“A bit of rain”

12th August 2022

Frustrated by my first attempt to create a post, I breathed deep, counted to ten and went outside.

At 6 am when I went out I’d come back in for a sweater, but I was astonished that by late morning there was still a cool breeze.

Surprised and delighted, of course.

New York has always had a somewhat unreliable climate. I can remember one year, in the late 60’s when on Christmas day we had a temperature of 75 F. I was given a coat for Christmas and couldn’t wear it.

The morning even had the look of early Fall.

My iPhone has a weather app that I rudely refer to as the Oracle. It offers one-line predictions that often give us a chuckle:

One day recently, for example, it predicted:

“A bit of rain”

What would that look like, exactly?

“A couple of showers”. Is that more, or less than a bit?

“Pleasant with periods of sun”

“Partly sunny and nice”

“An afternoon shower in spots” as opposed to….

Partly sunny, showers around”

“Mostly sunny with a t-storm”

and then:

“Sunshine with a thunderstorm” (Full yellow orb)

“Plenty of sunshine”…..

We will begin September with:

“Abundant sunshine” and

“Humid with brilliant sunshine”…followed by

“Overcast, a t-shower in spots”

Sometimes its very concise:




Is there even a human mind behind these words or does artificial intelligence create these one-liners, based on data collected by other intelligent technology?

While I was outside, breathing deep, I considered hiring these assassin bugs to do a job for me.

But they were busy with other things, as usual.

Then I noticed , not sure who exactly, but it was on the milkweed so I remembered to make sure it wasn’t stuck.

It wasn’t.

Another of its kind was attempting to raid the hummingbird feeder. The feeder is fairly well sealed but every time I clean it I find ants that have found their way in to a sticky end.

I have still to find the perfect hummingbird feeder.

If you stand near it, you are likely to get dive-bombed:

Aphids and Japanese beetle. Not sure what is attached to the beetle, no doubt another creature hitching a lift.

It’s orange cousin had a leaf to itself.

Our milkweed having become such a mess, I had more or less given up hoping for more caterpillars this year but today I spotted one…

…then another, on a plantain leaf.

One more on a seed pod

and a fourth by the front door.

Last week I found a caterpillar hanging from a leaf, almost as if it was turning into a cocoon but that seemed an unlikely place and I thought it was dead. Next day a grasshopper was eating it. The circle of life, I suppose.

Living in the country we see an awful lot of animal death. This morning was bad. Grant told me there was a dead fawn just up the road and not long after he found a bird in the water bowl. We place sticks or stones in the bowls to help creatures that fall in, but last night the stick was not there.

In the scheme of things, these deaths may be unimportant but I think that is partly why they affect me so deeply, making me unaccountably sad.

Still, I am looking forward to next Sunday when I can watch for Sunshine with a thunderstorm .

10 thoughts on ““A bit of rain”

  1. You call Ladybirds a Japanese Beetle? News to me. I would have left the horrible wasp stuck on the milkweed, or squashed it.
    No rain here until Monday afternoon at the earliest. The driest summer since 1976. I’m not complaining, as we will have a gutful of rain soon enough.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. There’s another weather prediction that I hear often on our radio: “Rain can be expected in places, but it will be sunny elsewhere” … I always wonder where is “elsewhere”?

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