A Day in The Garden

November 23, 2010

A day of drama yesterday in the garden, as November arrived very late and all in one day. I got into my office around 8 and watched the rain start. The air was balmy, warm, almost 70 degrees. The rain was just a misty sprinkle at that point and I gave thanks to the gardening gods for finally sending a day that would soak my hydrangeas, soak my neighbor’s new shrubs and soak my garden.

The dogs had to go out, so I made an image by the back door, sheltered by the house, capturing the now-raindrops that were plinking into the pond, creating those circles upon circles upon circles. Hmmm… how about making these same images throughout the day? It promised to be an intriguing day, so I gave it a shot.

Working later, concentrating on a rush project, I am interrupted by a great rolling clatter of rain. Those raindrops have turned hefty, plopping onto the roof, the pond and the patio with substantial impact. The wind rushes and whooshes, the grasses rustle and shake and tambourine.

That fades within minutes, back to a regular gentle rain that soon dissipates into nothing as the wind picks up. The pin oak dances and writhes and undulates, holding on to those leaves, creating a maraca of sound and a tossed-sheets visual.

Later, the pounding is back, weighty and generous beads crashing into the roof and the windows. A squirrel dashes across the yard, runs up the oak, takes the off ramp into my neighbor’s naked tree and settles into one of the nests. This must be a squirrel instinct to head to the nest, because common sense (as opposed to squirrelly sense) would tell you to hunch down low, away from those wicked winds, under a thick bush, or perhaps nestled behind a stack of firewood. Yet he scampers UP the tree and into an unprotected, unshielded and unwarmed nest.

What a squirrel.

Just after 3, the sky looks like the deep gloaming time, after sunset but before it’s fully dark. But this is certainly much too dark for mid-afternoon, even as our days shorten. The sky roils with black and grey and steel and charcoal. The rain pounds again.

For hours again, it rained – sometimes in heavy rushes, sometimes in light patters, sometimes just a mist. My garden got a thorough soak, my new gaillardia hopes a complete transfusion of help.

When all was said and done on yesterday, the temperature dropped more than 40 degrees in the course of really just a few hours. I watched throughout the day as Mother Nature took this pretender of a November by the ear and dragged it, kicking and howling out of the door and then watched as she ushered in her real November – wet, cold, windy and truly miserable – into its rightful place.

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