Rain Storm

The two months of near unbroken hot weather finally did break yesterday, and again this evening. The temperature dropping & skies darkening. The sheep getting up and flocking below the crags. The wind whipping up as thunder rolls. Quick, shut the windows. Lightning.The cat goes and hides. And then it comes rolling in…rain lashing and the violent wind converging around the house in a pincer movement lifts two of the heavy wooden sheep feeding troughs we use to edge the top lawn, along with buckets & watering cans, and hurls them across the grass into flower beds and meadow. It’s all over in 10 minutes or so; the wind drops, the skies lighten and the air is richly strewn with that most evocative of smells, parched earth stirred back to life. Later take a walk around as the evening settles and come across an adult frog down by the pond newly emerged in the returned dampness to feed. Then, around another corner, an adult hedgehog. He/she is sitting on stones, perfectly still. Injured? ill? Or just shocked by the downpour? I bring food and water and leave it. The rain has stirred insect life – I see a flurry of moths in the greenery – and both frog & hog are responding to that stimulus. Returning to the same spot later am relieved to find the creature gone, with food & water seemingly untouched. Our immediate neighbours have reported hedgehog sightings in recent weeks. We’ve also spotted a passing single adult on two separate nights triggering the yard security light (a dog fox on another evening). Oldstead accidentally turned up a nest in their garden with mother and two small hoglets. Let’s hope they are able to put on enough weight come the autumn to survive the winter sleep. (Library picture)

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