One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

The Storm Breaks

It was early to sleep for the gardener last night. It was a pretty exhausting day, by the end of it and the weighty adventures of Ratty, Toad, Mole and Badger hit me square in the face (no worries though: paperback) around 8 p.m.

Around 10:30, I stirred to some distant sound and realized there was a noise behind the fizzly hum of the air conditioner, and I grabbed the camera and tripod and went to sit outside for a while. I was sort of fuzzy from the sleeping, and formerly, I’d have called on that nicodemon (so foolishly believing I had him on the leash) to bring me out of dozeyness. I set up the tripod and sat back for the show, which woke me up just fine, thanks.

It’s an uncertain experience, anyway…the way the world is dark and nothing’s recognizable. Because of the early dozing and distraction by other things, I’d not lit candles in the garden, so there was no light along the fence to orient by.

At first I felt a little teased, as the biggest, baddest part of the storm seemed to be north of us, and since the porch faces south, I only saw reflections of those on the houses across the street, but damn, it looked intense.

In a sudden flash, I spied the sunflowers, dancing on the wind gusts, daisies spattered with rain, then dark. A few seconds later, the brilliant deep purple-blue of the clematis is revealed and the red of the gloriosa daisies…and then blackness again.

Tendrils of electricity dance across the sky, turning everything purple-white. The rumbles of thunder occasionally roaring. The urgent rustling sound of the rain soaking the garden and the grass and the trees and the street.

Of course, some wonderful aspect of Murphy’s law dictated that some of the best bits of visible lightning happened as I was shutting off the camera or just before I turned it on. But I still got some good glimpses of the experience. That they are screen caps from digital video means they don’t enlarge very well.

But still.

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