Scent Of A Rain

When I started rose-pruning yesterday morning the sky was overcast, the air arid, and the temperature high.  As I chopped the temperature dropped.  A strong wind began to push the trees around.  Raindrops began to fall. 
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I continued pruning, because I felt sure if I put my clippers down  and went indoors, the rain would stop.  After starting work in dry heat, the cool rain felt heavenly.  
They like it rainy, too:
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I did the Tamoras and 'Prospero' out front.  They take a lot of time because Tamora is endlessly twiggy and prickly.  It's like pruning barbed wire macrame.   
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The outdoor air always smells marvelous after a soft rain.  Two MIT scientists think they have determined why that is.  
"Using high-speed cameras, the researchers observed that when a raindrop hits a porous surface, it traps tiny air bubbles at the point of contact. As in a glass of champagne, the bubbles then shoot upward, ultimately bursting from the drop in a fizz of aerosols."
The fizz propels microscopic particles and microbes into the air, creating that distinctive scent of rain.  
Ah, the aroma!  Is that a fizz of aerosols or wet dog? 
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I continued until I was nearly as wet as the koi, to encourage the rain to continue.  A few more roses closer to completion.
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While I worked on the 'Tamora's yesterday,  I could just make out Mrs. Hummer in her nest, looking very very bored.  This morning, something was different.  She was going back and forth, back and forth to the nest.  Ohhh!   I risked a look into the nest--sort of.  I had to climb a ladder and hold my camera high above my head with one hand and stretch and hope something was in focus when I clicked the shutter.  The nest is too high for the ladder to reach.  Yes, crappy photo, but I dare not disturb baby hummingbirds for the sake of a photo.  
Put the tip of your forefinger and the tip of your thumb together to form an "o".  That circle is how big the nest is.  Unless you have big hands, then it is smaller. 
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Do you see the two babies?  I put arrows pointing to their beaks.
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More amazing, even, than the scent of rain.  
 

 
 

Comments

  1. It's one of my goals every year to discover a hummingbird nest, even an abandoned one. To actually see the chicks would be too much!

    (Sort of like pruning 200 roses...)

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    1. Both the baby hummers and the roses are a little overwhelming today. Plant enough nectar-rich flowers and the hummers will come.

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  2. Congratulations on your new additions! I bet you're almost as proud as the mama hummer after watching out for their welfare over the past month. And thank you for your diligence in persisting with your pruning to keep the rain ju-ju going. We got about 3/8ths of an inch here, which was welcome after our very dry weekend.

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    1. 3/8ths! Wonderful. Drought makes gardeners as superstitious as baseball players, don't you think?

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  3. We found a blown down, discarded, hummingbird nest years ago. It was a tiny little thing. Do you know how long the babies will stick around before taking off to lead their own lives?

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    1. They are in the nest for quite a while as they are not ready for independent lives until they are almost full grown. 10 or 14 more days in the nest, maybe, and then Mrs. Hummer feeds them for a few more days after they fledge and leads them to nectar flowers to show them what to look for. Then she chases them off and sometimes may have another clutch.

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  4. I've hummers all over my garden but have never been lucky enough to see a nest! This is incredible! Thanks for sharing your good luck. "It's like pruning barbed wire macrame." made me laugh out loud. What a great image!

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    1. Its a wonderful experience watching them.

      That 'Tamora' is so hard to prune. I haven't even started on the last one, which is the biggest.

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  5. The scent of fresh rain is wonderful isn't it, invigorating! Your day looked and sounded so positive :)

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    1. It was wonderful, thank you. I wish we had the rain scent more often!

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  6. Replies
    1. I'm so glad I planted the Aloes and Agaves. They provide so much food, something I didn't realize.

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  7. Those babies must be tiny, what a great photo dear Hoover. I love the scent of rain and to feel it on my skin, it is so refreshing on a warm day. Is that Natasha, I guess her fur under-coat would be quite waterproof?
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Yes, that is Natasha, and no, her coat sucks water up like a sponge. Good thing I have lots and lots of old towels.

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  8. I've noticed rain doesn't have the same smell in certain places that it does others. And sometimes, it seems to carry the smell of the ocean, others that fresh scent you noted. Maybe this is from wind directions, too?

    Wet dog...I've smelled that even without a dog! Looking forward to our 1" rain forecast in a few days...

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    1. 1" of rain!!! Quit making me jealous.

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  9. So it's you I have to thank for that rain! Can you get out there and prune today too? I don't think I've ever experienced such a fast transition from itchy, dry conditions to moisture. That Tamora does look like a nightmare to prune -- what a thicket.

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    1. Yes, that was an unusually rapid transition.

      I was out there for several hours today, matter of fact, and it clouded over! I think I'd better get back outside, and do a little dance.

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  10. You're so lucky. We didn't get a drop yesterday here in Davis. In fact, the Sacramento Bee said today that this has been the driest January on record. So much for the drought being over, like some people seem to believe!

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    1. Sigh. It was a very strange storm because it came from the southwest. Not normal at all. Here's hoping it is a wet February--what else can we do but hope?

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  11. Ohhh a hummingbird nest!!!! that is sooo neat!!! hummingbird babies :D I loved the description of the smell when it rains, I didn´t know it was because of that. I hope you didn't get hurt by too many thorns.

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    1. I have some excellent long gloves, so mostly undamaged. :)

      It is a great joy and privilege to watch the hummers. Gardens offer so many rewards.

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  12. Love seeing how you prune the roses. I think I have been doing mine wrong all these years. I really cut mine back and try to have the center open and take out canes larger than a #2 pencil. I am thinking I am over pruning mine. Will have to read up on it again.

    I had a hummer nest growing up as a kid. The babies get so big that one of them eventually fell out of the nest. I put it in a box for the Momma hummer to come and feed it. She did. She didn't mind me holding it either (not that I would recommend it). I read that hummers are not afraid of humans because they are so fast (the hummers, not the humans). I kept the hummer on our screened in patio so the neighborhood cats couldn't get it. When I put the baby out to feed, a cat did get it. Hated cats for years after that. (I finally got over that and love cats now). So don't be surprised if you find one of the babies on the ground in a couple of weeks. Sure surprised me when I saw it waddling up our driveway. Couldn't fit back in the nest and couldn't fly yet.

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    1. I'm not sure there is a "wrong" way--they seem to survive my abuse no matter what. The very best thing I think is to observe, observe, observe. Record what you did the year before and the year before that, and observe the result, factoring in the weather and the age of the plant...that is what is so helpful about a blog--I can look back and realize, oh, this one is better--what did I do right? Or that one has decline A LOT--what went wrong?

      I will keep watch on the hummers--the nest is pretty stretched full of the pair already. Thanks for the "heads up".

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  13. I thought only people who shop on Etsy even remember about macramé...but it does paint quite the word picture. Rain and hummers: two miracles in one day. You are blessed.

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    1. I was quite the macramer in elementary school, and even had a small business selling purses. When my dear Mom died, some of my Dad's cousins came to the funeral and I was completely floored one of the ladies was carrying and still using one of my purses. She said she still used it all the time. What was even more amazing to me was that it looked pretty cool.

      Well, that is my macrame history. Now you know.

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