Saturday, 9 August 2008

A definition of rain...

Relative humidity, dry and wet bulb temperatures, due point, slide rules and saturated air... Well those are words I seem to associate with rain; I am fairly sure that if we tossed them around we could define it. I suppose what I am really driving at here isn't a definition for precipitation, more a definition of our expectations. Lets face it outdoors folk; rain is here to stay, so lets enjoy it. A glorious day in God's good sunshine is certainly something to appreciate but as we seem to be blessed with more rain than shine perhaps some appreciation may lighten our lives just that bit further.

I ran through Hembury Woods on the edge of the moor near Buckfast tonight, it lashed it down with rain. My heart was heavy as I dug into the first leaf mulched beech and oak clad hill, I felt the bite of my shoes as they gripped deep down into the mud and water trickled past, bows dipped heavy with loaded leaves and I topped out of the hill into a clearing near the iron age fort. Blood thumped through my head like a mechanical hammer, I knew it was going to be wet through there so I opened up my stride and struck for the other side with little care or attention to the depth of water in front of me; the dog too opened up his stride and startled a small rabbit who, had it been any other dog, would have been snapped up. Smiling to myself I was actually enjoying the wet as I now trusted the sole unit to grip the cobble-like rocks as I skipped back down toward the river. I took some of my usual turns through the hill and woodland with wet skin soaked and sweating, it was fabulous! There was steam rising from summer's warmth, and the top of the woodland was cloaked in a fine strata of mist, what a time of year, night, day! Back along the river as the night crept into the woodland and took life from the light, the River Dart looked angry, malevolent, or perhaps mischievous as her sides snaked and swelled into eddies and stoppers along the way. As the water falls on the Dart in spate, it glistens red with peat stain, not your normal brown of muddy waters, but a deep deep red that contrasts the summer green from the alders that grow around her banks. Suddenly it was there for a moment! a bar of silver a yard long, topping and tailing to show an ancient eye and the hooked kype of a male jaw; salmon, gone again. I dug into the final hill and again felt the hammer pounding through my veins as I reached the top.

Rain, good isn't it. I hope it comes to visit again soon.

8 comments:

Dawn said...

For me there are many types of rain. The soft, gentle, warm rain of summer, the passing showers that leave the surrounding landscape fresh and brilliant. There is that mizzling rain, damp, cloying. There is too the storm driven rain. Also that heavy, cold, persistent rain so often encountered in the winter months. Rain that continues for days on end, icy cold, penetrating deep in to the very being of one. These are but a few types of rain. Dawn

John Hee said...

Aye, best of all, it leaves the faint heart indoors, and the explorers out to revel

Shamus said...

Defining Dartmoor too, not in all of her moods; just one of them. A wild upland where the spate suddenly spills and the ground becomes the water course, brought about by the rain of days on end. Bog and marsh have life breathed back into them. Visibility diminished too, and the sudden glimpse of pony brings some reference. No person.

Beyond pony clad car parks only experience takes you on to the high moor, you are absolutely right John.

Martin Rye said...

H2 O in varies measures. You get more of it down there, than in the East where I am. Liked the write up.

Alan Sloman said...

Is it me? I enjoy walking in short sharp heavy showers. 'Heavy showers' mentioned on the weather forecast is usually enough to keep most walkers well away from the hills and you get amazingly pin sharp views from the tops after the showers.

'Heavy showers' usually means you don't have to bother with overtrousers either. It's invigorating stuff. Mind you, trogging along in a persistent heavy downpour isn't so much fun - it has to be said!

Nice piece, Shamus

Shamus said...

Wow!

Fabulous, we can all identify with rain because we are familiar with it. I am seriously going to try and look a rain in a different way from here on.

Which reminds me...

I am now on the look out for an open canoe. And NO Noah jokes please.

Alan Sloman said...

"...on the look out for an open canoe..."

If it rains won't it fill up with water? I have been watching those boys on the Olympics and they all seem to have closed canoes...

Shamus said...

I'm not daft Alan. I shall paddle it up-side-down!