Heavy rain fell this Monday, providing about three inches of moisture over a 24-hour period. I watched from the back porch as the steady downpour filled the low areas around the property. Before long, it looked as if we had a shallow moat around the house. From the south side of the house, water drained gently off towards the path through the woods and on to the canyon floor below, while on the north side, a system of drains funneled the water down a pipe to a rock spillway and stream bed below the slope. A loud, GLUG, GLUG, GLUG, gurgling noise could be heard from the back porch as the water pooled around the drains, where it was sucked rapidly down the pipe. A subsequent gushing of water appeared at the bottom of the slope, splashing forcibly against the rocks as it catapulted down the man-made rock stream below. The rhythmic sound of draining and gushing water was fascinating. It isn’t often that rain falls in amounts that allow us to observe this gush of water down the pipe system into the stream below.
I had seen Daisy standing in the rain down at the corn feeder early in the day, but was not about to venture out into the downpour to hand out her usual pear and apple snack. I would have been drenched in no time! It was not long before the rain began pounding down and she disappeared into the woods anyway. I had observed Daisy in the rain many times before. She seemed unaffected by it when it fell gently, and often laid down to wait for heavy downpours to pass. So I was sure she would soon settle down somewhere to wait out what appeared to be an unrelenting downpour.
After refilling my coffee cup with a piping hot brew of fresh Sumatra, I stepped back outside on the porch. The rain had slowed a bit, and a chorus of birds were chirping loudly. The woodland seemed to be teeming with life. A few birds were spreading wings, bathing in the gentle rain. Then suddenly, the skies opened up again and large drops of rain pounded down. That is when the slight motion of bright orange caught my eyes! Daisy was on the south side of the property at the edge of the woods, standing in a large pool of water that eventually trickled down to the canyon floor over gentle-flowing pathways. I could tell by her posture, she was excited and frisky. Having seen Daisy’s “Swamp Donkey” dance before, I had the feeling I was about to see a fantastic sequel!
As it turned out, my feelings were spot on! For twenty minutes I watched Daisy dance in the rain. I observed her antics from a step-ladder on the back porch, while snapping photographs from my perch with the aid of my zoom lens. Daisy danced with wild abandon. Sometimes the rain fell gently, then suddenly it would hammer down. Like a great percussion instrumental, lightning exploded in the sky while the pounding base of thunder rocked the ground; yet fearlessly she danced! Peering into the magic liquid, splashing with her hooves, jumping, twisting and running, Daisy played and frolicked until she stood breathless and panting. After a while, she seemed to stop and catch her breath for a short time, then gingerly trotted off into the woods.
As I watched Daisy leaving the dance scene, I remembered my own fascination with water puddles as a child. My brother and sisters and I would play in puddles in the yard, in water channels in the fields, and in country roadside ditches for hours after a good rain. Mom never let us outside during a storm, but we surely enjoyed many hours playing in the gentle rain that followed. I am sure Mom did not appreciate our wet, muddy clothes and I remember a few lectures about cleaning up our filthy shoes or boots, or hearing a raised voice addressing mud that got tracked in the house. But somehow, Mom never lost her mind about the mess, and seemed to understand that rain and puddles were an important part of a child’s life and play.
Later in the day, I found Daisy kicking around in a large puddle in front of the house, pawing and frolicking again. This time, I donned my Muck boots and went outside for a stomp myself, joining her in splashing and cavorting about in the puddle. For me, there is still something soothing in sloshing about in the water and hearing that wonderful squishing sound when walking over soggy soil. From the front yard, I made my way on to larger puddles of water near the woodland edge with Daisy following. We later sauntered on down to the canyon bottom, her nibbling on new leaf shoots and me snapping photographs of wild flowers and wet lichen on tree trunks. The woodland floor sparkled with millions of raindrops. For a moment, I stood in awe and wonderment. This was Daisy’s world. This was her home. What a spectacular place to live and play and shout-dance in the rain!
© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…