Tuesday 13 July 2010

Even the frogs are smiling.....

In SE UK, it has been the driest six months since 1929. Sunday night it started to rain....pitter patter, pitter patter......it is still raining, soft summer rain.
I walk the gardens in my 'jim jams'. I am sure I hear the trees sigh........

The plants are upright, and refreshed, and looking so very pretty.

Water is precious......I think we all, perhaps, take it for granted.
Dogwoods are covered in berries......
and hips are swollen.....there is plenty for the wildlife to feast on during the coming months.
As I pass the pond, a frog smiles..........he makes me smile.
I chat to the duck that seems to think this is his home. He has been here for several days. I speak of terriers, and lunch menus and tell him perhaps he should go to the natural pond next door.
He left soon after our conversation, do you think he understood?
I look over the fence at my neighbours pond, and much to my surprise, I see a female mandarin duck (at least I think that's what it is). I wonder where it came from. I shall make a few calls, to see if I can find the owners.........
I suddenly realise that I am soaked through.....but I feel refreshed, renewed. It is not cold..... it's warm, damp and comforting. Time to go in and take a shower..........


  1. How beautiful your photos are! I am so glad you had such refreshing life giving rain at last. We were forecast rain here but it hasn't come yet!

    How did Thursday's hospital visit go?

    Jane x

  2. Hi Jane, I must say I am loving the rain....,,,

    Tku for asking, it was a little difficult. Mum tried to escape (I knew she would, she always does). She had to have an endoscopy (not pleasant at any age) least of all 83. We go back to the hospital on the 22nd.....
    Mum is still very unwell.

    Hope you get some soft summer rain soon......

  3. Hi Cheryl,

    I'm so glad you've had rain, and again I love your photos, there's nothing more magical than rain on grass :)

    It's dull here today again... Oh and I've just looked out of the window to discover it's raining again.

    I wonder how long it'll be before we begin grumbling that we want the sun back??? hee hee.

  4. Liz....I have just come in for a coffee break. Sounds crazy but I am working in the rain. It is gentle rain and warm....I must say at this moment I am just enjoying it so much.

    Have to say, you are probably right, if it continues for more than a week, I might start grumbling.....

  5. Hi Cheryl, What beautiful photos!! The first two are breathtaking...I am mesmerised by them. Could I be really nosey and ask what camera setting you used, my 450D doesn't perform well at low light levels but I also wonder if I don't quite get the settings right.

    I love the frog's smile :) The female Mandarin is possibly one which lives in the wild, I believe there are quite a lot which have established themselves well in your part of the country. There are apparently some up this way too but I have yet to see one. Every time I see a male Mandarin on a blog it looks to me like it is made of patchwork felt :)

    We had no rain until about an hour ago, (it is 12:45 pm now) we need it badly. Everywhere is very parched.

  6. Good morning, well actually, good afternoon! I am so glad, I'll get to see more of your garden and your lovely photos~It's raining here (so glad the skies opened up over your garden) , after six weeks of brutal heat~it's such a lovely sound; but, not gentle, so I won't head out in my jammies! Gail

  7. Jan, you are so lovely for thinking I have the slightest notion about the settings on my camera. It is all pot luck with me, and I amaze myself sometimes that they turn out as well as they do. I have a Canon EOS....for the first images I took them on the 'P' setting. I just play around with my camera to be truthful.....I am so sorry. I tell you who will help you....Frank @ Early Birder. He is the one who put me in touch with the 'P' setting.
    His photographs are amazing....

    Tku for letting me know about the mandarin, how interesting. I saw a male around two weeks ago in the ditch, I was walking Nella at the time. This is the first time I have seen the little femals. They are really pretty......

    It is still raining here.......lovely.

  8. Gail, it is so good to hear the sound of rain....and the smell is beautiful. There is nothing like rain on dry soil......

    I would not have ventured out in the rain had it been torrential....even I am not that adventurous.

