Monday, December 28, 2015

A Day Without Rain

We had a day without rain! It was so sparkly bright everywhere. We didn't have to turn the lights on in the house all day, even after the sun had set. This is our first winter in the new house, and on Saturday we could see how much light still comes in through the west-facing windows at twilight. We've gotten almost twice the amount of average rainfall for the month of December here, more than 14 inches of rain. It's been great for replenishing our drought-devastated forests, rivers, creeks, and reservoirs, but for a sunlight atmospheric optic lover like me, it's been bleak bleak bleak.

But then the sun came out on Saturday. There were a few scattered clouds here and there, enough to make things very interesting. I was on the phone with my mom for our daily 4:00 pm chat, when I looked up and saw this. I kept holding the phone and talking and clicked away with one hand.

Oh yes, I had definitely missed seeing these beautiful iridescent colors. They were so lovely after so much gray darkness for so long. I have no idea why the blue sky looks so "not blue" in the first three photos, but that's what the camera "saw." The blue in the last photo is much more what the sky looked like. Ah well, I think you can get the splendidness of the moment anyway.

Then, of course, night did fall. We didn't get to see the full moon on Christmas, but on the day after we saw this.

The moon rose in a sea of incoming clouds, creating halos of rings in red, blues, and greens. The night air was cold, almost freezing, but I stood out there anyway, delighted by the light.

It was a perfect day without rain.


  1. Rain, rain, all sounds dreadfully familiar with many parts of northern England experiencing flooding. Down here in the soft south it's just been soggy, but rather depressing nonetheless. I wonder how many people saw your iridescent skies; not so many, I'll wager.

  2. Splendid skies! It's been so weird with the weather extremes, I forget what is normal.

  3. We're now due for a lot of fog here in the Coast Range. It makes it dark and even with lights, the house seems dark to me. I guess that's what i get for spending those weeks in Tucson...

  4. John-- I hope we both have fine fair weather in the new year. Looking forward to more time for good walks and beautiful scenes. I suspect most people never look up to catch the ephemeral beauty of sunlight and water drops.

    Sabine-- So glad you liked the photos. The weather is just too crazy these days. A calm, sunlit week would make me so happy.

    Rain-- One of the reasons I really wanted to leave Port Townsend was the winter fog on what would have been a clear-sky day. I am beginning to understand why people head south for the winter.

  5. California sun and clouds don't do things by halves, do they? The display of iridescence is stunning in those photos!
    I wish you gentle rain mostly at night and nine days of sunshine out of every ten days the entire new year.

  6. Here in the Mid-Atlantic it has been raining every day for the last two weeks. When it hasn't been raining, it's been overcast. So, I know whereof you speak. I didn't sign on to live in Portland or Seattle!

  7. We have had ten inches of rain in the past week. And it is raining again today. And the temperatures are about 40 degrees ABOVE normal. I've got camellias blooming.

  8. CCorax-- So glad you like the iridescent cloud photos. Hadn't seen a display in quite a while. I was so happy! I do hope your wish comes true, and I wish the same for you!

    Scott-- The weather has definitely been crazy. I hope things calm down and fall back into the pattern that we all have grown accustomed to. I tried Portland and Port Townsend, that's why we don't live there anymore!

    NCmountainwoman-- Ten inches of rain in one week is a lot of rain. Yikes. I don't even know what to expect anymore, anywhere. Take there.

  9. Lovely iridescence! I was working on Christmas Day and was so happy to look up and see the full moon rising behind the cottonwoods that evening. It's been mostly grey and dark and rainy here, but it is clear right now. When I looked up from eating my lunch today, I saw a Red-Shafted Flicker!

  10. As you may know, NC is experiencing the warmest winter since the late 1800's. It has been 70+ degrees nearly every day so far in Dec. and will be 75* tomorrow. It has rained a few times and yesterday I saw the most gorgeous rainbow, spanning nearly the whole horizon. Your iridescent clouds are so pretty!! I hope you get a few more sunny days!

  11. am-- So glad to know you saw the full moon rise. I was hoping we would too, but it didn't happen. Love those Red-shafted Flickers!

    kenju-- I have been so surprised by the crazy warm temperatures back east, while we're have crazy cold temps here. This morning I re-hung the hummingbird feeder because of last night's low temp of 30. Glad you like the iridescent clouds. I would have loved seeing your rainbow!