The sound of rain

Rain through a forest of Oregon’s Douglas Fir trees is easily my favorite sound on Earth. I say favorite because that sound never gets on my nerves. I really could listen to it all day…and have thanks to the wonderful Pacific Northwest weather. I even have an app for that.

Baby laughs are a very close second. A coffee maker first thing in the morning, owls and U2 round out the top five.

Not all rain sounds the same. Rain on a car roof is different from a tin roof which is different from pavement.

For me, a rain storm in an Oregon pine forest is something special. Thunder is rare. The wind blows through the tops of the 20-50 foot trees creating a swishing sound and makes the largest and oldest trees creak as they lean back and forth. The rain collects in the needles as it comes down through the trees softening the sound. The needles scatter the rain around the trees causing hundreds of tiny drops instead of the larger, harder rain drops. The rain trickles through the branches, and in the older forests, Spanish moss.

After the drops leave the branches and the needles, the water doesn’t hit the ground. It falls on the ferns and other foliage around the trees. Once through, the drops of water fall onto the 1-3 inch bed of dead needles at the base of the trees.

Why is this such a great sound? It’s just rain, but it reminds me of my years growing up in Oregon. Many of those years were rain drenched.

I didn’t know I missed it until I picked up an app for my iPhone that plays ambient noise. Thankfully someone in Oregon recorded the sound and now I have it to lull me to sleep 3000 miles away from where I was born.

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Filed under postaday2011, Writing, Writing Prompts

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