At last: Some rain

Diane Prather
Pipi's Pasture

Early (Wednesday) morning I heard sounds I hadn’t heard in a long time. I raised my head off the pillow and reached over and turned off the fan. I listened more closely, and, sure enough, there were the unmistakable “pinging” sounds as the raindrops hit the stovepipe and metal roof. Drops formed on the window, and the “smell” of the rain was to “die for.” Unfortunately, the rain lasted only a few minutes, but there it was: rain.

Later on, when I did morning chores, there wasn’t a sign that it had showered – no damp porch or wet spots on the overturned rubber feed pans. However, the day remained cool, and once in awhile a few raindrops fell. Not only that, but the weather forecast promises an even better chance of rain tomorrow.

After this morning’s surprise rainfall, I’ve been having fun reflecting on rain…

  • The “smell” of rain is so gratifying that if it could be “canned,” it would make a wonderful air freshener for our homes.
  • If an award similar to the Academy Award were given for ordinary sound effects, rain would win — hands down.
  • Rain inspires poetry and music; even robins have their own rain song.
  • Have you ever noticed that you can water all day long with a hose, but if it rains, even briefly, your lawn “greens” up right away?
  • Gentle rain is a sleep-enhancing aid, so much so that its sound is recorded on tapes.
  • Rain can be a haying-stopper, and although we haven’t noticed its effects lately, sometimes it can make a really long season with ranchers having to rake the hay in an effort to get it to dry.
  • Even adults can’t resist splashing in puddles of rain water.
  • Following wind, thunder, and lightning, hearing the rain start up is a relief.
  • Rain runs down window panes and makes dents in the surface water on stock tanks.
  • You know if it rained during the night, even if you didn’t hear it, because raindrops glisten on tree leaves the next morning.
  • Cats don’t seem to like rain much (or water for that matter) so they take cover during a rainstorm, but cows don’t seem to mind it – unless there’s a downpour.
  • Perhaps cows welcome rain because the flies that pester them in summer don’t like it.
  • Instead of a rain gauge, rain here at Pipi’s Pasture is often measured in the amount of water found in a feed pan after a storm.
  • Rainstorms are often referred to as “toad stranglers” or “gully washers.”

As a last thought: I remember an occasion several years ago involving a “toad strangler.” My brother Duane (Osborn) and I were checking cattle on summer pasture. We had to drive up a little road to get to the top of the mountain pasture. Clouds started to form, and Duane remarked that it wouldn’t be good to be up there if there was a sudden “toad strangler” of a rain (a sudden downpour that put down a lot of rain all at once). And, amazingly, that’s what happened. We slid all the way down the hill to the gate at the county road.

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