Thursday, September 23, 2010

Endless Rain

The incessant rains of the past few weeks have brought out greenery everywhere. Including these nasty little burrs in long grass. Cheyenne catches them in her pads and stops and looks piteous. They hurt when I remove them for her.The weather has been dramatic with winds, clouds, sunshine and rain in quick alternation. Just about every morning riding home from work I have been rained on, and some days the early morning rain has been heavy enough to convince me to stop and put on my waterproofs.Cheyenne's afternoon walks, after I wake up, have been a hunt for clear skies, away from the current downpour. It's not that she really minds the rain but day after day it gets a bit much. Plus it's hard to read the paper in the rain when we take our ease together and pause in our strolls. Last week the skies were dramatic everywhere so I headed north on Highway One to look for a beach we could walk together and feel the wind in our faces. Seas were lumpy and the weird craft we saw tucked away at anchor were bobbing around wildly. This improbable house boat at Bahia Honda incorporating a Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome:And this work boat anchored off the eastern shore of Big Pine Key.The further we drove towards the seven mile bridge the darker and more ominous everything became.It was fun actually, something I haven't done for a while during an afternoon.Ohio Key's beach hasn't had a visit from us since last Spring. Cheyenne was ready to renew acquaintance......and the easterly breeze made it feel cooler than usual. Cheyenne was frisky, running up and down the edge of the water sniffing.The storm looked like it was heading north, crossing the highway to join the black clouds to the north. We stood on the beach and watched the sturm und drang.At one point it occurred to me the storm was actually not moving north but west. Towards Cheyenne and I cowering under a small black mangrove to keep out of the worst of the rain. The picture below shows the line of gray rain slashing the surface of the sea as it moved rapidly toward us.Then the thunder started and the lightning cracked and I realized we were in exactly the wrong place. The storm was coming right at us and all I could think, as the cold down draft from the clouds hit us, was that pretty soon the lightning would be landing on the beach. I started to power walk back to the car. Luckily I hadn't need to use the plastic bag in my pocket to pick up after Cheyenne...so it made a dry carrying case for the camera.As we left the shelter of the mangrove Cheyenne was ambling along sniffing as usual. the the lightning cracked down on the water close enough that we could feel the electricity and Cheyenne reacted like an electric prod had been shoved up her. Together we started running towards the Fararday cage that was the car. The rain slashed down and the thunder boomed overhead, close enough that it was mixed in with the crack of the lightning bolts. We made it back to the car where I fumbled the front door key and as I opened the driver's door Cheyenne leaped in. The rain was cascading over us, the thunder and lightning crashed around us and there I was trying to drag my soaked yellow lab out from under the steering wheel. She resisted long enough that my seat got soaked and when eventually she was in the back and I was in the front with the door closed we were both totally drenched and the inside of the car was wet enough to squelch.

The drive home took twenty minutes and I laughed the whole way. Cheyenne licked herself rather disconsolately on the back seat. Rain like that makes you feel young.