Connect with Nature: April Showers
This post was written by guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy.
Variations of the English saying “April showers bring May flowers” date back as far back as 1660. With its longer days and warmer temperatures, spring across much of Canada typically means snowmelt and increased rainfall. Take pleasure in the new season with these ideas.
Observe worms. After a rain shower, you have probably noticed earthworms on sidewalks or in the grass. Why do they surface when it rains? Contrary to a commonly held opinion, it is not to prevent themselves from drowning. Many scientists think that worms come above ground after rainfall to migrate (as they can move greater distances above than within soil) or to escape predators (as the vibration of raindrops on soil mimics that of roving moles). If you’d like to volunteer to monitor worms, learn about the WormWatch program.
Learn about clouds. There are three main groups – cirrus, stratus and cumulus. These are further broken down into ten general types, varying in their basic form and altitude. Clouds cover 60–70% of the Earth at any particular time, and only certain ones produce precipitation. Clouds even exist in outer space! The US National Weather Service provides a straightforward overview to get you started. Download the CloudSpotter app for iPhone by the Cloud Appreciation Society and develop a keener eye for formations in the sky.
Watch a film. Stay dry indoors and spend a rainy day on the couch. The beautifully rendered animated film Ponyo, by Hayao Miyazake, features water prominently, and human relationships with the elements as a theme. Singin’ in the Rain is a classic Hollywood musical that is sure to put some “spring” in your step, especially with its exuberant and iconic sequence of the title number. And who can forget the final scene of downpour and declarations in Four Weddings and a Funeral? For more ideas of movies with memorable rain scenes, see this list by Taste of Cinema.
Acknowledgements: Scientific American, Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, 2nd ed., National Geographic Society, The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs