If there were two words I thought I would never hear myself use in the same sentence, it would be ‘rain’ and ‘glorious’. For the first 33 years of my life, rain was bad. Cold, wet, miserable. I didn’t have a good word to say about it.
Then, I moved to Australia. And I became a rain worshipper.
I gaze at clouds longingly. I check the forecast multiple times a day. I check likelihood, I check millimetres, I check historicals. I LOVE RAIN!
Surprisingly, in Sydney, we actually get twice the annual rainfall of most parts of England. But we probably need five times the amount. Our sun is strong and it beats down most hours of most days. When rain comes, it really comes, and then we are back to blue skies. The evaporation rate is phenomenal.
Which is why, when we do have rain, I find myself out in the garden, leisurely taking photos. With a big smile on my face. I look in wonderment as the soil turns a rich, dark colour and the moist foliage brings a beautiful glow all around me. I am oblivious to the fact that that I, and my camera, are soaking wet.
I am lucky that I missed the terrible droughts of the noughties. I consider two weeks of cloudless summer skies to be a significant issue. So when the rains hit this week, I was out dancing again!
As I photograph things that catch my eye, I realise how my gardening has evolved over the last, five, Australian years. The most fascinating images were all of drought tolerant plants. Plants that have waxy coverings, to reduce their water loss.
Many of them succulents, which I used to dislike with a passion. But now, one of my favourite plants for pots.
Perhaps succulents have come back into fashion. Displayed in generous, wide, low bowls, they certainly fit today’s style. But I also notice how my likes change to fit the climate I am in – I am unknowingly drawn to the plants that thrive in my garden, however often I move. It is a subconscious change. Something that just happens.
As the rain pours down, I look on in fascination at the beading water. Just lots of teeny tiny water molecules, bound so tightly together and wrapped up in super strong surface tension.
It is the little things in life that are so special.