Rain gauge fills up

Rain gauge fills up

Today it was pouring rain, then drizzling rain, then weeping rain, then soaking rain.  You get the picture.  It was raining.

I haven’t had to fulfill the outdoor commitment in the rain for some time.  Today is the eight month anniversary of going outside every single day since the Winter Solstice.  Four more months to go.

The first necessity:  find the umbrella.  We country folks aren’t necessarily like city folks.  We country folks don’t use umbrellas too much.  You either wear rain gear with a big hood or hat, or stay inside, or run from the house to the car through the raindrops.  You don’t usually wander casually around beneath the comfort of a large umbrella.

Unless you’re doing an outdoor commitment and need to take photos in the rain.  Then you undertake the search for an umbrella and finally find it in the back of the car.  You then check it to see if it works, having some vague memory of an umbrella failure during the pouring rain in Munising in June. 

That was not an enjoyable saunter in the rain.  If I remember correctly, my fingers were frozen numb against the umbrella handle on that trip downstate.  Never mind that it was June.  It was a Upper Peninsula night in June.  Which meant barely past frost.

A field of mint from beneath the umbrella

A field of mint from beneath the umbrella

Today’s rain felt almost balmy.  Although it was in the 50’s, so it wasn’t that balmy.  But I did enjoy sauntering around the yard, twirling the umbrella and humming.

Looking at all the puddles and drizzly leaves and getting my shoes and pant legs soaking wet.

Shadow of spruce in a puddle

Shadow of spruce in a puddle

Suddenly it became clear that the rain had momentarily ceased.  Why carry around the umbrella?  I tossed it on the lawn and headed out to the road for further exploration.

Umbrella abandoned in grass near cattail pond

Umbrella abandoned in grass near cattail pond

Umbrella-less (and hoping another downpour might be postponed) I ventured down the road and then veered off unto a logging road to further look at nature’s offerings.

Down the road toward the lake...shimmery rain drizzling

Down the road toward the lake...shimmery rain drizzling

So many of the plants and flowers lay beaten down by the rains, tumbled over from the downpours.  Rain water collected everywhere:  on the path, in flowers, against leaves.  You could tell the soil felt appreciative.  The roots beneath the surface sighed in collective relief.  We’ve had too many years of drought not to appreciate this summer’s gift of rain.

Baby lupine grows out of a spider web covered with droplets of rain

Baby lupine grows out of a spider web covered with droplets of rain

The rain began to drizzle more gustily again and I turned back toward the house.   Scooped up the umbrella and listened to the raindrops beat their dance atop it for awhile.  Looked at our cozy little home in the woods with its warm and dry interior and headed in for a cup of tea.

Time to go inside and set the kettle a'boiling for tea.

Time to go inside and set the kettle a'boiling for tea.

Question of the evening:  What are those five white plastic chairs doing sitting out in front of the house?  Any guesses? 

Interesting fact of the evening:  You’ll never imagine what ran in front of our car tonight on the way home from Houghton!  Yes, you’re right.  It was a black bear.  The first one we’ve seen in a long time.  It scampered across the road never the Silver River Hill and then ducked into the woods.  I was swatting around for the camera in vain, only finding the cell phone.  The camera, of course, was buried in my purse.  Just when it was needed.  However, the likelihood of actually getting a shot of that fast-moving bear was not a lot.  Better luck next time!

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