09 May 2011

Drought, rain, colours, smell

There has been the longest spell without rain I can remember. Last week, for the first time the canine walks ended with the dog's paws and my wellies as dry as they had been at the start. Dry! Having trodden on grassy soil! Inconceivable, but true.

The last three days saw the end of the good weather. This would normally bring a blanket of gloom over the landscape and over many people's mood, including mine, but this time the fields and the eyes seemed to welcome a bit of rain. There even was that smell, which doesn't grace British nostrils very often, of thirsty soil getting wet at last. I don't remember experiencing this away from Bolivia.

Early in the morning today, the sun was out in force again, and the colours had an unusual intensity. Bright, clean green on the trees and fields, glassy transparency on the river. And that smell again. They, too, reminded me of youthful days in the thin air of the Andes. I had to stand outside, experiencing the weather as an artistic happening.

Less kind readers may say that my middle-aged senses are tricking me with mirages of childhood. I contend that the weather is changing so much that some phenomena that used to occur only in southern latitudes are now taking place right here. And, alas, not in Bolivia anymore.

Take, for example, the adder.