Blogger: Rachael Murray, Project Officer

I’m off on holiday to Turkey next week, and ever since I passed that tantalisingly irreversible milestone of booking my flight, I have been pondering what I will wear on my ‘tropical’ adventure. With blue skies and wall to wall sunshine in mind, my list consisted of tiny vest tops, shorts and flip flops...bliss!

So, imagine my dismay when the day came to check the weather forecast to verify my sun soaked assumptions, and I discovered that there will be rain, more rain, a touch of drizzle, with a bit of lightning thrown in for good measure. 

Well. Way to (literally) rain on my parade. 

But before I got too resentful, I encouraged myself to reflect on how grateful I should be.  Both for the luxury of going on holiday, but more importantly, that our lovely planet gets regular rain showers at all. I set myself the task of thinking about some of the brilliant things about rain, and this is what I came up with:

  1. If you’ve ever seen one of those slow motion sequences that show a plant unfurling from bud to full blooming majesty, you’ll recognise what miraculous mother nature can do.  But, without rain, there is no photosynthesis, which provides plants with energy to grow, filling our world with beauty and fragrance.
  2. Is there anything more satisfying than that ‘sploshing!’ sensation as you jump in a puddle?  Whether young or old, a good puddle jumping session is a great way to keep the big kid in us all alive and kicking.
  3. It’s a bit of an irony that swallows, our lovely icons of summer, need a bit of rain to build their nests, which are constructed from pellets of mud.  So don’t forget to leave pools of water around on those dry summer days to help them out! 
  4. Nothing beats the way my heart lifts as I catch an unexpected glimpse of a rainbow.  Those glowing, otherworldly colours arcing across the sky are a phenomenon wholly dependant on a good shower!
  5. Just like us, birds need a good bath now and again.  Clean feathers insulate better, and bathing helps reduce parasites.  So, as rain is collected by bird baths in gardens across Britain, it keeps our birds happy, healthy and well watered.
  6. It’s not just birds, rain is a key source of water to drink and wash in for us humans too, keeping us well hydrated and free of disease.  Imagine our reservoirs acting as giant bird baths, or water butts.  It only takes the threat of an impending drought to remind us why rain is so important to our lives.
  7. There’s no better way to feel cosy than to be safely tucked up indoors with the sound of rain hitting the windows (or on the roof of your tent!), knowing that you are snug, and the world is getting a nice big drink.
  8. Where there is no rain, there is no food!  Every crop or animal that eventually turns into something we eat will have had a good watering from the clouds throughout its lifespan, creating juicy fruit, tasty vegetables, plump cows and healthy and abundant cereals and grains to make soft bouncy bread (amongst other things!) 
  9. Nothing beats the smell of warm summer rain falling on roads, fields and gardens, and that feeling of a world cleansed that follows.
  10. Sharing an umbrella with a loved one – there’s no denying there is something a little bit romantic about a stroll in the rain J

It strikes me that there’s a theme here – where there is water, there is happy, abundant life.  There’s just no escaping it, rain is flipping marvellous.

I am going to bear this in mind as we move towards a good old British summer, facing the possibility that it might be as precipitation filled as last year.  And since Turkey hasn’t escaped the same fate it seems, I’m off to dig out my cagoule and a pair of travel friendly wellies!

Why not let us know what you love about rain by leaving a comment below!


 Image by Andy Hay (RSPB images)