HAILSTONE STORM

 Hailstone storms and their mythology and Naturalist study in historical records

Traditionally, a hail storm was not a thing of joy, as it would cause much damage to crops and to dwellings. The people of Serbia and Bulgaria believed hail came from a mythological creature called an 'Ala', which would lead hail clouds in the direction of vineyards and orchards. Older Christian traditions instead attributed hail to the wrath of St. Elijah, and church bells would be rung in an effort to stop hail from descending onto a village. 

Yet, later in the historical record, hail was recognised as an intriguing natural phenomenon, and the causes of hail storms began to be a subject of Naturalist's study... 

Late this evening a storm of thunder arose in the S., which, as usual, divided into two parts... from the latter division proceeded strong, & vivid lightning till late in the night. At Headleigh there was a very heavy shower, & some hail at E. Tisted. The lightning and hail did much damage about the kingdom.
— Gilbert White - Naturalist's Journal, 1768-93

Although hail can cause much damage about our own kingdom of Homeland, and although it will frighten the sheep, I still love to see a good hail storm. Looking to the South, and the gathering gloom of cumulonimbi, I can imagine a small demon with a string: trailing the storm behind them like a child with a balloon. Then, the storm breaks, and the wrath is upon us, and it is amazing to behold. Afterwards, I go out into the Hail Swarth - that small lane of white land made by the storm - and I pack the hail into balls, or tiny hail-castles. Hail is much easier to mould than sand.