Posts Tagged With: Rain

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…Autumn?

Woke to the sounds of rain this morning. Second only to the hush and muffle of snowfall, rain makes me want to put on my raincoat, grab an umbrella and get outside.

Rainy skies, golden trees, no people. Perfect.

Rainy skies, golden trees, no people. Perfect.

Given than I think of this place as my Riparian Preserve, I loved that the place appeared abandoned when I arrived. I didn’t cross paths with a single person until the last five minutes. A photographer with a tripod making his way toward some wonderful scenery to shoot seemed a bit put off by seeing another human, as was I. We successfully ignored the existence of each other and went our separate routes.

How can I possibly describe the scene today? The diffused light through low clouds muted and highlighted colors. Today’s cloud filtered light particularly played up the yellows and enhanced the grayish brown of everything else. Greens, of course, seemed greener, but golds sang out in the rain-light like a soprano in a choir.

Don’t take my words for it. They’re inadequate today. Stroll along with me, imagining the sound and feel of rain on your raincoat and the not particularly cold water seeping through to your wool socks.

Today's stand-in for the sun.

Today’s stand-in for the sun.

Here in the desert autumn isn’t. We don’t really get to experience that particular season. At best we usually get a hard freeze for a night or two in late December or January which turns the deciduous leaves dark brown and drops them to the ground a day later. Nothing pretty about that. But this year serves as a delicious exception. Lows in the high thirties and low forties have kissed the leaves and made them blush red or brighten to a golden hue.

Most of the water birds stayed quieter than usual today. I’m not sure what’s up with that. Why would rain shush them? The ducks stayed tucked in, beaks nestled under a wing while they sat or floated quietly. The night herons seemed more stoic than normal not flying off when I approached. Jumpy best describes a few of the shore birds, as if they don’t know how to behave when it rains. Not a hummingbird or yellow finch in sight, snuggled up inside their tight little nests, I’m sure.

At times the trail was more puddle than path, but I managed. No speed walking or jogging going on here. Just a slow meander. Sure my toes got wet as I knew they would so I’d put on wool socks and didn’t mind the damp at all.

I’m glad I ignored the to-do list this morning, threw on a hat over my sleep scruffy hair and spent an hour under rainy skies. Such moments happen rarely here and want savoring. Desert Autumn or Winter rains, whatever name it goes by suits me just fine.

The gold up close, seems a bit worn and ready to drop.

The gold up close, seems a bit worn and ready to drop.


“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” ~Roger Miller

Categories: Nature, photographs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Smell of Hope



Nothing surpasses the scent of rain in the desert.

Raindrops meeting ground smell like hope.

Each droplet washes dust from the air.

Those first tentative splashes

hold every scent the sky has held.

Millions of them combine

to baptize a world hazy with heat and baked too long.

Life pours out of the sky





As clouds loosen their purse strings,

Heaven sighs,

Earth relaxes,

and the two settle into each others arms

like a long married couple.


Paths fill with every scent washed from the air,

puddles grow and overflow with evaporated life,

temporary ponds hold every drop of love the sky bestows.

And the land

savors this elixir,

love potion extraordinaire.

Flooded water retention basin after a desert rainstorm.

Flooded water retention basin after a desert rainstorm.










I created this poem in response to a writing prompt from WordPress: “What’s your favorite smell?”

The photo I took earlier this week after far too many months of no rain here in the Phoenix area. Normally, this scene is an open expanse of grass, but after an hour of rain, it became a temporary pond, drawing out every desert dweller in the neighborhood.


Categories: Hope, Nature, phoenix | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Winds Will Blow

Thursday Afternoon:

The current variety of stomach bug snuck up on me  from behind and attacked in full force with vengeance and slaughter as its only aim.

Thursday Night:

The wee hours brought a thunderstorm that parked itself over our house and proceeded to play a few frames of Bowling with the Gods. In my semi-delirious state I thought perhaps they’d be carrying me away when the games played out.

