Rain- Before, During, After: A Photo Essay

Rainbows Happen in Rain

Rainbow Blesses a Vineyard In Templeton, California
Rainbow Blesses a Vineyard In Templeton, California | Source

Rain Blesses Our Lives

As I write this, the rain is drumming on my roof, making me think of fireplaces and hot popcorn, neither of which is available to me tonight. But I'm happy that the rain is falling for the third time this season in North San Luis Obispo County on this Veterans Day, 2011. It looks as though this may be a normal rainy season that will provide enough water to get through the year without rationing or the fear of wells going dry.

Without rain, life on our earth would not last long. It brings all living things the water they need to stay alive. It arrives from clouds that transform our view of the sky and give it drama. The sound of it falling on our roofs can lull us to sleep or make us want to build a cozy fire and pop popcorn. It can be exhilarating to walk in a light rain, or dangerous to drive in a heavy storm that pelts the windshield with streams of water, blocking visibility and making streets slick. But when it's gone, it leaves behind a world that looks fresh and new. The pollutants have been washed from the air and the plants sparkle with raindrops in the sunshine. Soon the dry fields will be green again in the drought-stricken areas, and fire season will be declared over for the year.

Rain Arrives in Dark Clouds

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bird perched on high wire awaits the coming stormDark storm clouds move in over vineyard.This cloud is bringing a gift of rain.Storm clouds in background of vineyard studded with oak trees.Storm lurks above Costco parking lot in San Luis ObispoLawrence Moore Park in Paso Robles during a break between storms.Storm moves into TempletonRain coming to small farm in Templeton, California
Bird perched on high wire awaits the coming storm
Bird perched on high wire awaits the coming storm | Source
Dark storm clouds move in over vineyard.
Dark storm clouds move in over vineyard. | Source
This cloud is bringing a gift of rain.
This cloud is bringing a gift of rain. | Source
Storm clouds in background of vineyard studded with oak trees.
Storm clouds in background of vineyard studded with oak trees. | Source
Storm lurks above Costco parking lot in San Luis Obispo
Storm lurks above Costco parking lot in San Luis Obispo | Source
Lawrence Moore Park in Paso Robles during a break between storms.
Lawrence Moore Park in Paso Robles during a break between storms. | Source
Storm moves into Templeton
Storm moves into Templeton | Source
Rain coming to small farm in Templeton, California
Rain coming to small farm in Templeton, California | Source

Can You Predict the Rain?

When you read the signs in the sky and feel the wind, are you usually right about whether it will rain?

  • I'm right almost always about whether the next few hours will bring rain.
  • I'm right about half the time when I predict rain will come soon.
  • I just listen to the weather man and hope he's right.
See results without voting

Before the Rain

I have had almost seventy years now to learn the ways of rain. I learned about the water cycle in school, but they don't teach you there how to know rain is coming by reading the sky. That is learned by years of experience in your own part of the world. Here in San Luis Obispo County, you can almost smell it in the air. The blue sky begins to darken as walls of gray clouds blow in and block the sun. The wind urges you to pull your jacket closer as the air turns cool. And then you wait, as the bird does on the wire in this top picture, for the first drops. (The bird will be easier to see if you click to make the picture full size. That will work with all the pictures.)

The vineyard in the next picture has just been harvested in the nick of time. Now it's ready for the dry ground to receive the gift of water to keep it through its next growing season. The dark cloud in the next picture is typical of those we see before the rain, though all rain clouds don't have this unique shape.

The oaks and grapes in the next picture also wait for the rain to fall, hoping it will saturate the ground and bring it new life in the spring.

Next, we see that the Costco customers in San Luis Obispo will soon have to take shelter from the rain

Meanwhile, in Paso Robles' Lawrence Moore Park, people will be scurrying back to their homes and cars when the rain begins to fall again.

In Templeton, the storm is beginning to move into this rural neighborhood along this road, and it appears the animals who live on this small farm have already taken shelter.

Driving in the Rain

Taken from my car on I-101 between San Luis Obispo and Templeton,California
Taken from my car on I-101 between San Luis Obispo and Templeton,California | Source
A rainy evening in San Luis Obispo, taken from car while stopped at this traffic light.
A rainy evening in San Luis Obispo, taken from car while stopped at this traffic light. | Source

During the Rain

I'm hearing the rain as I type this, but I'm warm and dry, unlike people who may be rushing from their cars into a store and then back out to their cars as quickly as possible. When it rains, I prefer to be inside unless the rain is very gentle. I would rather not drive in the rain, because it's easier to have accidents when the roads are slick and the rain pelts the windshields.

The two pictures on the right were taken from inside the car on a trip south to San Luis Obispo on a rainy day. The first was taken on the freeway while it was still light; the second was taken as the sun was about to set. Notice how the rain has diffused the light.

Remember, clicking the pictures will display them full size.


Gentle Rain

Gentle raindrops fall into this puddle, making tiny circles on the puddle's surface as I walk past.
Gentle raindrops fall into this puddle, making tiny circles on the puddle's surface as I walk past. | Source

Tree Reflections in Puddles

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tree reflected in puddle on rainy day.A group of tree reflections in large puddleA different perspective on the reflected treesA large tree reflection.In this reflection, we see not only the tree, but also the clouds. Different size puddles and light angles change how the tree is reflected. This puddle is like a miniature picture frame of an upside-down world.
Tree reflected in puddle on rainy day.
Tree reflected in puddle on rainy day. | Source
A group of tree reflections in large puddle
A group of tree reflections in large puddle | Source
A different perspective on the reflected trees
A different perspective on the reflected trees | Source
A large tree reflection.
A large tree reflection. | Source
In this reflection, we see not only the tree, but also the clouds.
In this reflection, we see not only the tree, but also the clouds. | Source
Different size puddles and light angles change how the tree is reflected.
Different size puddles and light angles change how the tree is reflected. | Source
This puddle is like a miniature picture frame of an upside-down world.
This puddle is like a miniature picture frame of an upside-down world. | Source

Reflections

A bit of rain can seem to turn the world upside down. On this rainy day I had a medical appointment in this complex. As I walked back to my car afterwards, there were puddles everywhere reflecting the many trees on the edges of the parking lot. I love the perspective these reflected trees give in the assorted "mirror"sizes. Be sure to click images to see them full size.

