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Outdoors: A little fall of rain

raindrops on leaves

"A Little Fall of Rain" from the musical "Les Misérables" is hauntingly beautiful, but tragic.  A young woman has been shot. Her last words are: "and rain will make the flowers grow."

So... what did she mean? Does rain really mean blood? Or does rain represent love? Hope? Surrender? 

At least, the words are biologically accurate. “Rain will make the flowers grow.”

April showers probably get more credit than they deserve. Melting snow is usually enough to stimulate the growth of woodland wildflowers.

But as spring gives way to summer, rain becomes increasingly important to plants. Plants require water. That is why we water our lawns and gardens.

But is rain better than well or tap water? Apparently so.

More and more often, we read  that surface and groundwater are polluted.

Rainwater, in contrast, is free of salts, minerals, treatment chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

Alarmingly though, some pollutants now are found in rainwater, but so are tiny amounts of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon.

So it seems, until scientific research indicates otherwise, that every rainfall is essentially is light application of nitrogen fertilizer and apparently, carbon is able to activate micro-nutrients including zinc, manganese, copper and magnesium in the soil.

The foliage of many plants is shaped in such a way that falling rain is channeled directly to the roots.

Water your plants when they need it, but let’s hope for some gentle and regular rains this summer.  

”Rain will make the flowers grow.”  

"Outdoors with Coggin Heeringa" can be heard every Wednesday on Classical IPR.