Friday Morning:

Surprisingly I woke in my own bed the next morning, spent, still spinning a bit but able to walk. I slogged to the front door and peeked out to see what havoc had rained down whilst I attempted sleep. A gray sky still hovered low and ominous save for a small area of sunlight valiantly attempting a go at it. I grabbed my camera and captured this image.

photo-19 copy 15

All gray sky but this one small area of sun trying to break through.

And with this scene I also captured a desire to go outside, under that sky. I wanted to capture a few lingering raindrops, to feel the fresh air on my pallid skin. More than anything I wanted to replace the rancid indoor air of my lungs with this ozone enhanced and rain cooled wonderful misty infused oxygen.

Friday Noon:

I’m sure I’ve never walked so slowly through the Riparian. My energy levels sat near zero, but my wish  outdoors drove me there almost as much as the car did. My slow pace lent itself to noticing things I sometimes miss. The overcast skies kept the wildlife active and vibrant where they’re usually subdued and snoozing at midday.

Friday Afternoon:

I’d certainly walked too far for how ill I’d felt the day before, but the effects of nature’s tender cloud filled  embrace had worked magic on my heart.


Here I share a few of the glories available less than one mile from my home. I think it’s time I made a regular practice of visiting there as I did a few years ago.

“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” ~ John Muir

Categories: Nature, Outdoors, physical health | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Questionable Recipes

I realized I’ve never posted a recipe here on my infamous blog.

Why? Perhaps because this isn’t a foodie blog?

I have posted photos of food several times which I’m not so sure counts. You see, my goal is to write, not just post photos. So why is my head bouncing around the idea of a recipe for today’s post? Of course, I’m going to explore this in my head a bit and then get back to you. While I’m gone you can contemplate the following photo which involved a two-year old and a DVD player.

Items found inside a non-working DVD player. Any idea why it wasn't working?

Items found inside a non-working DVD player. Any idea why it wasn’t working?

After a modicum of thought I have concluded this isn’t an actual RECIPE post, with something you can go buy the ingredients for and replicate in your own kitchen. No. Apparently not.

Rather, the muse has whispered three words, recipes for disaster.

Put two or three seemingly harmless ingredients together and stand back to see what happens.

Rain Dance

Carefully wash one car under a blue sky.

Leave outside for a few hours. Rain will follow shortly.

This one is almost always a guaranteed winner, particularly in a drought situation. Be sure not to let your real intention be to produce rain or the recipe will not work. Your sincere and only aim must be to have a clean and shiny car.


To one blender with a missing lid add one or two hungry and independent children.

Add milk, fruit and ice-cream. 

Not one of my favorites as it involves not just the floor but every surface in the kitchen, horizontal, vertical, curved, moving, alive or stationary. Burns large amounts of time easily. You’re sure to find stickiness for weeks afterwards.


Say goodbye to someone you won’t see for a long time, and within ten minutes of that get really crappy news from someone else. Add in a virus. Throw in the definite possibility that you’ve let a few people down and mix generously with insufficient sleep.

Serve with a generous side of self-pity and a headache. *Does not mix well with alcohol or driving or other human beings.

With recipes like this some serious medical attention may serve as desert.

There you have it. A good cook gone bad.

Maybe next time I’ll post my favorite bread recipe. Not original, but very edible.

Categories: Food, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“There’s Rain in My Head”

It’s another delightfully gray, wet day in the desert. To celebrate I thought I’d share this lovely poem by Shel Silverstein. He’s always been one of my favorite writers for his unmatched, quirky perspective on everyday things.
I also found these unusual photos of rain that seem to match the poem quite nicely. I hope you find joy in unexpected places today!
Rain days

Rain days (Photo credit: @Doug88888)


I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand–
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said–
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.

