necessary, BEG and PLEAD and GROVEL!

Somehow I knew you'd be a fellow storm aficionado.

Arija said...

How lovely for you Grizz. There is nothing like a decent summer storm to clear the air. Drops the size of cannon balls bouncing six inches off the ground, and one can usually find me in the thick of things, getting absolutely drenched and loving every minute of it.

Hope your shifted plants survive.

Grizz………… said...

Arija…

Unfortunately, this storm didn't have much effect on air clearing. I can't say I noticed much change in the sky—none of that fresh-scrubbed look you usually expect. Yesterday was about as hot and sticky and slightly hazy as the day before. This morning, however, it looks really nice out…still supposed to be hot (though only 89˚F rather than in the low-90˚s) but lovely crisp sunlight.

The plants we moved were mostly yuccas and hostas, which can usually be shifted around any time—so they should be okay.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ- your down home supper made my mouth water, I love every thing you prepared and yes, a bowl of our home grown tomatoes is a good trade. Now, about that chair by the garden with your name on it. That's me still trying to get you to come over to my blog and take a look and a read - only one person so far said what they think the flower is I asked about, thanks Wanda, can you confirm Grizz? I don't like to keep inviting - I figure it is best if you mosey on over if you want to not cuz I am bugging you.
Love you
Gail
peace.......

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

First off, don't ever think you're bugging me—you're not. Ever. And I actually hadn't forgot to come visit…just hadn't gotten around to it yet. But not because I thought it a chore or obligation; simply because I haven't spent much time at the computer this weekend. And because it's been hot and I'm like a lazy hound in the heat, lethargic and satisfied to snooze under the porch. (Well, not literally, but in my new chaise longue which sits in the sade of a clump of sycamores.)

Your post, however, was absolutely wonderful…and I am humbled—as I often am—by the straight-from-the-heart honesty, and by your incorrigible attitude. I mean that sincerely. You are a delight and inspiration.

Take care of yourself. And never fear about rattling this old dog's chain…sometimes that's exactly what I need.

Gail said...

Thanks SO much Grizz -

I love you
Gail
peace......

Grizz………… said...

Gail...

Meant every word. Take care.