I look grimly out of my window at the rain pouring down in June (yes welcome to the English summer time!!) I’m definitely not a fan of rain and there are others, like me, who will dive for the nearest shelter as the first drops start tumbling down from the sky….
Bees and other flying insects, for example, will take cover quickly, because the rain can soon build up on their wings, weighing them down and making them unable to fly; likewise, whilst birds can fly for short periods in the wet weather, their feathers can eventually become soaked, grounding them too;
but there’s one animal that detests a downpour probably more than most and that’s the bat – bats hate rain – it scrambles their sensitive sonar, impacting their ability to navigate – they also need a lot more energy to fly with heavy rain on their wings and bodies and the temperature drop slows down their metabolism – so despite popular belief, you’re unlikely to spot them flying around on a dark, stormy night!!
OK so is there anything out there lapping up the downpour? Obvious candidates are of course, slugs and snails – understandable as they have bodies coated in moisture and can soon dry up in the heat, so a rain shower or two is definitely their thing! (gardeners beware!)
Earthworms too react to the rain – usually they need to live a subterranean life to ensure they keep cool and moist, but in a shower the worms can come above ground – an ideal opportunity to meet other worms and get it together for a spot of mating; or perhaps they’ll fancy a new home and move along to pastures new.
Likewise, frogs enjoy a turn in the torrent, being able to safely emerge in the damp to find food, cool off, moisten up and maybe find a mate – if that doesn’t float their boat, they might simply enjoy a good hop around in the pouring down.
Snakes too will take advantage of a good rain storm to come out and do some hunting of rodents who may be leaving their homes to search for higher, dryer dwellings. Whilst snakes are not averse to the wet, once they’ve had their fill, they will eventually seek out a shelter for themselves too.
Other slippery characters to emerge are leeches – like snails and slugs, these guys need to maintain a moist body and so a wet day is an ideal way for them to emerge to try to latch onto any unsuspecting prey…you’ve been warned!
Whilst burrowing animals, like rabbits and badgers may not exactly be rain lovers, they definitely appreciate the moistening up of the soil, which gives them a chance for easier digging of that new borrow they’ve had their heart set on.
Of course, it’s not just animals that appreciate the rain; plants love it too and it’s true that every garden looks good and green after a shower or two.
At the end of the day, rain is essential to us all – still I think I’ll leave it to the all those pluviophiles enjoying all those showers out there and go indoors for a nice cup of tea in the dry!