Shel Silverstein (1930 – 1999)

Rain camera

Rain camera (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Categories: Outdoors, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Unmatchable Pleasure of Puddle Jumping

The rarity of rain in the desert brings out the oddness in some of us dry skinned, somewhat parched critters. Today’s downpour, complete with a bit of surprising lightning, reminds me of some delicious memories.

We don’t live in a rural area, but we have rural patches of neighborhoods in the landscape of our town that haven’t been incorporated into the city. This leaves wonderful one and two acre lots with farm animals, irrigation, bumpy roads without curbs, traditional  on post mailboxes out front of the houses, and best of all, a sense of the history of this former farming community turned big city suburb.

2000 Jeep Cherokee

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I used to drive my youngest daughter to fifth and sixth grade, usually taking a short stretch of county road. On rainy days the water would flow haphazardly on the edges of the road in huge muddy puddles. At the time we were driving a well-loved older model Jeep Cherokee with four-wheel drive.

Did you know if you’re going just the right speed and hit a puddle at a certain spot you’ll get a wide arching wall of water that can shoot out a good twenty feet? My daughter and I discovered that one drizzly morning.

Rainy school mornings took on a whole different feel for us. The anticipation of knowing we’d get to splash and spray our way to the school motivated us so we were usually ready to go earlier than usual. We called these mornings puddle jumping days.

Fortunately no one was ever walking the muddy shoulder of the road on rainy days. Approaching a glistening pool of brown water filled us with excitement. The sensation of tires hitting the edge of the puddle was answered with a marvelous shower and spray of water propelling outward and upward in an artistic chocolate sweep. Sometimes, depending on the depth of the puddle and the angle the tires hit the water, we’d end up covering the jeep in a  deluge of mucky water. Fortunately I usually had the wipers already going due to the rain pouring down.

Child enjoys a puddle in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Does this look fun, or what? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We aimed for puddle after puddle all the way down the road. I’m sure any onlookers thought we were high school troublemakers raising havoc. The goats and sheep looked on in bemused silence. We left behind emptied puddles and chaos.

Ah, we laughed our way to school those days.

I still can’t resist a puddle on the side of the road, whether I’m walking or driving. I want to make a splash, soak everything in sight then look behind me at the mayhem.

Today is gonna be a great one!

Categories: Joy, Memory Lane, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Clearing the Cache in My Brain and Wishing for Rain

I just need to say this…

You know that thing you do when your computer gets sluggish? Turn the whole thing off completely, then turn it back on. I think it’s called a hard reboot or maybe that’s clearing the cache.  Or maybe they’re the same thing or not at all related. I only know that if the computer or my smart phone behave badly, turning it off and then back on will often solve the problem.

I’m sorry If you’re a computer person and you’re cringing right now.

What I’m getting at is that humans need a process like that.

Actually, I think they do. It’s called sleep. Switch off for a few hours, ideally eight, and then restart. The human warms up and begins functioning as it should again.


sleep (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

The amount of sleep seems important, not just the off/on thing.

I’ve let my sleep take a hit the past couple of weeks. A little off the beginning, a little off the end most nights. And instead of eight hours, it’s more like six. Then a few five-hour nights and I get sluggishly slow in response times.

Add in a really short night’s sleep, say two or three hours, and bam. Sentences fall apart. New words get created that are gibberish. Driving isn’t recommended.

Even a nap just seems to aggravate things. I need two or three solid nights of uninterrupted slumber to get my groove back.

And another thing…

Virga, Valley, Mountains

Virga (Photo credit: sea turtle)

All day it’s looked like it wants to rain. That kind of teasing isn’t nice to do to desert dwellers. Give me sunshine, or possibly high, thin clouds, or actual rain splashing down from the sky onto the ground. But don’t do the gray sky, virga, smell of rain on the breeze thing. It raises our hopes.

Just saying.

And all this whininess is because…

Lonely Monkey Ape at Zoo

Lonely Monkey (Photo credit:

My cousin isn’t here anymore. And I miss her. Already. A Bunch.

