Rain all afternoon. A nuisance to so many people, hurrying to appointments, coping with rush hour traffic. But for us, a spa treatment by mere proximity. The moisture pouring down, entering our pores as certainly as it soaks into the soil beneath our beleaguered oak trees. We move more languidly, our joints oiled, our imperfections blurred. Is this how plants feel when rain falls after a long time without?
We'll know how much there's been in the morning when Hale checks the rain gauge, but he estimates 2 and a half inches. The most rain since March. All the swales worked to retain the water across the trees' drip lines then convey it on away from the foundation of the house to the creek.
At 2AM the irrigation switched on, a whirring of noise against the aspidistra, which means it had been running for a while before we noticed. I went out to turn it off, and when I returned onto the open back porch I created a terrible disturbance of sleeping birds--gray doves--so rudely awakened. A panicky flutter of wings, disoriented, and I told them not to worry, and I ducked inside quickly, shutting off my flashlight. When I looked out there a moment later, they were back in place, hunkered down in the rose canes that weave among the porch trim. It is really nice to know that our snug house can offer shelter to birds, as well, on a stormy night.