It's Raining Mushrooms

Mushrooms sprout under the conifers after a good rain.
Mushrooms sprout under the conifers after a good rain. | Source
Small mushrooms in the field after the rain.
Small mushrooms in the field after the rain. | Source

After the Rain

When the rain stops falling, the world seems a different place. The air is cleaner. The ground is still wet and puddles are everywhere the water cannot be absorbed. We see new plants that only grow when it's damp out, like mushrooms along the road and in the field. Around the mushrooms, the raindrops still glisten on the grass.

People hurry out to walk their dogs between storms, hoping to be back inside before the rain starts to fall again. The ground gets green again if the rains persist, and the weeds sprout along with the grass. Sometimes when the rain appears to be gone, it sprinkles a few more drops in the sunshine, to leave us with a rainbow blessing.

Walking the Dog Between Storms

Woman walks her dog beside the Salinas River in  Paso Robles in March, 2011. Please click to enlarge picture.
Woman walks her dog beside the Salinas River in Paso Robles in March, 2011. Please click to enlarge picture. | Source

The River and the Rain.

One of the most noticeable changes we see here in Paso Robles when we have had significant rain, is that we once again see the Salinas River beginning to flow. Last year it rained so much we still had some river left in August -- though not much. I am wondering how soon we will see the river this year. Sometimes we don't see it until January, but I'm hoping it will be here before Christmas this year, since this is our third major rain this season, and it has rained all day today. In the picture to the right, a woman is hurrying to walk her dog by the river between storms. You won't see her unless you click to see the picture full size.

Where the Rain Has Been

Puddles gather next to this vineyard on the side of Arbor Road in Paso Robles.
Puddles gather next to this vineyard on the side of Arbor Road in Paso Robles. | Source
Lawrence Moore Park in Paso Robles gets a brief break from the rain between storms.
Lawrence Moore Park in Paso Robles gets a brief break from the rain between storms. | Source
Customers at Smart and Final in San Luis Obispo are glad there is a break in the rain.
Customers at Smart and Final in San Luis Obispo are glad there is a break in the rain. | Source
Puddles left in the parking lot of the Templeton Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church after the rain
Puddles left in the parking lot of the Templeton Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church after the rain | Source
Rainbow reminds us of God's promise not to destroy the world with water again.
Rainbow reminds us of God's promise not to destroy the world with water again. | Source

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Comments 16 comments

My Minds Eye53 profile image

My Minds Eye53 4 years ago from Tennessee

In your last photo, did you realize there is a second lighter rainbow above the darker one? Very pretty.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Yes. I did notice that, but it didn't really show until I published it. I'm glad you saw it, too. Now I know I'm not crazy.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Lovely and interesting WannaB. I especially like the reflections and that last photo. It has a soft misty look that I love. And the double rainbow is nice. You certainly live in a beautiful location. Thanks for a great visit to your beautiful countryside.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Thanks for coming by to read and comment, Hyphenbird. It's a gray day again today, and I don't know yet whether there will be rain or sunshine this afternoon.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

The pictures are so beautiful. Sometimes i love the rain..Thank you for sharing


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

always exploring, the sky always fascinates me, and never so much as before and after the rain. Thanks for your comment.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

These are great pictures and arranged in a wonderful way. Of course, I loved the rainbows.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Pam, great to see you. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon

Gorgeous pictures, Barb - I love the rain and was one of the few people who could survive in Seattle quite nicely (23+ years) without complaining~~~

Something about it just makes me feel peaceful - although admittedly it makes me also want to cook or crawl into bed with a good book and my pups~

It also washes clean the dust of the day and here I look forward to the rains with gusto because we get it so infrequently. We can also have electrical storms here a lot which are very exciting though being on the road in one has not been my favorite thing to do (happened several times now - yikes).

Great piece on one of my favorite things - rain~


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Aren't you in Bend? I thought the Oregon Coast got almost as much rain as Seattle. I lived in Auburn (WA) from April to July, and we didn't have it as much as I expected. I loved it. But I understand winters were much worse, with snow and lots of heavy rains. Got caught in one once and ran over a center divider curb I didn't see through the sheets of rain while making a left turn into a gas station. Broke the car.

We get heavy, sometimes very windy, rain here, and sometimes the thunderstorms, as well. On gray days, I like to huddle at my computer and write, as long as storms don't knock out the power.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

A photo essay of a rainstorm! What a brilliant premise- and what beautiful photos! Thank you for putting this together- and for sharing this! I feel as though I've just passed a pleasant afternoon watching a storm pass.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Thanks for stopping by, Simone. I'm glad you like the rain, too. I think the world looks more beautiful after a rain, and the clouds that bring the rain transform the sky.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Wonderful array of photographs and well developed commentary. Makes we wish for a rainy day and a roaring fireplace. :)


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Thank you for stopping by to read and comment phdast7. We expect rain again this weekend,so I'll have the rainy day -- just no fireplace.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

What a wonderful hub and fabulous photos, I especially like the reflection in the puddles!

thank you for sharing and voted up!


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Thanks, Movie Master. Rain is one of my favorite subjects, and everything looks so fresh after a rain.

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