Thursday, June 1, 2023

First Day of June

Mist hovered over the meadow, the air heavy with moist heat--harbinger of summer weather.
The waxing gibbous moon climbed a sky still cast in daytime hues. 
In the greenhouse I filled six small pots with soil, poked in seeds of miniature zinnias, three seeds to a pot. I've not found a permanent spot for my newly purchased clematis, so disinterred it from its nursery pot to larger quarters, noting that it is in climbing mode and needing a trellis taller than the foot high plastic structure in the original container.

A fifteen minute downpour in late afternoon, a few distant mutterings of thunder, air so heavily moist it seemed one could reach up and squeeze a handful as one would wring out a sponge.

Each day I think we've seen the last of the grape poppies, but a few more stretch upwards and bloom. 
This one is actually a few inches under the steps; I've watched it grow in this inhospitable location thinking it might give up and die. Almost overnight the stem twisted outward and this morning the top bud opened. Most of the others in bloom were shattered by the force of the rain.

Watching the storm from the partial shelter of the porch. 
Robert-cat went out after 'tea' and knowing his fear of storms I stood on the steps calling him. When he didn't immediately appear I decided he had taken shelter in one of the long roofed aisles that run either side of the shop. As the rain increased I again ventured out to call him and he popped out from under the steps, happy to dash inside and shake the rain from his coat. When Jim arrived home a few minutes later Robert demanded his attention seemingly complaining about his ordeal of being caught in the storm.

The rain hit several hours earlier when I was doing errands in town at the other end of the county. I was standing in the checkout line at Wal Mart when I heard the battering of rain on the roof. Approaching the outer doors I could see the parking lot awash; shoppers huddled under the metal awning, one man puffing on a cigarette, adding the odor of tobacco to the scent of wet asphalt and exhaust fumes.

My tolerance for Wal Mart is very limited. It had taken nearly an hour to gather the items on my list, I had two more errands to accomplish, I wanted out.
Accordingly, I plunged into the rain, shoving my laden shopping cart through streaming water, feeling it seep coldly into my shoes. By the time I reached my car rain was streaming from my hair onto my spectacles, drizzling down my neck. I had sacks of cat kibble, cat litter, a large Rubbermade bin, two bags of potatoes, sundry small items which seemed to take forever to stow in the car.

At last, shivering, I flung myself into the driver's seat, snatched off my blurred glasses, peeled off my sodden outer shirt, A glance in the mirror was not encouraging. 
I looked like the proverbial drowned rat!

I had earlier picked up several sets of cotton pillowcases at Good Will [I have a thing about pillowcases!] so I snatched one from the carrier bag on the seat and began rubbing at my dripping hair.  Before I had finished mopping myself up the deluge ceased as quickly as though someone had turned off a faucet; the sun came out, the parking lot steamed.

I drove the short distance to the bank, trudged in to cash a check. 
"My goodness, your shirt is soaked, " exclaimed the white-haired cashier.
"Yes," I responded, "It was a matter of remaining in Wal Mart for another 15 minutes or getting wet!"
She nodded sagely, "Oh, I quite understand. Summer showers--its that time of year."

Next stop, the post office. Entering the airconditioned lobby, icy air knifed through my wet T-shirt, plastered my damp hair against my neck. That kind of chill isn't good for what ails me.
A few blocks away is The Shepherd Shop--for less than a dollar I could have a dry shirt. Daughter Gina was there, poking about in the racks of second-hand clothing. She was astonished to learn that there had been a cloudburst two miles away, but agreed that a half hour's drive home in soaked clothing was bound to be miserable. 
I quickly found and paid for a soft long-sleeved pullover and back at the car managed to peel off my clinging T-shirt and haul the 'new' one over my head. I was still clammily damp in terms of jeans, socks, shoes, but the feel of warm dry fabric settling onto my shoulders was comforting.

Sunshine all the way home, sunshine as I hauled in the still dripping plastic shopping bags.

I gave the cats their 'tea', stuck a slice of homemade bread in the toaster, heated left-over soup. Dry clothes from the skin out, dry shoes. 
When the storm broke here an hour later I was settled and snug, an observer rather than victim of the elements.



  1. It's been a while since I was last a drowned rat. I am inclined to think I would have followed suit with you and just got on with it but agree a change into a charity shop dry top was a definite necessity!

    We've had no rain for weeks. I am watering round daily, a necessity with new plantings going in to fill the gaps left by winter. I couldn't deal with your high humidity - my lungs struggle so when it's humid here, fortunately not too often.

    I just adore your header photo and have Clematis envy. Mine are still struggling to grow on - the trouble with buying such babies in the first place, and losing the two well-established ones to frost in December. (e.g. the expensive ones!!)

    1. Jennie; The brief showers are welcome [though properly enjoyed from a sheltered spot] but it is looking like we are in for a dry summer. The early garden is up and thriving with a bit of judicious watering early on. The lack of rain in May postponed the onset of humidity which is the bane of southern summers.
      I have only one clematis from the budget offer that I fell for three years ago. It is a dainty white with lavender stamens, unspectacular but pretty, and it blooms when Candida and Duchess of Edinburgh the other 'whites' on the fence have gone by. Clematis Jackmanii has come into its own this year, a real show off!

  2. Jennie is right that clematis is gorgeous. Your garden is looking good, and as I always say to rain, glad to see you here, the plants are always happy.

    1. Thelma; Weeds definitely have the upper hand in my flower gardens--no amount of tweaking them out and mulching is successful. I cherish my plants which have the vigor to thrive in less than ideal conditions, and I continue dream up garden schemes which are beyond my stamina. Gardening is a way of life I'm not ready to relinquish.

  3. Having had almost no rain the entire month of May, a rainy day sounds pretty wonderful. Water from a garden hose can’t compare to water falling from the sky. Hilltop Post

    1. Mary; I've thought it interesting that 'supplied' water doesn't revive a garden in the same invigorating way as rain. And yet--there are all those acres under cultivation in the mid-west, and those giant irrigating apparatus that lumber over the fields. We're on county water here and sometimes wonder if the increase in the water bill balances the worth of garden produce during a dry year. But, we go on gardening!

  4. Sorry you got caught in the downpour. We haven't had rain for weeks and I'm hoping that when we finally do get some it won't be the kind that plasters down plants. I've been outside watering already this morning. It's absolutely gorgeous out there. If only it didn't get any hotter than this it would be perfect.
    Your Clematis is lovely and so full of blooms!!
    Gardening is a way of life I'm not willing to relinguish.....those words express my feelings too. I'll do as much as I can for as long as I can.
    Granny Marigold

    1. GM; We are part of that noble tribe who will garden until we absolutely can't. I know that I have more plants than I can keep tidy, but the possibilities for experimenting, growing and enjoying are unlimited.