Silver Rain

April 25, 2016

Rain through living room window

Rain through living room window

In Time of Silver Rain
by Langston Hughes

In time of silver rain
The earth
Puts forth new life again,
Green grasses grow
And flowers lift their heads,
And over all the plain
The wonder spreads
Of life,
Of life,
Of life!

In time of silver rain
The butterflies
Lift silken wings
To catch a rainbow cry,
And trees put forth
New leaves to sing
In joy beneath the sky
As down the roadway
Passing boys and girls
Go singing, too,
In time of silver rain
When spring
And life
Are new.

Raindrops on window panes

Raindrops on window panes

Fallen peony flower with raindrops

Fallen peony flower with raindrops

 

“Every week, some unannounced low pressure front trundles in from the Pacific.  They come like a parade of newly widowed aunts.  All of them have weepy tales to tell.  They stay too long and are soon indistinguishable from one another.”
— Bill Richardson, Bachelor Brothers Bed & Breakfast

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Cherry trees in the rain, U of W campus

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This is Spring in Seattle!

 

Crocuses with raindrops

Crocuses with raindrops

Rain
by Raymond Carver

Woke up this morning with
a terrific urge to lie in bed all day
and read.  Fought against it for a minute.

Then looked out the window at the rain.
And gave over.  Put myself entirely
in the keep of this rainy morning.

Would I live my life over again?
Make the same unforgiveable mistakes?
Yes, given half a chance.  Yes.

I can see myself in this poem.  I can easily give myself over to books.  I can’t keep up with all the tantalizing titles that pass through my hands at work.  A couple of days ago, I shelved a book called The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley.  By the time I got home and went online to place the book on hold, I couldn’t remember the exact title.  So I searched the library’s online catalogue for “signs of the seasons.”  I did find the book I was looking for, but some other intriguing titles, too — Pilgrimage to Vallombrosa: from Vermont to Italy in the Footsteps of George Perkins Marsh; Iambics of Newfoundland; The Road is How: A Prairie Pilgrimage through Nature, Desire, and Soul; and Nature-Speak.  So I added those titles to my request list as well. Is it no wonder I can’t stay ahead of my reading?

 

 

Still Pouring, Only Worse

January 21, 2016

“Still pouring, only worse.  Poor world, she looks so desolate and depressed, as if she did not know what to do with all the wet.  The earth won’t hold anymore.  The sea is full and the low clouds are too heavy to hold up.  The sky leaks, earth oozes, so the wetness sits in the air between and grumbles into your breath and bones . . . ”
— Emily Carr, from Hundreds and Thousands: The Journals of an Artist

“Everything broods today, the sky low and heavy.  Was there ever a sun?”
— Emily Carr, from Hundreds and Thousands: The Journals of an Artist

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Winter wetness

Puddles at Green Lake

Puddles at Green Lake

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Rain-soaked path

November in My Soul

November 8, 2014

“It is a damp, drizzly November in my soul.”
— Ishmael at the beginning of Moby Dick by Herman Melville

 

Wet pavement, between showers

Wet pavement, between showers

November on Greenwood Ave N

November on Greenwood Ave N

Soggy leaves

Soggy leaves

Between showers

Between showers

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Winter’s Gems

December 31, 2013

“We are rained and snowed on with gems.”
— Henry David Thoreau, from Winter:  The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 8, January 6, 1858

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The Last Day of Winter

March 19, 2013

“There’s no question winter here can take a chunk out of you.  Not like the extreme cold of the upper Midwest or the round-the-clock darkness of Alaska might, but rather the opposite.  Here, it’s a general lack of severity — monotonous flat gray skies and the constant drip-drip of misty rain — that erodes the spirit.”
— Dylan Tomine, Closer to the Ground:  An Outdoor Family’s Year on the Water, in the Woodland and at the Table

Moss-covered tractor, Whidbey Island

Moss-covered tractor, Whidbey Island

Lest you think I moan too much about the winter rain and gray skies, I am submitting today’s photo as proof that reality matches my glum outlook.  I saw this moss-covered tractor in a field on Whidbey Island.  This is what happens if you remain immobilized for too long during winter in the Pacific Northwest!  The moss takes over!

So it is with great anticipation that we greet the vernal equinox in Seattle.  It arrives in Seattle tomorrow, March 20th, at 4:02 a.m.  Welcome Spring!

Of course, Spring here is not without its April showers — and March, May and June showers, too.  But the longer days make a huge difference.  Still, as Emily Dickinson knew, Spring is an “Experiment of Green.”  The tractor might just be destined to stay a “green machine.”

Rain
by Frances May

Rain
on my window
Rain
on the ground
Rain
in the sky
Rain
all around

 

Winter Rain and Potatoes

December 10, 2012

“Let the skies rain potatoes.”
— William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor

Winter rain

Winter rain

Winter in Seattle most often means rain, not snow.  The chilly, dark, dampness heightens the pleasures of comfort food.  Today’s recipe for Crispy Smashed Potatoes certainly meets the definition of comfort food.  Last week my friend Bonnie sent me a link to this blog where she found the recipe, and I’ve already made it twice!

Small red potatoes

Small red potatoes

I used some red potatoes that I had on hand — about two- or three-inches in diameter.  First you cover them with salted water, bring to a boil, and cook on the stove top until just done.  Drain.

Preparing the potatoes for the oven

Preparing the potatoes for the oven

Then pre-heat your oven to 425-degrees F.  On a flat baking sheet with sides, pour a small puddle of olive oil for each potato.  Place a potato in each puddle, then smash slightly with a potato masher.  Now drizzle, each potato with some more olive oil and then season to taste.  I used sea salt, freshly ground pepper, fresh rosemary bits, and a clove of cooked garlic.  Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy on the outside.

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

These are yummy!

“. . . there is a deluge.  I’ve never seen such rain.  It is a revolt in the heavens, a mortal convulsion of the earth.  The world is sobbing in desperation, sobbing to death, knowing that it cannot die and that there will always be more tears to shed.”
— Simone de Beauvoir, writing about New Orleans in America Day by Day

Raindrops and new leaves

When will it stop raining?

When the forecast is for 100% chance of rain on your day off work, you sometimes just have to make the most of it and get outside with the camera anyway.  Here are a few shots from today’s walk in the rain.

Blossoms dripping with rain

Rain dotted foliage, diamonds on green

Raindrops on bleeding heart

“Some of my pleasantest hours were during the long rainstorms in the spring or fall, which confined me to the house for the afternoon as well as the forenoon, soothed by their ceaseless roar and pelting; when an early twilight ushered in a long evening in which many thoughts had time to take root and unfold themselves.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Raindrops on spider web

Necklace of raindrops in the rosemary bush

Thoreau would have been home in the rains of the Pacific Northwest.  He would have had plenty of opportunities to shelter in his house and succumb to revery while listening to the rain dripping down trees and gutters.

Artists need dormant times like these rainy days, as the following quote from Dale Chihuly, glass artist, proclaims:

“One of the great attractions of being in the Northwest is rain.  I find the rain very creative. . . . If I don’t feel good or I don’t feel creative, if I can get near the water something will start to happen.”
— Dale Chihuly, from an exhibit sign at “Dale Chihuly’s Northwest,” Tacoma Art Museum

Rainy days can be down times, like the unexpected snow days of winter.  “It is a fine thing to have a full day of nothing stretched before you.”  — Ken McAlpine, Islands Apart:  A Year on the Edge of Civilization