January 31, 2023

It’s a rainy day, no snow, in January!


We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.

-Barack Obama


From slabs of ice and temps in the negative regions, we go, in December, mind you, to temps in the mid-fifties with rain.    And now we’re in January and the temp is 34℉ and it’s raining again.  Rain.  December is supposed to be the month when Massachusetts gets most of its snow.  This year, what did we get?  Rain.  And more rain.  Gaia must be sicker than most of us realize.

It’s not raining hard today – really more of a drizzle.  Waldo and I, although wet, are not soaked.  There’s water running down the drainage trenches next to the trail, but it’s not spilling over onto the tarmac, like it does when it’s really pouring.  Waldo doesn’t seem to even notice, except, on rare occasion, when he shakes the rain off his sable coat.  Other life stirs in the damp mild temps.  Some grasses seem to have shaken off their hibernation as there are definitely dark green blades tucked in amongst the usual yellow-brown of winter sleep.  The garlic mustard is easier to find and the mosses are thick and fuzzy.  It’s wet and warm enough that the wooden fence posts and rails are green with algal growth too.  I wonder if these rousing living things are confused by the weather, or maybe they’re just taking advantage of what’s offered as they can.

Waldo and I don’t mind the rain.  We’ve been in worse and I have been in much worse.  And warmer rain too.   I remember once, when I was in Bangkok, Thailand, I was riding in a bus and it started raining.  The water was as warm as what you have in your shower.  I didn’t know that was possible, but Gaia will smash your preconceptions, given the chance.  Today, the rain is definitely not warm, but at least we’re not growing sheets of ice on us like we have in the past.  I’ll never forget watching icicles growing down from my hood as we walked along this same stretch of trail a couple of years ago.

We need this water, there was quite a drought this summer.  The problem is, when it comes down as rain, the water drains off into the ocean and is gone.  As snow, it sticks around for several months, only slowly releasing its moisture and slowly enough so the water can soak into the ground.  Fortunately, there is snow up in the hills, so maybe we’ll be okay this year.  And winter isn’t over yet.  These disturbed weather patterns certainly give strong immediate evidence for climate change.

I don’t understand how the deniers can continue to try to refute the facts of global warming.  But I guess, for thousands of years, there have been people denying what science tells us.  I’m reminded of Aristophanes’s, The Clouds:


Strepsiades: By the Earth! Is our father, Zeus, the Olympian, not a god?

Socrates: Zeus! what Zeus!  Are you mad?  There is no Zeus.

Strepsiades:  What are you saying now?  Who causes the rain to fall?  Answer me that!

Socrates: Why, these [the clouds], and I will prove it.  Have you ever seen it raining without clouds?  Let Zeus then cause rain with a clear sky and without their presence!

Strepsiades: By Apollo!  That is powerfully argued!  For my own part, I always thought it was Zeus pissing into a sieve…

[Source: Thomas West, translator, Four texts on Socrates, Cornell University Press]


There are, it would seem, even today, way too many Strepsiadeses walking around.  They may not think rain is Zeus-piss, but they still turn a deaf ear to what science has to say about our climate with an equally ridiculous prejudicial ignorance.

Waldo’s not worried about climate change.  Of course, he’s not significantly contributing to it either.  I wonder if he even notices the warming trend we’re experiencing.  His focus seems to be on finding the perfect stick (I recently decided to give him an Amerind name: Čháŋ WaktéktekA [Lakota], which roughly translates to “Stick Stalker”).  However, he, for sure, doesn’t do well when the temps get into the 80s, 90s and above in the summer.  He doesn’t have much choice; he just suffers along as best he can with whatever the day has to offer – as does the rest of nature.  We human beings can do something about it, though, and we’d better start doing it fast.

Well, Čháŋ WaktéktekA and I will be back here tomorrow, spending a few hours walking and stalking without significantly contributing to our carbon footprint.

Whatever the weather.


Running water where it is usually dry, no snow and no ice.

Leave a Reply