Saturday 9 July 2011

Rain, Rain & Rain. With Some Thunder & Lightning.

For two days the heavens have opened and a deluge has fallen. Great clouds piled above each other tower into the sky. At times the rain eases and even stops momentarily. Then above the forest more dark clouds rise, bearing the next downpour. Tracks run with water and normally dry grassy ground oozes with water. At times thunder and lightning have added to the drama. For several hours yesterday evening the thunder circled the house, now near, now far, now north, now south. Lightning flashes lit the woods. Inside the lights flickered, the radio crackled.

A poster on the walls bears a quote from John Muir:

"When I heard the storm I made haste to join it, for in storms nature always has something fine to show us"

With that thought in mind I ventured out into the damp woods, keeping away from the open meadows in case of lightning, and went swishing through the long wet grass as water dripped from the branches and everything glistened with wetness. The rich smells of damp vegetation rippled through the sodden air. The mobile, ever-changing, swirling sky spoke of impermanence and dissolution. There was a feeling of anticipation, excitement and danger. Thw world did not feel safe. Nature was not benign.

News reports talked of flooding in Edinburgh but seemed mostly concerned with a postponed golf tournament in Inverness, where there had been flooding and landslips on the course. Every dip on the roads near my house was filled with water. Somewhere there must be more flooding. There are flood warnings for large parts of Eastern and Northern Scotland and a forecast of more rain and thunder to come. For July 10 the Met Office warns:

"Showers will develop through Sunday turning heavy and thundery at times. Totals of 20 to 30mm are likely with isolated point totals of 50mm. Within the heavier showers 10 to 15mm may fall in a one hour period."

It's not over yet.


  1. The past few days of rain have been pretty dramatic, haven't they? I was rained upon the entire day on Wednesday when plodding along Glen Avon and the Alt Dearg at Ford of Avon was in spate.

    Then, in a separate trip. I was wandering on the plateau at Cairn Lochan when the thunder started on Friday at noon. Luckily it wasn't directly overhead, nor coming my way, but I was thankful I wasn't carrying trekking poles. I was hit by two hail showers though on the summit.

    Glenmore was pretty badly hit with the rain all weekend.

  2. There's such a different quality to the air when there's lightning about! I watched the rain clouds bowl over towards me on the Lincolnshire Wolds at the weekend; no thunder and lightning but the cloud formations were fantastic.
    Nature isn't always benign, and that I guess is part of the thrill. Remind me of that when I'm a day or so into walking in non stop rain ...! I shall try to bring your poetic words to mind!