Walk Before the Morning Rain

by Melanie and Jim

We left the house in a hurry this morning after checking radar. Showers were headed our way, and we wanted to stretch our legs without getting too wet. As I write this, the radar shows it is raining here now. However, the sidewalk is not even damp. I guess that is one more example of why you shouldn’t believe everything you see online.

When we walk, our attention is usually quite mixed. Sometimes we chew over world problems, sometimes personal ones. The “personal” ones often have to do with our children. Parenting adults is hard! They have a whole range of issues we’ve otherwise moved past. We also enjoy the noises outside. Humming crickets and locusts, peeping frogs, and various bird songs capture our notice. Today we heard catbirds, bluejays and cardinals, chickadees, and a flicker or two, among others. We watch for daddy longlegs, small snakes, and the occasional chipmunk crossing the pavement. And we enjoy the wildflowers.

A few weeks ago, there were dozens of wildflower species blooming along trails, railroad tracks, and streets. Now there are fewer, but those left are some of my favorites. Though the Queen Anne’s Lace has faded, goldenrod is coming on with bright yellow brushes. Jewelweeds still display their brilliant orange drops. Cattails stand proud and tall, and the few thistles allowed to grow wild are bursting with their lavender-colored blooms.

Before we left this morning I insisted we bring a camera, something we rarely do. Jim captured the shots below.

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16 thoughts on “Walk Before the Morning Rain

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      We are lucky. We don’t have mountains in our backyard as you do, but there is plenty growing and changing all the time. These days we hear small birds we don’t recognize and can’t see! But it’s fun to listen.

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  1. shoreacres

    I just was out yesterday, and didn’t see a bit of goldenrod where last year there were great drifts of it. I don’t know if it’s behind schedule, and I just didn’t see the plants, or if I’m the one who’s early. It made yours all the more enjoyable.

    Your note about the birds reminded me that a cardinal somewhere close has begun singing again. I don’t know if it’s proclaiming its territory, or trying to attract a mate for a second brood, or just enjoying life. I suppose it could be any of those, or a combination of the three.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      The goldenrod is new here, within the last couple of weeks. It will be a while until it’s in full bloom. As to the cardinals, yes, likely a combination. We’ve noticed a dove has taken over the abandoned robins’ nest. The doves have several broods a year, but I didn’t know they would steal nests to do so!

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  2. Mrs. P

    Lovely images…and I too enjoy taking my camera when I go for a walk.

    One of the things I miss most about living in California was the nature walks that were so close by. Here, in Florida we have had quite a drought, looking more like the Golden State than the lush tropics of norm. It’s been a struggle to keep the garden from dying at the project house. But I did get to see a lot of lovely wildflowers all over the countryside on our recent trip to Upstate.

    I know exactly what you speak of when you challenge the accuracy of weather reports. Unfortunately our weathermen and women cover such a large area that statements of rain may be true but may not affect you specifically. Hoping this week the reports of rain do indeed drift our direction.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      One of the things I enjoy about blogging is looking back on posts we’ve entered in the past. It gives some idea of the differences in weather in different years. In 2012 we had continuing heat and drought, terribly uncomfortable for months. This year has been quite pleasant most of the time, though of course muggy off and on. Extreme weather like drought is discouraging, if only in wondering when it will break? And of course there is no good answer.

      As to our radar, there is a short lag between the data collection and actual imaging, so that can leave some opportunity for surprise. We ended up deciding that this time the problem was in the humidity. The radar may have been picking that up, even though there was no real rain. (In some areas, like in the mountains, the data is not good, either. But we don’t have that problem here!)

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