October 17th, 2004

caillebotte_man at his window

Soft

Midnight brought mist which dampened leaves and pavements and rooftops, gathered there in drops which fell to make soft sounds, and gave the clouded night both a voice and an ethereal sheen. Mist gave way to sprinkles, and sprinkles to the slow, steady rain that now drums the wet soil and splashes in gathering puddles. The smell of it is pure delight. I leave my windows open to sound and scent, and the chill air runs down the walls, making me shiver. I am not eager to crawl under the blankets, despite the cold. This wet night is to be savored, though it be the first of many that this season will bring. It has been too long since rain has fallen. There will be time to grow weary of it later in the year. Now, I celebrate the stream the downspout disgorges, and wait for gray dawn to reveal my world transformed.

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caillebotte_man at his window

Splendid

There is wind and rain and a great chattering of birds. Jays and crows and acorn woodpeckers are out in large numbers. They appear to be fighting over the dry spots protected from the gusting wind. The dense foliage of the mulberry tree blocks my view of the utility pole on which the woodpeckers usually congregate when rain falls, but I can hear their frequent squawks. The jays chase one another among the leaves, and the outbursts of the crows sound from the taller pines. Drama!

The dead lawns of the vacant house next door are soaked, deepening their color from yellow straw to golden brown. Another day or two of rain will return them to green, though they will be strewn with the brown leaves the oaks have shed. It is almost as cold now as it was early this morning, and the clouds are so thick that there is not even a bright spot to reveal the position of the sun. The pungent smell of rotting leaves is pervasive. It is a perfect day.

I particularly enjoy those moments when the clouds ride low, closing in on the forest. Then, wispy vapors drift among the roses, and the treetops become like wan shadows cast on gray slate. Despite the absence of direct sunlight, leaves glitter with drops of water and the wet street shines, reflecting the turbid sky. I can't remain indoors while there is such splendor to enjoy.
laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Boom!

Thunderstorm!

It came suddenly, after a lull in the rain. Furious wind, torrents of rain, fogs sweeping by like huge ghosts, the house rattling and vibrating from both thunderclaps and the drumming of hailstones, chunks of tree flying across the yard, and a premature dusk enveloping the forest. Then, an eerie golden light as the storm abated, and there were placid pools of rainwater reflecting thin patches of blue. Evening settled in, silent except for the occasional splash of water drops falling from the trees. A perfect end to a perfect day.

The poor cat got caught in the storm, though. I had no idea she was outside. Afterwards, she came to the door, mewing loud complaints. Her fur was wet and spiky, and she was not at all pleased. For revenge, she left muddy paw prints all through the house. I gave her a can of her favorite food as compensation for the traumatic adventure. That kitty hates rain.