Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Field Notes--In the Rain

All night and for the better part of the morning we had what my dad would call A Real Rip-Snorter.  My poor husband had to walk to the bus stop in it, and I thought for sure a call would come delaying school for an hour 'til the worst of the rain was past.  But it slacked off just in time, much to my children's chagrin.  By the time they went downstairs to line up, the rain was reasonable enough for me to take the camera with me and not worry about ruining it taking pictures of puddles...

...Yerres, effet de pluie
(Caillebotte)  My favorite painting at Indiana University's Art Museum--I've watched spreading rings on water ever since, and wondered how ever he painted raindrops on the river in the rain... surely not from memory?

  I thought I'd take a photograph.  My own Effect of Rain on the River...

...forgetting that we'd been having a Rip-Snorter, and that the river would be the color of cocoa milk and rushing too quickly for raindrop rings to spread, touch, cancel one another out.., stepping over ginko leaves fanned out in the puddles flanking the road, I decided to have a look at the neighbor's garden instead....

 ...the Yuzu (Citron) looked washed and refreshed, but the mums...

...were decidedly downcast.

 Those camellias enjoying partial protection from the onslaught were adorned with droplets...

 ...the unprotected were unceremoniously stripped of their petals, leaving stamens bare...

Twisting branches of pines shine blackly after rain, but gusting winds left only a few drops  on the tips of needles...

...September's misting rain clings, water's surface tension holding the shape of the drops...a Hasegawa before my eyes, pine trees in the mist.

That September morning we walked to school together, Cici and I, looking for acorns, admiring the green of the maples sprinkled with diamonds of mist that ran together to form larger drops.
That was the same morning that I saw, for the first time up close, so many Jorougumo (Nephila Clavata) repairing their mist-damaged webs.  Before the sun came out to dry the mist,  I found...

...Jorougumo, pavéd with mist,  fit for a Gentlewoman to weare upon her breast as a brooch...

...December's momiji glows faintly as the sun struggles behind heavy cloud cover, abacus-rows of drops not yet shaken off by the wind...

The storm was too much for the cherry trees...

...their bronze bangles adorn the rain grate...

...the Ginko's gold carpets the lichened stones in the park...

It was difficult walking against the wind--I had to close my umbrella, or risk losing it.  Watching the leaves swirl around me put me in mind of The Night Before Christmas--

"As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;"

A break in the clouds--my eyes watered in the sudden glare...

...the stubble of the rice paddy and the neighbor's cypress granted momentary brilliance... the wind pushed the storm north and east.
Touched by the emerging sunlight, the Big Pine of the park stands starkly, weirdly, against the angry backdrop of the retreating front.

Fall's pruning, the loss of leaves reveals the structure of trees, the shape of branches, the sparrow's hidey-holes.  Winter means a leisurely study of architecture and avian fauna normally camouflaged.  

Winter means migrating birds (my inner bird-watcher trembles in anticipation of a new "tick!")... but that's for next time.  I *did* find a new bird (to me)--but I'll have to put him up next week, since he's nothing to do with the rain...

Mata asobou, ne!


  1. Yet another great Field Notes. How do you do it?

    That poor spider! It looks thoroughly miserable.

    You have rain heavy enough that they tell children to stay home? Wow! Was watching an Iain Stewart programme about water the other week, and he went to the wettest area on the plant, in NE India. They have so much rainfall that anything built from cut timber rots really quickly, so they build bridges by training the roots of trees. Can't find any pictures online of ones as bulky as the one he showed — it looked like you could drive a small car across — but the link should give you the idea.

  2. As I'm writing, I always think it looks terrible--it's so hard to put down what things look like to me. I have zillions of pictures, sometimes it's hard to decide which ones to use. The new header photo--I had to take that lying on my back on the street (a mostly deserted street, fortunately). Photography is fun...:-)) I don't think we've ever had a delay because of rain, but one of the kindergartens today did. I suppose they would if a typhoon were coming through (though they usually head out into the Pacific or up the Japan Sea side).

    Just look at the living root bridge--Wow! More wow!! That is simply *amazing*! Now I really want to go to India...

  3. do they typically delay school for heavy rain?
    Also, did you change your top banner picture or am i just stroking out?

  4. Here's the series I saw it on. It starts with, well I won't tell you, but the wow-factor is off the scale. Plus I think Iain Stewart should be as well known as Brian Cox, so I'm doing my bit by spreading the word...

    And I'd say you do a pretty good job of putting down what things look to you, by the way.

  5. @Falen You're fine. It's a new picture. :-)

  6. The new header picture is fabulous. Well worth lying down in the middle of the street!

    You describe your photos so poetically. I'm envious. Mine would be: Leaves In Puddle or something.

    Another wonderful Field Notes! ^_^

  7. 'Ello Alice. "Mine would be: Leaves In Puddle or something." You'd still beat me. I wouldn't even notice they were worth photographing or mentioning until they were pointed out by a mad-woman on a bicycle. Erm, by Amy I mean. Then I'd be all 'Why didn't I spot that?'

    Talking of the header-pic, did you realise you'd removed the link from the bog title Amy?

  8. Scratch that last. Twas some sort of glitch with my browser, I think.

  9. @ Falen--Yup--new header photo:-)) The camellias are starting to bloom, and that one bush was in full bloom (whereas the one next to it hadn't bloomed at all...very strange). So far we've only had school delays for typhoons coming through. But they don't get very many thunderstorms, so I wondered what they would do about heavy rain, lightning, and high winds. No finding out, though, since the rain slacked off 10 minutes before we had to line up... my kids were all "Yaaaa-daaaa!" ;-))

    @Alice--thanks! It's fun to go walking--I feel like I'm taking everybody with me when I go (mom, dad, sis, daz, alice, falen, kk, ezmirelda, summer,...anybody else?) I'm glad you think my writing sounds poetic--I write it, but sometimes I can't tell if it's hackneyed or not. I've always been kind of shy about commenting, putting my writing and ideas out there. Blogging is actually good for me that way:-))

    @Daz--oooohh! Thanks for the link!! Can't wait to watch (though I'll probably have to wait, since Cici has the throw-ups...) "Mad-Woman on a Bicycle"--another possibility if I ever decide to change the blog title! (the other one is "The Benighted Colonial"--I liked that one, too:-))

  10. Well, I don't know about changing the title. The one you have is unique (unlike mine, damnit), even if it does always make me think of this. You could play with it by changing the subtitle though... Could be fun.

    I know what you mean about commenting/blogging. First time I left a comment on a board I sat there agonising fr ages before hitting submit. Felt like I was acting all jumped-up, and surely my opinion on anything would be ill-informed and worthless...

    I found where you saw the top-100 spaceships thing. It was linked from that storm-pic on APOD. I swear I hadn't seen it when I did mine though! Honest, Guv! Talking of APOD, though, have you seen today's? Ain't that beautiful?

  11. That's it! That's where it was! Thank you--I feel much better. I *knew* I'd just seen that, and couldn't for the life of me think where! Weird that you would make a list, too. Yours is considerably easier to view, too:-))

    Wanda Jackson, eh? I never thought of that--but it's an honor to share a( sort of similar) name with the Queen of Rockabilly:-))

  12. Well, for my money that title goes to Janice Martin. But my experience is from seeing them in the 80s. Janice was definitely the better known in the 50s.

    (One day I'll stay on-topic... Sorry!)