It was still spring (26th of May) and a soothing spring rain had just fallen over our town. Raindrops were hanging on flower petals, leaves and blades of grass. The air had been freshened up and any breeze flowing through the garden made you shudder, now that the air and the earth had cooled off. You just wanted to curl up with a nice cup of coffee — which is just what I did after I took these photos. Enjoy the gallery!

Places

A rainy day in the garden

Gallery
Thoughts

Spring rain

Have you felt the drops of a spring rainfall on your face? They fall softly, blessing each leaf and bud and flower. They remind us of winter and of melted snow but they’re tinged with hope, looking forward to summer. They chill and yet they warm.

 

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Events

The June rainstorm

I happened to have my video camera with me one June day as the sky darkened and it began to thunder loudly. Birds, scared by the noise, took flight. Soon, rain began to fall, in buckets. Everyone who didn’t take cover got drenched to the skin in seconds.

see this on YouTubesee this on blip.tv

This video was recorded in Grosvenor Park, North Bethesda — a beautiful community near Washington, DC, USA. I have lots of photos from Grosvenor Park in my photo catalog. Some are posted below, but feel free to click through and view all of them.

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Events

First torrential summer rain of 2009

On a clear day on the 21st of June, 2009, the sounds of distant thunder made their way into the valley in which the city of Medias, Romania, lies. I checked the sky but not a dark cloud was in sight. In spite of that, the wind began to quicken, and the ruffling of the leaves gave evidence of the approaching rain. Soon, dark clouds appeared over the horizon, and within a quarter of an hour, filled the sky. Peals of thunder punctuated every passing minute. The wind began to blow the dust from the pavement right into the eyes of passersby. People hurried home, shielding their faces.

In another quarter of an hour, the rain started to come down, suddenly. It rained in buckets, with large, thick, heavy drops that hit with a thud and splashed heavily all around. It only lasted another quarter of an hour or so, and it stopped as quickly as it started, but everything was soaking wet. The thick cover of dark clouds slowly parted, and the evening sun lit up the terracotta roof tiles in a golden-orange hue.

I’ve witnessed many rains of all kinds in my time, in temperate and tropical regions, but this was one of the few that I noticed more than the others. I’m not sure why — perhaps because I’d been outside, cleaning up the yard. In the past, I tended to slide in and out of my car and into air conditioned places (work, home), where I was seldom in contact with nature. Now that I’m spending more time at home, and in the yard, I’ve slowed down to where I can sense things a little more. I feel a little of my boyish wonder coming back, and that’s nice; I thought I’d lost it.

A quick video clip recorded while the rain was falling is up in my SmugMug galleries. You can watch it there, or below, if you happen to be reading this on my site (embedded videos don’t appear in the site feed, sorry, nothing I can do about it yet).

http://blip.tv/file/3046222

See this video on blip.tv or at SmugMug.

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Thoughts

The shit days of spring

I am pleased to announce that the shit days of spring are approaching their malodorous end. If you happen to live in non-temperate climates, you may not be accustomed with this rite-of-passage period that takes place every year where I live.

The shit days of spring are that time of the year when pig farmers get to spread the joy of their filthy farm by-products throughout the land, at insanely high prices, under the pretense of fertilizing our grounds. It must put a smile on their faces to know that they’re putting the city slickers through the same shitty time they have year-round, even if it is only for a couple of weeks every year. The regret of not being able to make us smell the offal of their filthy beasts all day, every day, is tempered somewhat by the knowledge that their bank accounts are getting fatter, just like their pigs, with every shovel-full of the nasty stuff they throw our way.

Others are in on the fun as well. Landscaping companies throughout the land rejoice every March. This is their own Christmas time, when they get to sell us pig shit at crazy prices. Just how crazy? Friends of ours who own a house told us they were charged $200 per tree for the privilege of having pig shit dumped around the trunk a couple of springs ago. I can only assume the price has gone up since. That’s right, ladies and gents… The going rate is about $200 for two bags of pig shit mixed with wood chips in the DC area. Ain’t that grand?

So it is with a doubly-chagrined expression that I take walks through our community each spring. For one thing, it smells like shit, and not just like cow shit or horse shit, which would at least smell somewhat decent, but like pig shit, arguably the filthiest, smelliest shit on earth. And for another thing, I can’t believe how much us suckers are paying for the damned pig shit. For shit’s sake, shouldn’t it cost less?

At least the shit days of spring are drawing to a close. Trees and flowers are beginning to blossom, and recent rains have flushed away the nasty stuff. I welcome sweet April, and think of Chaucer as I open my windows and can still get a whiff of March’s filthy stank:

“Whan that April with his showres soote
The droughte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veine in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flowr;”

Indeed. Although Chaucer must not have realized that “swich licour” is really just rain water and pig shit. Who knows, perhaps during his time they used cow dung, which would be the civilized thing to do. At any rate, Republican politicians must get a chuckle out of the whole thing too. Who knew that entire armies of Karl Roves blossom out of the turds every spring?

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