Thursday, July 7, 2016

In praise of rain

I like rain, almost always. I like the smells of earth and vegetation it awakes, the way it softens the city's sharp edges, the sense it brings of plants lusciously expanding after drinking their fill. Living in Vancouver, with its reputation for non-stop rainfall, I should be one happy person. But last year was a drought year, a scary experience for someone like me. What if this was permanent? What if Vancouver lost its rain? The drought brought serious water restrictions, and for the first time, I saw water bags being placed around young trees to save them from drying out. Experts were warning that western Canada could expect dryer weather in the long term, thanks to climate change.

This year, March, April and early May were so hot and dry that one round of spring flowers barely had time to bloom before the next batch was overshadowing them -- they were blossoms on speed. I was horrified. But then more normal cooler and wetter weather kicked in, and I'm relieved to learn the Weather Network is predicting normal temperatures and rainfall for the rest of the summer. In spite of the TV and radio personalities who seem to think the only good weather is sunny and hot, it sounds just about right to me.

It rained in Vancouver on Thursday, leaving droplets on the Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) in my garden. Some people raise this plant because of the way it looks in the rain. It's extremely invasive, so watch out!

Rain puddles in a back alley in my neighbourhood. Delicious!

Earlier this year, the hot dry weather began so early that water bags were placed at the base of young boulevard trees to keep them alive.

In May, the wiegelia  in my garden was in full bloom, one of many flowering bushes that came and went early and fast because of the heat.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, rain, wonderful rain. I never thought I would be saying, "Great, it's raining!" in Vancouver but all last year I did. And of course in Palm Springs where they are having a serious drought everyone is grateful for every drop of rain. In 1976, we were in Europe May through October and this was the year of the big dry spell. It was lovely to have such perfect weather but we almost got down on our knees when we arrived in Amsterdam in September and it was raining. Yes, rain, wonderful rain.