After several recent false predictions and a near miss or two, it finally rained last night just after 3:00 a.m.—a storm which arrived with a shattering thunderclap, awakening me from a fretful sleep and setting a heron dozing along the river into a bout of rattly squawks. I lay awake for a while afterwards, listening to the roar of droplets pelting through sycamore leaves, thrumming on the roof, and the steady gush of water from the eaves—enjoying the breath of sweet-scented air coming in from nearby the window. The temperature dropped a dozen degrees in as many minutes.
We needed rain—lawn and flowers, but especially the river which flows past the cottage, and was starting to look a bit gaunt between its banks. Last night's rain will provide a fresh drink for the fish—bass, bluegills, crappie, catfish, and many more, large and small—as well as the mayflies and caddis which live in the stream's muck and gravel, the crayfish which ply the pool's rocky bottom, the gentle queen snakes that sometimes shinny up the grapevine draping over the deck to sun themselves on the rail, and the turtles that now sun daily on the logs and rocks. These and countless others will welcome the rain; rain is the lifeblood of rivers.
I appreciate the rain, too, for it will save me some work watering plants…but mostly for the way it presented me with a fresh-scrubbed morning—a morning damp and cool, with bright sunshine and a sky so blue it was like looking overboard when trolling for marlin out of Key West, and seeing the waters of the Gulf Stream swirling in indigo mystery under the boat's hull.