Weather captures our imaginations in a lot of ways. When it’s winter, we can’t wait for the warmth of summer. When the oppressive heat of summer arrives, we long for the snows of winter.
The funny saying about North Carolina weather is that if you don’t like today’s weather, wait a day and it’ll seem like you’re in a different season.
This winter – yes, it’s still winter for another couple weeks – rain has been the code word.
I don’t know how much rain we’ve had this winter, but it has been a remarkable amount.
My yard – and probably yours – feels like a sponge when I walk on it and I keep waiting for my foot to sink down into a mud bog.
The earth’s ability to soak up all that water is remarkable.
The incessant rain has made me think this must be what it’s like to live in the Pacific Northwest, which is known for its copious rain fall.
On Friday night, as I was driving home from somewhere, the rain was coming down in buckets and it was just plain long depressing.
I wondered then, what it must be like to live in a rain forest. Those places have rainy seasons and people live their lives based on the rainy season.
There are only a few major rain forests left in the world – in the Amazon, reaching up into Central America, along the Congo River in central Africa and in southeast Asia.
Rain forests represent only about six percent of the earth’s surface. And, as depressing as it may be to live their during the rainy season, there are benefits.
About half the world’s animals live in the rain forests and the biodiversity in those areas is much richer than in other parts of the world.
If you’re an outdoorsman, living in the rainforest would be like receiving manna from heaven.
Rainforests are hot, humid places, but unlike North Carolina’s weather, these areas tend to stay hot and humid all year long, so there is no chance to get much relief from the heat if you’re not a fan of hot weather.
The rainforests are an important part of the world’s eco system. They provide about 20 percent of the earth’s fresh water. And if you think oil is a natural resource over which people will go to war, just imagine what people would do to preserve for themselves the last fresh water on earth.
And, that freshwater supply is threatened because the rainforests themselves are threatened. Loggers and developers destroy about 6,000 acres of rain forest every hour, according to one report I read.
The largely natural state of our rainforests helps filter impurities from the water and makes fresh water truly fresh.
I’ve never been to one of the world’s rainforests, though I think I’d like to see one for myself one day.
In the meantime, I’ll ponder the possibility that we are witnessing the creation of the Great Person County rainforest right here before our very eyes.