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Rain in the City

Each raindrop heralds a burst of life in its wake, presenting boundless possibilities. Rain stands as a significant nurturer of terrestrial life, playing a crucial role in its existence. The perception of rain varies widely among individuals.

For urban dwellers, grappling with issues like water-logging and the arduous challenges of commuting, rain might not hold the same allure as it does for those residing in rustic villages and serene countryside. Personally, I find the fragrance lingering in the air after rainfall to be more enchanting than the rain itself. Given that water is inherently odorless, what lends this delightful aroma its mysterious quality?

If you've ever pondered over the earthy scent that follows rain, it's called Petrichor! Soil-dwelling bacteria, known as actinomycetes, release spores into the dry soil. When rain arrives, these spores are lifted into the atmosphere by the moist air, allowing us to perceive the distinctive fragrance.

Presently residing in Delhi, a bustling city filled with vehicles and pollution, I witnessed a significant reduction in air pollution this summer due to the rains. What brought me immense joy, however, was the unexpected resurgence and emergence of various natural elements in an urban environment.

Exploring my backyard, I stumbled upon a peculiar jelly-fungus-like organism that was entirely new to me. Thanks to Google Lens, I discovered it to be Calocera cornea, also known as Club-like Tuning Fork. Typically thriving on decaying wood, especially post-heavy rains, these fungi belong to the group known as jelly fungi or Dacrymycetes. While they are more commonly found in temperate forests in regions like North America and Eurasia, the occurrence of such unique elements in nature after rainfall is a noteworthy observation for urban residents.

Calocera cornea

Later on, while strolling through the local park, I stumbled upon a tree adorned with Splitgill mushrooms. Typically exhibiting creamy yellow and pale white hues, these mushrooms are commonly found in regions such as Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Nigeria, and Northeastern India. In the wild, Splitgill mushrooms tend to appear on decaying wood following rainfall. What struck me as extraordinary was the unexpected encounter with this species thriving in the heart of a metropolitan city.

Splitgill mushroom

Upon close observation of the ground post-rainfall, especially in India, one often comes across mud balls. These soil mounds are a result of worms processing detritus and organic debris, a process that becomes more pronounced after rain.

Following the conclusion of the monsoon season, what captivated my attention was a broken branch of a tree near my residence. The transformative force of the rains breathed life into this seemingly lifeless branch. Upon closer inspection, one could witness new tendrils sprouting from the previously dead wood. The branch, lacking any contact with soil or roots, serves as compelling evidence of the rain's vital role in rejuvenating the environment and reviving life even in seemingly lifeless plants.

Rain has myriad subtle effects on our environment.

All we have to do is glance around our neighborhoods and endeavor to identify such captivating phenomena!

Fallen berries (Jamun)

Designs of a decaying banana stem

New beginnings after monsoon


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All the images in this particular blogpost were taken by the author of the blogpost in Delhi NCR, India.


1 Comment

Samiran Nandy
Samiran Nandy
Oct 15, 2019

Dear Adi, I am really happy to read your blog post. Poetic and free-flow writing. The images is very natural. Please spent a monsoon in Santiniketan and write your experience. May be next year. I'm waiting for your next post. With love Samiran da

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