Wandering Thoughts

October 21, 2018

Drought rain

Filed under: Ramblings and Musings — terence @ 4:33 pm

Even the gum trees on Mount Majura are brown. Autumn, winter, spring…almost no rain. Gardens are kept green by hoses, and hoses filled by a giant dam to the west of town. The fate of the farmers is fodder for politicians. People talk anxiously about bushfires in the summer if the dry doesn’t end soon.

It would be possible to ignore all this from the safety of the suburbs. No one’s turning off the taps. I don’t have stock to keep alive. But the thought, the threat, the impossibility of the dry spell that drags on unending catches you. You imagine yourself surrounded by thirsty nature. You become a rain watcher. I scan forecasts. I watch hopefully as dark clouds peak over the Brindabella Ranges. I tell people how much I love the smell of tarmac with the first drops of rain on it. I curse false alarms. I marvel at how towering thunder clouds can lumber over town, how you can hear the rumbling, how you can even smell the rain, and how it can all still come to nothing.

Yesterday the forecast was a 95% chance of rain. I watched the blue sky all morning, as impotent as a soccer fan who can do nothing as their team gets thrashed. I felt a thrill as a serious band of black came marching in from the west at midday.

I packed my camera and drove to find vantage points. I nodded cynically as I parked up amidst giant widely-spaced drops of rain that fell then stopped even as the sky boiled above me.

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Then it finally came, riding in on the nor’wester, turning the town into a blur.

I fled off Red Hill as a lightning bolt hit black mountain, just getting into the car as a soaking sheet of water fell around me. Rain!

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Or not. Within minutes it had stopped. Drought rain. No real change in the weather. Just a cloudburst followed by rain free sky again. This happened once more later in the afternoon. I took most of my photos of the trails of squalls as they moved away.

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I ended my day drinking beer in the sun on our porch. A lovely evening for it. And the garden smelled beautiful – fresh and alive. But I made the mistake of looking at my phone. A chance of light showers. Then dry all week.

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