Yup. It was a short visit. But we packed it full to the brim. Saturday felt like three days in one. Even today had a kind of time warp feel to it. Nice. She lifts my heart and makes life cheery and wonderful.

She’s getting on a plane any second here. So now I am feeling blue. It’s temporary. It’s that blue funk I’ve written about before. I’ll be okay.

I kind of need to wallow in it. Sorry to involve you. I’ll try to find a good joke, or story, or something fun for tomorrow.

To summarize…

  • Wish me happy dreams.
  • Pray for rain.
  • Feeling sorry for myself, but only for a little while.
Another Fun and Safety Guide

Another Fun and Safety Guide (Photo credit: Sam Howzit)

May the force be with you. Keep your hands and legs inside the ride at all times. Drive safely. Just say no to drugs. Call if you’re going to be late. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.  Have a nice day. And turn off the lights when you leave the room.

Categories: Mental Health, Relationships, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Singing and Dancing in the Rain

rainy dayIt’s Raining!  Hooray!  It’s rained so much that the park across the street, which is really a water retention basin in disguise, is filling up and almost ready for a few canoes or inflatable boats. 

Here in the desert, nothing brings out the smiles faster the sound of rain.  There’s no smell here more delicious than rain scented desert air. Nothing brings out the child in people around here faster than the steady drip and splatter of raindrops. It’s a joyful, snow day kind of excitement. We all become puddle jumpers, splashing with abandon, leaving the umbrella’s closed and getting drenched.  

The three girls under umbrellas who let me take their photo fifteen minutes ago, are now at the park running along the edges of the newly minted “pond,” no umbrellas in sight.  

Is there any movie scene more charming than Gene Kelly dancing in the rain?

“I’m singin’ in the rain

“Just singin’ in the rain

What a glorious feelin’

I’m happy again.

I’m laughing at clouds.

So dark up above

The sun’s in my heart

And I’m ready for love.”

Something about cloud cover and water falling from the sky puts sunshine smack dab in the middle of my heart, just like those lyrics say. 

I suppose if it rained often here, it’d be less delightful.

When we lived in the Seattle area the clouds were a constant companion, rain was as common as blackberries growing on the side of the road, and humidity was the norm.  Summertime occasionally let the sun peak through, and it didn’t get much warmer than the 70’s.  80’s was a heatwave there. 

Having spent 15 years in this desert now I’ve learned to cherish the few rainy days we have. We open the windows and doors and let the freshness waft through the house.  Here, rain is like a gem and we cherish the intermittent, the atypical, and the rare.

Let the stromy clouds chase.

Everyone from the place

Come on with the rain

I’ve a smile on my face

I walk down the lane

With a happy refrain

just singin’

singin’ in the rain… dancin’ in the rain…I’m happy again…

I’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain…”

I suppose learning to sing or dance in stormy weather requires that we suspend reality or access the inner child in ourselves. Dancing in the rain means we’ve set aside worries and negativity, at least momentarily, in order to just enjoy that short moment. We’re not concerned about what anyone thinks about us.

It’s not always easy to do that, that’s for sure.  Sometimes the emotional or psychological climate we’re in just sucks the life right out of us. Singing and dancing are the last things we feel like doing.

It’s possible that’s exactly what we need to do.  

Whatever the weather is bringing you today, I hope you can find joy in it, see the beauty in it’s variety, cherish the changeableness in it. Maybe you don’t feel like dancing about it.  I hope you can find that sunshine hiding out in your heart and dance anyway.





Categories: Joy, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Singing in the Rain

Goutte d'eau.

Goutte d’eau. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three days of  rain!  Yes, we’ve had rain in abundance.  Not the quick blast from a passing cloud that pounds the ground with too much water then runs off the desert’s hard surface, but a slow soaking, drizzly mist, with an occasional extra burst of water washing down the sky.

Walking at the Riparian in the rain gives the place an entirely different spin.

