Friday, March 16, 2007

Ark Ark!

If anyone has a paddle and a boat, please come rescue me, for it's a-coming down a toad-strangler outside and I'm afeared that I might have to bail out my house to keep it from sinkin'.

Yesterday was one of those gorgeous spring days that make you want to break out in song, and today, we get a gullywasher going of hours-long proportion. That kind of rain that can blind you if you're driving, the kind of rain that would serve as a complete 10-second shower if you stepped out into it, the kind of rain that insistently pounds on the roof and doorframes at conversation-stopping decibels.

We need the rain, there's no doubt of it. One look at the state's drought alert website (and oh yes, they do have one, and I am maybe a tiny speck obsessed over checking it on possibly a daily basis, and so what about THAT) will tell you that we need the rain.

Except, you know, do we need it all at ONCE?

I saw farmers out yesterday doing some tilling. That made me happy, for some reason. The clouds of dust following the tractors mean that agriculture is still happening in my part of NC. The neat rows laid out behind the John Deere please my semi-autistic neat freaky side, and the smell of freshly turned earth is positively yummy.

But, where are those rows NOW? I'll just bet they're washed into mushy hummocks, all slouchy and sad, the crisp folds of yesterday's work worn down by the beating rain. No "farmers rain" this time, oh no, but rather an all-out assault of fat drops smashing into the earth.

Tangentially, and believe me, this will come to a point very soon, when I was a kid I used to LOVE watching slo-mo nature films. OK, let me amend that - I STILL like to watch slo-mo nature films. Also the time-lapse films. Anyhow, one of my favorites was the "water drop landing in a still pool and making a huge splattery pattern" thing, where the descent of the drop was captured in such agonizing detail that it was almost a relief when the splash was over. The anticipation of what was to come was almost, IS almost, too much to watch.

I imagine that whole freshly-turned field was like a gigantic slo-mo film as the rains started, with puffs of dust rising with the first wave of raindrops, the concussions of the impacts deafening to the earthworms and grubs below, the cool moisture seeping into the ground, an initial buggy/wormy relief at the reprieve from dessication, then a building annoyance by the invertebrate denizens at the continuation of the percussive precipitation until one of them SNAPS and starts screaming at God to cut it the heck out already he's trying to get the kids to go to sleep and how on earth can they do that if there's all that NOISE!!!

For, as we all know, earthworms are testy fellows, especially where noise is concerned.

And what about the BIRDS? Way back, I saw a book titles "Where do butterflies go when it rains?" My thought is - forget the butterflies, what about the birds? What about those robins and finches and returning cardinals and suchlike? What about THEM, huh? Sitting on a tree branch, all sodden and soppy wet, waiting for the irritated earthworms to start emerging from the muddy ground. They get chillier and chillier until one of them sneezes, prompting their near-neighbors to move slightly further away so as to protect themselves from what is sure to be some variant of the bird flu, and don't you just know that nobody wants that after what happened to Myrtle Waxwing's husband's cousin Floyd, who migrated to China last year and never ever came back again. So sad, leaving behind a nest-mate (don't you know they weren't MARRIED!) and a clutch of eggs, one of whom hatched out the very spitting image of Floyd, and even though he's puny is the darling of the brood and is getting fat from all the grubs his mama's pulling from the muddy fields, bless her broken little heart.

See? The rain, she makes us ALL crazy.


What's it like where YOU are today? You got crazy-making weather too, or all you all happy and sunshiny and glittery with perfect schpring weather?

G-head - drop your weather report in the comments. I'm interested, I really AM!

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