desert rain….

the storm from the other night started with only the massing of clouds that covered the stars and then the quiet flashing of lightning in the dark eastern sky

within the passing of ninety minutes or more, or less, the rain was blowing sideways onto the bedroom windows and sliding glass door and there were striking flashes of blue-white light and delayed or immediate crashes of thunder that I could feel rumbling in the bed posts

when I looked outside I could see the rain coming down in a torrent from the street-light-lit sky and hear the thrashing of the wind and rain against the house

I cannot say how long it lasted, as I fell back to sleep while it was still underway

in the morning I found the feeble sun shining weakly through some lower clouds and only a few patches of barely blue sky

moments later, the clouds had lowered and the sky was covered with a pewter thickness

the air was wet and cool and carried the scent of a rain-washed desert in its breezes

it was heavy laden with creosote and wet leaves and grasses that had pooled in delta-like triangles and linear forms of sediment along the raceways of temporary streams that ran in the desert night

on my walk along the desert trail, I found those leaves and seeds and twigs and other desert-floor detritus collected in large swaths of poultice-like gatherings and saw the sand in its colors drawn in lines and slides of black and brown in the shapes of tiny gone rivers from the night’s collected rain

it looked like an ocean’s beach after the tide has gone out or after the ever waves have receded each in their cycle and turn, lines and drawn angles and arrows of black grains pulled over and through the surface of the deeper gray-brown sand of the desert’s bed

the quail were fewer in number that morning, as were the wild rabbits that I usually see…only one was out with his white tail and long pink-tan ears, hastily retreating into the desert there

no lizards raced across the trail and into the scrub beneath the trees and fresh washed bushes along the way, but the ants were out in their multitudes, opening their flooded caverns again, collecting the blown and washed seeds and stems from their surround…after the desert rain

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16 responses

  1. Before, during and after the rain, a fine opportunity for the visually inclined to observe and for a change, convey it in words, so very nicely…

    August 30, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    • I read something a little while ago that was written by Barry Lopez…he shared that he used to be a photographer until the day that he realized that he was missing so many things, so much of what he photographing, because he wasn’t looking at it with his writer’s eye…he was so busy adjusting his camera and trying to capture an image of the physical essence of his subject, that he was missing “everything” else…it caused me to wonder at what I’ve missed behind the camera…even though the camera often causes me to see things that I likely wouldn’t have seen otherwise….anyway…. I enjoyed using my words again, Lynn…..thank you. 🙂

      September 11, 2014 at 7:14 pm

  2. I can see it clearly, thanks to your ability to convey imagery in multiple media. Very well told!

    August 30, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    • I’m glad you could see it, Gary….thank you.

      September 11, 2014 at 7:14 pm

  3. Your description is so full, it doesn’t need the usual visual image I generally crave. Well done indeed!

    August 30, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    • And thank you, dear Gunta. 🙂

      September 11, 2014 at 7:14 pm

  4. I wish it would rain here, very hot and dry these days in California.

    August 31, 2014 at 12:32 am

    • Yeah…seems that we’ve had more than our fair share here in the desert…but I’ll take it when I can.

      September 11, 2014 at 7:15 pm

  5. Richly painted, Scott……the sounds, scenes and smells….
    we have been there with you…..and it was tangible…

    August 31, 2014 at 6:13 am

    • How nice that you were there, John….good company.

      September 11, 2014 at 7:16 pm

  6. Evocative writing, Scott. You have a knack of painting pictures with words, for sure.

    September 2, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    • Trying to make it real, Andy…thank you.

      September 11, 2014 at 7:17 pm

  7. LB

    As much as I enjoyed the description of the post storm detritus (I’ve always loved that word), I really was captivated by the storm itself. Nicely done, Scott!

    September 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    • That is a good word, isn’t it, LB? And thank you. 🙂

      September 11, 2014 at 7:17 pm

  8. More evocative than any photograph could be. I love your writing, Scott!

    September 12, 2014 at 11:27 am

    • Sweet words, Karen….thank you.

      September 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm

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