Overheard on BBC Radio Scotland, during a weather report:
"Tonight, in the northwest, it'll be dreary; in the northeast, a wee bit less dreary."
The Rain in Maine has stayed mainly on our plain...
and clogged storm-drains, and seeped into our brains.
Slugs of near-Northwestern proportions have been sighted feasting on the sad, rotting remnants of crops and the lush strappy leaves of healthy weeds.
June has seen more than three times its average rainfall this year in Southern Maine. For us, that means ridiculous delays in transplantation and the sowing of warm-weather crops. (Many farmers who planted on a "normal" schedule have lost their crops and will be forced to replant or simply declare the season a loss.) For most folks with livestock, it also means hay-induced desperation. Our hay supplier managed to get some fields cut and wrapped on a rare stretch of sunny days early in last month, so we'll manage, but most of New England's first-cut hay crops are ruined.
We do have our own pasture-management concerns, though: sodden fields are more easily damaged by the hooves of grazing cattle, and our attempts to restrict grazing areas have been foiled. Broilleach, our bull, regards our electric fences as a mere momentary annoyance on the way to the next buffet. Because of these destructive habits, his date with destiny may be coming sooner rather than later--our fields are in too perilous a balance to absorb and rebound from his abuse.
Today it is raining...again. Our last full day of sunny skies was over two weeks ago. I may actually light a fire in the woodstove (in JULY!!!) just so I can run a load of laundry and get it completely dry. This afternoon, when the rain's supposed to slow to a mere drizzle, I may run out and try to plant some more carrots, peas, and lettuce: crops that may survive better than all the melons and squash that go vining and fruiting only in the fields of my dreams.
Speaking of dreams, I sought out some inspiration at the Glasgow Herald's poetry blog. Today's essay seems to be the product of some serious wrestling with heavy (sometimes intangible) objects--an intrinsically Scottish pursuit. Here's the poem, with introductory comments from blog editor Leslie Duncan:
The distinguished Glasgow-born psychiatrist R D Laing (1927-1989) was also an accomplished poet. His collection, simply called Sonnets, was published in 1979 (Michael Joseph). Understandably for someone who looked deeply into troubled humankind, some of the sonnets are dark in tone; but No 37 shows him in pretty positive mood. – Lesley Duncan
There’s Light and Love and Joy and Freshness Yet
There’s light and love and joy and freshness yet.
There’re those who have something to celebrate.
There can be times we hope we’ll not forget.
A helping hand is not always too late.
Up really high there’s still clear perfect blue.
Morning must dawn as long as there is night.
Without the old there’s nothing to renew.
Once in a while it almost feels all right.
Although I know that light needs dark to shine,
I don ‘t expect to tell what atoms mean.
The universe is fine without being mine.
The flowers of countless valleys grow unseen.
What is above subsists on what’s beneath.
The world is not entirely blasted heath.