This is clear, I'm sure, to anyone who's ever gardened or even just had a flower bed, but real rain is so much better for plants than water from the hose. Not only does rain water not have chemical additives that city water has, but it actually contains nutrients carried through the atmosphere from all over the place, including the oceans and other climates.
When I was young, I was terrified of thunderstorms. One summer my family was visiting relatives in North Dakota and my mom's cousin (a farmer's wife) attempted to comfort me. She told me that storms were good because they "put nutrients in the ground." I thought that was the craziest thing I ever heard, but the idea never left my mind. In college as an Earth Science minor, I learned about the nitrogen cycle and how nitrogen becomes fixed during lightning strikes (which makes it then usable by plants). My mind was sufficiently blown, making made me wonder how many other wise, insightful things my elders had told me that I passed off as hullabaloo.
Perhaps I will dip a Q-tip in vinegar the next time I get a canker sore (as a friend's mom once suggested). And now that I think about it, I bet there is something to that "get your oil changed every 3,000 miles" stuff.
Well, whether it was the fixed nitrogen, the lack of flouride and chlorine, or micro-organisms transported from Minnesota, the weather over the past couple of days has delighted my garden and resurrected my transplanted okra and cucumber plants (all but one or two seem to be making it). Let's hope the drought is over.