Rain- Before, During, After: A Photo Essay
Rainbows Happen in Rain
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 CloudsClick thumbnail to view full-size
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?
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
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.
Tree Reflections in PuddlesClick thumbnail to view full-size
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.
More about Rain
- The Blessings of Rain
As I sit at my keyboard in Templeton California during a storm, I cannot help but notice the sounds of the rain on the roof. When I first began to type, the
It's Raining Mushrooms
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
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.