What a difference the summer sun makes

Photo - Flasby Fell, Yorkshire

When the sun does come out we rush to enjoy it.

We’ve had a horrible, wet, cold summer. Unrelenting. So, when the sun does come out, we rush to take advantage. This weekend was one such. Woke up this morning and it wasn’t raining! More than that, by noon the summer sun was out and, unbelievably, it was warm.

Frenzied activity ensued. The washing was hurriedly pinned on the line, t-shirts and shorts were retrieved from the depths of drawers, a day rucksack was packed and we headed for the countryside. A walk, an afternoon in the outdoors, armed with rarely used sunblock and sunglasses, was the plan.

A verdant paradise awaited

Admittedly it was boggy underfoot. And there weren’t many people on the Fells – maybe they didn’t trust the weather. But we found a verdant paradise. The wind was light, the insects busy. Foxgloves were in full flower, tall grasses swayed in the breeze, butterflies twisted, turned and danced with each other, bees flitted between the blooms. And all the time the sun beat down from a sky dotted with cotton wool clouds.

No escape from the British summer

Of course this is a British summer … in 2012. The year with the wettest 2nd quarter since records began in 1910. The wettest June since records began. So even as we headed back to the car, the clouds began to get thicker, and darker. The rain could be seen approaching, thunder rumbled angrily in the distance and lightning flashed through the clouds over the far hills.

We reached the car still dry but the rain began in earnest immediately afterwards. Back at home, the washing on the line was now wetter than when it came out of the machine.

Oh well, we had made the most of the brief interlude of fine weather, of welcome summer sun between what seems to have been relentless rain. I was reminded of a Mark Twain saying, “Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.”

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