Rain in April
April 12. The morning was overcast, with sprinkles off and on. I walked in the light showers. There was such a fantastic smell in the air. I delighted in the few sprinkles occasionally colliding with my face bringing refreshment. Turkeys were still calling. As I was returning, the sky seemed to brighten a little; I thought perhaps that was all the rain we would get today. The northeast appeared to be clearing off but the northwest remained very dark. I heard a roll of thunder, a low rumble echoing across the sky. As an added gift, just above me, a flock of trumpeter swans flew overhead, stark white against the gray sky. The thunder continued. Then it began to rain, much more than a light sprinkle this time. A most beautiful storm was coming in. I watched the storm from the safety of my house, full of excitement. There was some hail and then rain again. Lightning flashed. The stormed continued for another hour. With joy I watched it progress. The grass seemed to be greening before my eyes. This wasn’t our first rain but up to this point the rain we’d had was only a few sprinkles here and there, not very effective in drawing out the rest of the frost and growing the grass.
April 25. A cloud settled on the valley below the farm the last remnant of yesterday’s rain. The rising sun painted the fog. I set out on a morning walk captivated by the splendor. The day after a spring rain is most refreshing. The smell itself is so delicious, wet and earthy. Spring rains are so magical – bringing green grass and tree buds bursting forth. The ground is a bit spongy. Slugs and earthworms crawl about on the driveway and gravel road. Birds singing – the loud shrill of juncos, a cardinal whistling a happy tune in the backyard. A flicker pounds on an eastern white pine tree. Trees are washed and shimmering green with lichen. Everything seems to be washed anew and fresh. The rising sun glimmering through the trees, water glistens in the branches as the sun hit them. My spirit felt instantly lifted in the enchanting morning.
April 29. It has rained everyday now since Saturday night, and Friday and Saturday were only a break in the rain since it had been raining Wednesday and Thursday as well. The rain a couple weeks ago and even on Thursday were welcome and greeted with joy and excitement. But Saturday’s clouds brought colder temperatures with it, hanging around forty degrees Fahrenheit with very strong winds. Thankfully, the wind has subsided today. The rain continued however. But as I sat eating a later than normal breakfast, I saw, with bitter disappointment, the rain drops turn into large, wet snow clumps. There was a striking contrast between the falling snow and bright green grass that almost made the grass appear more dazzling. At first, the snow was melting as it hit the ground, but quickly it began to accumulate. I went on a walk, pulling my hood down to keep the snow out of my face. Soon the trees were coated with snow. Despite my anger in the snow, I couldn’t help but take notice of its beauty. It isolated my world from everything else, visibility was much reduced and with it a beauty and peacefulness settled over the place. The dark, thin trunks of sumac with the cluster on top provided a brilliant contrast to the white sky and field; it was such a beautiful picture. I instantly regretted not being able to bring my camera. The maple trees haven’t progressed in making leaves though they were flowering a couple weeks ago; everything seems to be holding its breath, waiting for warm temperatures to draw out the new life. Despite the nasty weather, a cardinal still whistled joyfully in the orchard.
It is intriguing and annoying how fickle spring rains can be. With warm temperatures, they are a brush, painting the landscape with color, bringing life to a dreary world. The rain is welcomed and enjoyed, treasured. But when temperatures drop too close to freezing and a gentle rain becomes snow, our hopes that winter is gone are dashed. A rain with temperatures around forty five degrees seems to do nothing but create puddles, add to the mud, and delay field work. Rain is good though and needed, and wishing for a break is tempting but there is no desire to have it actually stop and not return for months, as it did for the last several years. The middle ground is most desirable, but seems the least likely now extreme weather pattern seem to have become the norm.