Monday, August 11, 2014

Rain in August

After a couple of dry summers, sometimes classified as severe or extreme drought, this season has been moist and comparatively cool. By mid-August most years, the grass is dry and crackling. Trees begin to lose leaves. The only bright green along the roadsides is the budding ragweed.

Calamus loves water.
This year, after a rain-rich June and less than three weeks of dry weather in July, August came in with a deluge. In eight days, I measured 5.7 inches of rainfall here; other parts of the county recorded 3 inches and up. The creeks are brown and flowing. Rocks collect puddles. I track mud through the house after a walk. I could get seriously used to not having to water the garden.

My feral yard usually gets mowed with a weed-whacker once or twice in May and June. Once the rains stop, everything slows down and goes almost dormant. August is famous for yellow flowers and yellowing vegetation. This year is green all over. I’m going to have to whack weeds again this month. This is unprecedented.

Cooler weather has been another surprise gift. But even with this unexpected bounty, precipitation for the region is still below average. And of course, the ragweed is still thriving.

Giant ragweed gets ready.
The seasons have been out of kilter all year. Leafing and flowering and fruiting have been happening anywhere from two weeks to a month late. I had been wondering how the cycle would right itself. Extra rain in high summer is evidently the solution this time around.

The first storm this August came in at night with no warning from local weather forecasters. The song of rain through the trees is the loveliest of lullabies, a promise more eloquent than the rainbow. That morning, my daughter left a thank offering for Yemaja the Mother of Rivers on a stone in the garden. The most generous gifts open your heart with surprise and delight.

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