More rain. More rain. More rain. Can you tell it has been raining off and on, drizzling, sprinkling, dripping, dropping, spritzing, spitting, for several days now… Our whole world is wet, soggy, damp, humid, craving the missing sun. I was driving back to the raft base after a day renting canoes. We even had a few brave customers who are ready to get wet in the river with the threat of rain. Suddenly, the sky opened up and dumped gallons, buckets, a drenching, blinding downpour. I could see no further than a few feet in front of me, wasn’t sure where the edge of the road was, so I slowed to a crawl, rolled up the windows, and heard over the pounding noise of rain hitting the car roof a weird buzzing noise. I pulled over, stopped briefly to listen. The buzzing had stopped. A few minutes later, the rain eased up enough to see down the road, so I continued toward my destination, driving through puddles big enough to make me nervous. Back at the base, as the rain continues to fall, I handed the paperwork of the over, then pulled out the phone to charge, and the cause of the buzzing noise was revealed! A weather alert: beware of flash flooding in your area! We all laughed, discharging the nervous tension of driving through the flooding downpour. Yes, it is Raining!
All the trees are in full leaf now, pure bright green and jungle lush from all the rain this year. It is hard to remember the stark bare branches of winter. The Hemlock trees show off their new growth as bright light green needle clusters at the ends of each twig. This glowing new green contrasts with the dark green of previous years just below it. So when you stand next to a hemlock and really look at it, you can see exactly how much it has grown this year as clearly as the hash marks on a door frame in a house with growing children. The hemlocks want all to see their growing glory, a bright inch or so a year, full of promise, to become the dark evergreen giants of the woods.
I have been hear a most beautiful reedy flute sounding bird call in the early mornings and late evenings during the blue twilight dusk times. These little birds flit around the tent, my ears vibrating with their airy musical scales. I hear them coming as they pass through the forest, they surround the tent, and then move on calling through the trees as darkness falls or as daylight breaks. This morning I finally caught sight of one: small, brown, and fleeting. It was hard to believe that such amazing music comes from that little bird. I though it might be and Eastern Towhee, as I hear their woodwind like “drink your teeeeee” calls at the same time. I tried to look them up and listened to several birds on You Tube before I found it, then verified it on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site: Veery Thrush!
Home! My own bed, sleeping curled next to my husband, cats sprawled everywhere, our heads, our feet, our arms. Eventually I get up to feed the Old Man Cat who gets wet food (the others only get kibble). The other three cats think it is highly unfair, but they are overweight and we try to monitor their food intake in an effort to keep them healthy. After Max is finished eating, I pick his food up out of reach of the others and start to head back upstairs. A splashing noise catches my attention, so I turn around. There is Tiger Cat playing in the water bowl again. His favorite way of “drinking” water is to stick a front paw in and splash it around, sloshing water all over the tray and floor. We often keep a dish towel tucked around the tray for this reason. So now he is in full water splashing swing. Once his paw is good and soaked, he likes the water off it and then does the same thing with the other paw. I watch him splash and lick, splash and lick, until he has had his fill. This morning I found it highly amusing even though I had to wipe the water off the floor and refill the bowl when he was done. This little ritual seems to bring him pleasure so I let him have his wet and messy fun. Gotta love those crazy cats!
Driving down the road a while after sunset, wanting to back at the tent before full dark. It has been raining off an on all day, the trees are wet and drippy, the sky is overcrowded with grey lumpy clouds. As I am driving around Gore Mountain I gaze up toward the west through the windshield and glimpse a deep burgundy red sun lit sky behind dark bruised blue grey clouds. The contrast of sky and cloud grabs my attention, so I pull over and watch the last of the red sunlight disappear behind the now purple grey clouds over the mountain. More rain is coming, but for now the vision a red and grey sky keeps me smiling.
Sitting on the porch after the raft trip, all the guests well fed and on their way home, we guides tell our stories of the day. I am lounging on the bottom step, leaning against the step above, elbows back supporting me, legs stretched out, and bare feet rubbing on the small rounded rocks like a message, and toes curling into the warm sand. I am listening to the days events from everyone else point of view, laughing with my friends at the idiosyncrasies of the random people we interact with in this crazy world. I am looking out across the parking lot, letting my skin soak in the afternoon sunshine, basking in the summer radiant heat. There is a breeze blowing through the tree limbs across the way. I watch as they leaves dance and twist, the branches wave, and the tall white pines trunks sway back and forth. I am content, full of life, and happy for summer to finally be here.
One of my summer passions is hula-hooping, although I am a boring hula-hooper because I have only a few rudimentary tricks I can do. I have seen some mind blowing amazing hula-hooping action from some of my friends, but I seem to lack that kind of coordination. I like hooping to live music, dancing around in circles, hips swaying to keep the giant hoop spinning. The hula hoop makes me feel open and free, like I could fly away into those endless summer nights where laughter chases through your sweet dreams, and fireflies sparkle in your eyes. One of the rafting companies up here has a summer solstice party every year that I look forward to with the greatest anticipation. This year (as always) was worth the wait! Live music, scrumptious food, all my old rafting friends to talk to and tell stories with, and lots of new guides to meet and welcome to the lifestyle. I hula-hooped half the night, bare feet stained green from the grass, daisy print dress swirling around my knees, glow sticks swinging on my wrists. We danced, we sang, we laughed. I LOVE SUMMER!!!! Happy Solstice!