Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lift your face to the sun--and get beaten bloody

According to my calendar, this is what April looks like:

Sun, scent of flowers, the zuzz of bumble bees, birdsong, blue skies... And, astonishingly, deliciously, that's exactly how yesterday morning dawned. All the trees in bloom and half our shrubs; birds flying about anxiously with beaks full of food for their cheeping young; two bumblebees trying to understand why the fence is suddenly three feet higher than it was last year; a woodpecker banging its beak against our cedar siding until it was semi-senseless. (It makes a fine hollow drumming sound, which, apparently they feel obliged to create for their lady friends. Hey, who am I to get in the way of courting?) Lunch!, I thought, and set off for Julia's wearing sunglasses and no jacket (and, y'know, other stuff).

On the way home, the sky turned black (seriously, a wall of charcoal clouds came boiling out of the north), the temperature plunged, and ice hissed from the sky. By the time we pulled into our driveway, hail was cracking itself on the windscreen like diamonds poured from a great height. I took this photo with crapcam:

I stayed in the car a few minutes to avoid being flayed. But as soon as the hail turned to sleet, I shot out and took this photo of the back deck:

The chives took a beating. (Eh, they'll be fine by tomorrow. They're tough.) Being wise in the ways of Seattle weather I didn't put the camera away but took it to the back deck and waited four or five minutes, and took this:

Yes, really, five minutes (that white stuff at bottom left is unmelted hail). It happens that fast. It always does. I know this. As I've said, I am wise in the ways of Seattle weather. Yet I still left the house without my jacket. Why? I was sun-mazed after a winter (and autumn, and spring; this cartoon will explain everything) of grey days, rain and wind. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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