365 Nature – Day 307

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


The rain continued. It was a hard rain, a perpetual rain, a sweating and steaming rain; it was a mizzle, a downpour, a fountain, a whipping at the eyes, an undertow at the ankles; it was a rain to drown all rains and the memory of rains.

Today as I walked in the rain – again, I thought about The Long Rain, a short story by Ray Bradbury that I first read about in  Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, by Cynthia Barnett. In the story, a space ship crash lands on Venus, a planet of perpetual rain, a place where it never stops and drives people mad. They survivors try to make it to the sun dome, a refuge from the rain, but most of them go mad from the constant dripping of rain on their heads. Their skin gets shriveled and their clothes turn white and they can’t sleep. The insistent fall of rain on the men starts to drive them crazy.

Suddenly he leaped up and began to brush the water from himself. A thousand hands were touching him and he no longer wanted to be touched. He no longer could stand being touched.

Although we’ve had breaks in the rain, the past month has been very wet. There have been many days I haven’t bothered bringing my camera to the arboretum because I knew the morning would be raining. Many of my walks have been wet and the last few days especially, every walk has been in the rain. The constant pat pat pat on my hood and arms and pack do start to wear thin after awhile and I can start to feel what the character in The Long Rain felt. Not enough to drive me mad of course, but it does get tiresome. The rain water manages to infiltrate everywhere, seeping in through unseen cracks in clothes and shoes and my glasses get splattered with the raindrops, distorting my view.

The next two days are supposed to be dry before rain returns over the weekend. I love the rain, but although I also love chocolate, I couldn’t eat it all day long, every day of the week. A break from the constant wet jacket, wet pants and wet hair will be welcome.

Kelly Brenner
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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She founded The Metropolitan Field Guide in 2009 and has contributed articles to aincluding Crosscut, ParentMap and National Wildlife Magazine. She holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.

She is currently writing a book about urban nature to be published by Mountaineers Books in 2019.
Kelly Brenner
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