Today, July 15th, is Saint Swithun's Day.
Saint Swithun (sometimes Swithin) died in July 862 and was an early Bishop of Winchester. He is now chiefly remembered for the following weather lore:
St Swithun's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain na mair.
Swithun was buried out of doors rather than in Winchester Cathedral so that 'the sweet rain from heaven may fall upon my grave.' He is considered to be one of the saints to pray to in times of drought. 109 years later in 971, it was decided to move his body to an indoor shrine but the ceremony was delayed by forty days of torrential rain; this was taken as a sign of Swithun's displeasure at being moved.
It has rained several times today, between bouts of sunshine. At times it has drizzled, at others it has poured so I suppose we should expect the next six weeks or so to be fairly damp. Rain would have helped in the forest last week. It would appear that a fire was set, destroying young evergreen and deciduous trees.