We've been welcoming big, beautiful, and much needed rain storms every day for the past few days, receiving on Thursday three times the amount of this year's rainfall to date. Exhilarating to me are the gray skies, the steady rumble of distant thunder, the tantalizing scent of fresh, cool precipitation, and the damp chill, all vividly reminiscent of the summer storms I so fondly recall from my youth. They were, particularly during my adolescence, one of my favorite aspects of the season. Disrupting the seemingly endless span of oppressively hot, dry days, they provided the perfect interlude in which to cozy up indoors with a good book or rousing board game competitions between my brother and me. My children and I have been enjoying plenty of our own idle pastimes over the course of the week, but I just couldn't resist dashing out into the rain to capture a few photographs last Thursday. These are my favorites (some of which were taken after the storm had subsided).