Sunday, March 13, 2016

Storm Watch

It's time for the quail family to take their morning walk. The father in the lead is always, it seems, in a great hurry and, at times, the ten babies following have to take flight to keep up. Mother always brings up the rear, counting heads as she goes to make sure her brood are all accounted for.

I can remember the first time they appeared to show off their wee family to me. They came within a foot of me, parading down the driveway, heads high in their usual order of father leading for my admiration.

Baby chipmunks as well have been romping in my yard but not brought for my inspection by their parents although I know they must be nearby keeping watch.

I saw the most beautiful butterfly today. Its wings a pattern in dramatic simplicity, a white stripe and one golden dot against a black background on each wing. I have never seen one decorated so before.

The day started out bright and sunny, but my noon the sky is rampant with storm clouds and the air is heavy in anticipation of more rain. I hope it is gentle and steady as was yesterday's rain, instead of violent with hail and cascading waterfalls of cloud laden waters causing rivers in the hills and new erosion that did not previously exist.

With a roar of thunder like a drum roll the rain came as well as a significant drop in temperature which had begun to be palpably oppressive. The birds took shelter in the oak trees and the squirrels and chipmunks retreated for cover,.

Within minutes the heavy sound of hail hitting hard surfaces echoed off the decks, accompanied by heavy rain pulverizing the flowers and leaves of the plants as they struck.

So far no evidence of lightning, but the mountains are shrouded in a thick mist barely visible to the eye. There are no winds so the rain falls like straight arrows from the sky, the ground below the target that it seeks. The sound varies as does the violence of the storm ebbing and flowing like the tides. It's a good day to curl up indoors with hot tea and a mystery.