Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On a wet Wednesday in Wales....

Very hard to believe we've nearly reached the middle of May - the view from my window is grey and autumnal and we are (not) enjoying a refreshing spritz of fine drizzle. See how dark and mysterious the conifers of Badnage Wood look under this tenebrous sky. It is possible that this is localised; there are occasions when we enjoy clear blue skies and the poor folk at ground level are groping their way through thick fog and vice versa. Frankly, today, I doubt it.

Still, it's an ill wind - for a start I discovered the word 'tenebrous' as an alternative to 'leaden'. It's made its way to us from Middle English, via Old French and Latin. I'm going to dust it down and use it more often - although I hope I don't have to use it to describe the weather too often this summer. What are the chances of that do you think?

Being disinclined to spend long in the garden today I read the newspaper thoroughly, including the weather report. I learn that a period of chill weather is not unknown at this time of year. I read that cold weather often greets the feast days of the three 'ice saints': Marmertus, Pancras, Serviatus which are celebrated, somewhere and by someone I suppose, on the 11th, 12th, and 13th of May respectively. Today we must light a candle for St Serviatus. It is his day. Folklore spells out a warning: 'He who shears his sheep before St Serviatus’ Day loves his wool more than his sheep.' We'll heed that too and keep the vests on awhile.

While I'm reassured to know that there are sound meteorological reasons for this evil weather - dying western airstreams giving way to cold easterlies driven by a sharp pressure gradient - blah-blah, I'm excited by my serendipitous discovery of these saints. I'd hoped to discover St Serviatus was the patron Saint of misty hill sides but his origins in the Low Countries make this unlikely. Saint of flat places more like. It appears he is mostly remembered for being a bishop and being, well, saintly.

Enough of saints and adjectives. Plants and flowers have diamonds on a rainy day:


Please let the sun come out soon. It will avoid having to post pictures of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

5 comments:

hand-knitted muesli said...

Even under a 'tenebrous' sky the flowers and leaves look gorgeous :)

Pondside said...

It's said that a tenebrous sky makes for better photographs than a sunny sky - your photo is beautifully mysterious.
Dull, dark and gloomy here - a real coastal May day. We barbecued dinner in a downpour, and enjoyed it all the more for the adversity.

Wipso said...

I can't be sure what the weather was like yesterday morning down here in the valley 'cos I was head down sewing hard all morning between my many customers. [Now numbering 807 so lets hope they don't all come on the same day!] All I can say is if it was raining out there it hadn't put them off calling in. It certainly was a tenebrous sky around 5.30 though when I emerged.

Calico Kate said...

'tenebrous sky' what a wonderful description I think I will adopt that word too.
Although you would rather not have it the weather made for a fabulous photograph of the hill.
CKx

Twiglet said...

You teach us something new each time - now off to see to bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens!! Today has the same tenebrous sky as yesterday! Love the photos too.