Tag Archives: rain

RainFalls


I woke up this morning with a thunder clap.   In this summer of drought in the MidWest, the rain was both welcomed and a bit of a novelty;  the sound of drops on the roof, water rushing through the gutters, the lightning strobes in the sky, the cool air and the smell of fresh rain:  all like familiar friends not seen for months.

It rained most of the morning, and then settled into a typical August Indiana day — hot and humid.  The concept of “dry” heat is not well understood in this part of the country.  Another front came through around 9pm this evening and soon a constant, soaking rain began.   Around 10, though, the pace quickened and suddenly giant buckets were being emptied.   When it didn’t subside after a few minutes, I did a tour of the lower level of the house to see if we had any belongings floating.  Although not a problem in our house, the local news shows have been warning that the ground is so dry, flooding is a possibility.  I was thankful that all was dry.

As I returned upstairs I noticed the sheets of water falling over the sides of the gutters.   Grateful that I didn’t need to spend any time mopping up floors and moving items above a tide line, I realized that I had a photo opportunity awaiting me just on the other side of my dining room window.

I had expected to get a shot like this:  water cascading over the sides of the gutter, flowing in front of the outside lights.  A few trees are barely visible in the background.

I expected a few not to turn out well.  I laughed at this mistake.   The window looks like it has been slimed!  Do poltergeists travel on rain clouds?

I also expected a few like this one, a bit of an abstract that potentially could be changed in post-processing, an image that I could have fun playing with.  I’d likely crop that annoying flash reflection in the lower right corner.

But what surprised me were the following shots. Like looking at clouds, you could dream up all sorts of shapes in these images.

Is this a disembodied hand creepily reaching out through the dark night?

Is this Venus de Milo dancing?

Is a spider’s web holding up through the storm, funneling the water like rocks at the top of a river’s fall?

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Looking up — or is that down?


A cluster of tulip tree leaves, brought down by the storm

I spent over three hours today doing yard work, work I had put off for far too long.   With the drought, there hasn’t been much grass for anyone to cut, but we live on a wooded lot, so there isn’t ever much.  We do have a small creek — a drainage ditch, really — that runs along our property near the street before going under ground.  Since there hasn’t been any significant rain for nearly two months, the creek bed is dry. It’s the only time in 12 years that I can remember that the ditch has been dry.

But that doesn’t mean that things won’t grow: there are plenty of tall, ugly weeds.  I finally took a weedwhacker to them today and got the few surviving blades of grass and the weeds cut down to a reasonable height.  As I was finishing up, there was a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning.   I went inside thinking that at last we were going to have some precipitation. But, the rain is a big tease.

Since the rain went elsewhere, and I was on a roll with the yard work, I attacked the leaves on the driveway with the leaf blower.  So many trees have gone into survival mood and many are dropping leaves in addition to the nuts and seeds that we usually find mid-summer.  It took me a few hours to complete clearing the tree debris.

I was feeling like I had accomplished a lot in the yard today — and I had some slightly achy muscle to prove it.   I had gone out for the evening, and upon returning, as my sister approached my neighborhood, I noticed that there were leaves and branches strewn across the road.  Oh no! I thought.  All my hard work and it won’t even look like I did anything!   But at least we got rain!  I sighed.   As we crossed the last intersection, the debris disappeared.  The base of my drive didn’t look wet.  But, as we headed up the driveway, we could see puddles and a few downed twigs and branches. Of course, I had to grab my camera.

It was after 9pm and the light was fading quickly.   Most of the shots were okay, but nothing was spectacular.  Had I more light and more time, I would have used my macro lens and worked for an image of raindrops on the leaves.   The photo above is okay and has some interesting textures but I’d have to spend a lot of time working magic to turn it into something that isn’t the standard raindrop on leaf photo.

As I was walking into the house, I noticed that there were nice reflections in the rain puddles.    How could I resist those?   The light wasn’t right, but this has given me some ideas for how I might shoot something like this in the future.  I like how the asphalt surrounding the puddle created a vignette effect.  I like how it looks like you are looking up from a pit into the sky.   I only had one or two minutes of day light left.  If only I had time to get a tripod set up, I might have created an entirely different photo.

Shadowy trees in the rain puddle

A Little Rain Must Fall


This week’s Photo Friday challenge is “RAIN”. “How appropriate!” I thought as I read the prompt yesterday morning during a torrential downpour. But, rain is not that easy to capture. Most of the shots that I took throughout the day were rather bland. Many didn’t even look like rain. When the rain stopped, I went outside with my camera to capture the aftereffects. Those shots, too, while perhaps a bit better in terms of exposure, didn’t seem to capture much. Many, while nice looking shots, seemed rather cliché. And, that, was the lesson of the day: sometimes the best photograph is one that suggests something, that portrays a subject or theme in a different light. When trying to document the immediate thing, the photographer ends up with the expected, capturing only that which is neither creative nor enticing to the viewer.

I thought about how the rain makes me feel. When I was a child, I loved to look out the window during downpours to observe the raindrops dancing on the street. If there was a slight wind, the drops would appear to skate along the asphalt, looking like jacks spinning around. Or, they looked like ballerinas, the sprays of water as they hit the ground their tutus fluttering during a pirouette.

A conversation overheard years ago, one adult to another: You mean you think the rain has a smell too? Rain on the grass; rain on window screens; rain on dirt; rain on the highway: it isn’t just one smell. The smell just before the rain begins, when the birds start chirping a different, more frantic song. The rain afterwards when the birds return and the flowers shake off the droplets.

During this early Spring, the rain brings a color too. The cloudy gray skies can’t mask the green of the rapidly unfurling leaves springing forth from the early buds. My immediate world seemed far more green and growing after the rains yesterday, even though it washed many petals off of the trees.

Here are some of my shots from yesterday, none of which I consider evocative; just merely adequate for expressing “Rain”.

During the rain:

Battered plants: yesterday eager to be outdoors, later wishing to be sheltered.

Viburnum bud on patio

Petals on a wet black bough

Rain drops slowly off tree trunk out my window

Rain dance on driveway

Weathering the storm

And after the rain:

Rain drops slowly from the leaves

Hellebore

Bedraggled daffodils

Narcissus bowing his head, but no reflection

Weighed down by water

Photo Friday Challenge: Slick


Splat!

My entry in this week’s Photo Friday Challenge. The challenge was “slick”. Rain can be. The challenge, however, makes me think about the icy weather that is to come in a few short months.

September Rain


I.
Coyote in the rain
Hunched low, drops rolling off back
Trying not to shiver

Wondering how tasty the little pooch would be
If the fence weren’t so tall,
Or the gate left open.

If he weren’t out of the rain,
pampered, yelping thing
Too easy for prey on clear nights.

II.
Human stands at the door
Smelling rain against the screen,
Watching reflections on the drive and beyond in the trees.

Do foxes really gather in circles?
Has the hummingbird left for the Gulf?
How many leaves will need raking tomorrow?

III.
Clouds gather.
Cold night darkens.
Rain falls.

The cycle continues:
The dry earth turns to mud,
too late for the tomatoes.