Wednesday afternoon. As I walk to the barn, ominous dark clouds and rumbling thunder herald the advance of a storm. It is coming from the west, usual for such storms, though it appears to be passing to the south. The air is thick and still…the actual calm before the storm. Soon, though, the first faint ripples of wind disturb the stillness, fluttering leaves. In a few minutes, whole trees begin to sway. As it rolls east, the storm pushes the air in front out of its way causing  the wind vane to point south, in the direction of the storm’s main body.

When the rain arrives, there are only a few heavy splats at first. But the tempo increases quickly until the air is a drenching torrent. I have the luxury of retreating within the protection of  the barn. The torrent turns sideways as the storm reaches its peak. At least I hope it is the peak. Any stronger, and the wind may tear away some siding or flashing from one of the buildings, or worse, knock over a tree.

But the sky does lighten, and the intensity of the rain levels off, then eases. Less than half an hour after it started, the rain stops, though the wind persists for another few minutes until the storm is just a dark gray mass on the eastern horizon.

As dark and scary as they may be, the moisture from storms like this have been good for the garden and the trees.