  9. Hi Cheryl, I'm glad you finally got some rain, and a nice soaking-in rain at that. I love frogs, always, but the "talking" duck shot is awesome!

  10. I enjoyed seeing the little mandarin duck. Pretty little thing.

    I believe you are absolutely right when you say we take water for granted. I really hate to see it wasted--and so many people do. My garden is fairly drought tolerant, I have a few exceptions that can be watered with gray water if needed.

  11. Thank you, Cheryl :) The P setting is the very one I use. Yes, I am familiar with Frank's lovely photos and I know he has the Canon 450D as I do. I must try a photo of a plant or flower with water droplets on it perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised :)

    It is still raining here too and it is very welcome.

  12. Hi Monica....the duck was very cute. We had some wonderful conversations...lol

  13. Marnie, I could not agree more. I hate it when there is a leak, and water is running down the road. Not a workman in sight.
    I have seven water butts here and every one of them is used......
    Water is precious.....

  14. Hi Jan...sorry I could not be of more use. I play with my camera a lot. Sometimes I take the same shot on different settings and see which one I like best........

    Look forward to seeing your water droplets......

  15. Clean fresh water is so very precious. I never realized how much I took it for granted until I moved to central Texas and experienced water restrictions. Conservation is very big here, and rain barrels and water retention tanks are very popular. No matter how much you might water when rain is scarce, nothing revives and refreshes like a good slow soaking rain...and nothing compares to that smell of rain on hot dry earth. I loved your photos of droplets of rain on the plants. I could just feel those plants drinking in the moisture--and that sweet little froggy with that big fat smile on his face is precious. Charley and I watch a big toad hop from the wood pile into the dog's water bowl each evening at dusk. He must think it is his own personal hot tub. No wonder Bo never drinks out of it!

  16. So happy that you received some much-needed rain, Cheryl! There's nothing quite like dancing in the rain after a long dry spell. I'm hoping for a little rain, too, as it has finally dried out after our wet June, and the garden and yard could certainly use some moisture.

    Your photos, especially the first few of the raindrops, are stunning! I know you've been practicing with your camera for awhile, but these just keep getting better and better.

  17. Hi Jenny, of course, you would understand more than most, just how precious water is. With the planet warming, I believe, the situation will get worse. I truly fear for the little ones, and hope those in high places will be able to sort the huge problems that lie ahead......

    You are so lucky to have your toad....they are in decline here. When we first moved here I would always see them strolling around. Now I rarely see them....sigh

  18. Hi Rose.....I am so happy the rain eventually came....I am hoping it will last a few more days.
    We are back to hot dry weather at the weekend.

    I am enjoying playing with my camera....I know the look I want.....and am very slowly getting there.

    Thank you for your kind comment......

  19. Hi Cheryl. I think you've had a little more precipitation than we have but any rain will be gratefully received by the plants. The water butt is half empty OR half full depending which way I look at it!
    Your Hibiscus look far more advanced than our here...that reminds me I must go out and take some garden pics (providing I can remember the right settings!)...another plant update must be long overdue.
    What joy to find my favourite 'exotic' paddling on the other side of the fence.
    Enjoy the cooler atmosphere of your wonderful space. FAB.

  20. Hi Frank, it has been good to feel the rain. It has been such a long time....too long for the plants.

    The female mandarin is very pretty. I found the owner, by which time the little duck had disappeared. Hope she is okay......

  21. Dear Cheryl,
    Each photograph took me to a new state of beauty. Wow! Thank you. Playing around with the camera is the best way to really get to know your camera. Soon you will know exactly what to do to get the photo you want. I too love rain. While you have been in drought we have been in flood! I live at the top of the hill so I am okay...lots of rain in the mid-west. Seems as if we have been getting a shower every day...than the sun comes out and the temperatures rise. I cannot work outside in the heat and humidity any more. I am keeping you and your Mum in my thoughts and prayers.