Friday, 31 July 2009

Rainy season

Apparently we are still in the rainy season. I don't know any figures, and I'm too lazy to look them up for you, but I'm sure we've had much more rain than usual this year. Usually I think of June as rainy season, followed by full-on, blazing-sun summer through July, August and early September. This year though we've had lots of overcast and rainy days, plus torrential downpours, all through June and July. Of course we've had some very hot and sunny days too (such as in early June when I wrote a post about the lack of rainy season...), but they seem to have been the exception rather than the rule.

Downside of the rainy season: you can't dry laundry (even perfectly dry clothes seem damp), you can't open the windows if it's raining hard, bread goes mouldy in a couple of days and everything is just, well, wet. Mould will grow pretty much everywhere if you're not careful, especially on leather shoes, belts or bedding closed up in cupboards.

Upside: it's cooler! Sometimes the rain just makes it more humid as well as hot but in general I've found it cooler than usual this year. We've only used the air-conditioners on odd days and sometimes, with a breeze, it's been almost cold in short-sleeves! As far as I'm concerned it can stay cool as long as it likes... On the other hand, all this rain has brought serious problems and floods in some parts of Japan, particularly further south, and there have been several accidental deaths reported on the news.

The rainy season is usually symbolised in Japan by frogs, umbrellas and hydrangeas. So, although most have finished flowering now, here are some hydrangeas for you....

A big one we saw on our drive into the mountains a few weeks ago:

A lace-cap one from the sadly no longer with us trees-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden (RIP), complete with insects:

And the one lone hydrangea in our own garden:

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