I’ve been here literally hundreds of times.  I’ve walked the same paths, sat on the same benches, paused at the same spots, turned left at the same tree.

Today is different.

Today rain has changed everything.

Instead of hearing the crunch of gravel under every footfall, I hear the plash and patter of drops through the leaves, a quiet drumming on the water’s surface.

Today the greens are more alive and vibrant with a sheen of moisture and a kind of renewed energy of life.

Today the flower buds on the bushes glow with a difference in the light.  This isn’t the usual direct sun, but a diaphanous cloud-filtered light that highlights colors more.

There’s a bush that looks as if it’s been hung with pearls.  The raindrops have gathered on the ends of each branch on a small, solid puff-ball, giving the illusion of an ice droplet or a crystallized grain of sand.  Nature’s magic at it’s best.

The ducks wander the paths today, not content to stay in their ponds.  A turtle plods across a grassy patch and pushes its way into the thick, wet undergrowth.

Swallows dip, soar, swoop, circle, and skim the water’s surface, dancing an intricate and ancient rhythm.

The air is humid with the verdant scent of growth and hope.

I feel newly washed after three days of these gifts from the clouds. Almost anything is possible.  Or so it seems.

Categories: Joy, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Different Kind of Air Freshener

The atmosphere is heavy with moisture this morning.  To say it’s humid would probably be stretching things a bit.  There is certainly a difference from the usual overly long lingering summer heat we’ve had until now.  The sky is almost completely overcast, the sun trying to break through the clouds, but not having much success.  It’s glorious!

The bedroom communities of Phoenix are hotbeds of sameness, consistency and boredom.  Every third house in a subdivision matches; every landscape holds the same selection of trees, bushes, and rocks.  There’s some small variety, a few “county islands” where the yards are bigger, the houses unique, the sidewalks missing.

This suburban sameness mirrors the weather here.  Every third day, every second day, heck, every day is identical to the others, sunny, hot, blue skies, sunny, hot, blue skies. Oh sure, we have our monsoon season, of towering dust clouds roiling like something out of a scorpion laced movie, but those are rare and out of the norm.

Any change in weather from the trifecta of sun, heat and blue is a welcome change.  So the clouds moving in are all but getting a party thrown in their favor.  “Welcome Back Rain!” our signs taped to the garage door would say.  “We’ve missed you!!  Heart, heart, heart, heart, heart. “

Washing my car was a kind of rain dance a few years ago.  Spend the time to do a nice thorough water and soap in a bucket hand washing in the driveway, buff out the spots, shine the side view mirrors and sure enough there’d be what we call around here, “spit rain.”  Just enough water would drop out of a nearly cloudless sky, mixing with the dust in the air, to create little muddy spots on the car windshield and mess up that shine.

Clouds battling it out with the sun.

Today, however, looks promising.  There’s a wet smell to the air and the clouds seem to be winning out in the battle over the sky.

So in homage to the tentative onset of autumn in the desert, my doors and windows open wide today, exchanging stale indoor air for fresh, moisture-laden air.  Did I suggest it might be fall like weather today?  Oops!  I didn’t mean to let that slip out.   I’m hesitant to say such things for fear of jinxing it.

Just now, while writing, I heard this weird sound.  A wagon on the sidewalk?  Someone going by with a walker to help them shuffle along? The parakeets tearing up the newspaper in their cage?  A cat clawing at the screen door?  Something seriously wrong with the refrigerator motor? Crackle, crunch, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.  Thought I better investigate.  Lo and behold, it’s raindrops hitting the sidewalk, the patio furniture, the rooftop, the leaves on the trees!  Five minutes of a smattering tease of rain.

I’ll take it.  Any rain, even amounts not measurable in a rain gauge are welcome.  (Insert a sigh saved up since April.) What that infinitesimal bit of moisture in the air adds to my day also can’t be measured.  Wet sidewalk scent should be a choice on the air freshener aisle.  Why isn’t it?

Categories: Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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