Stormlight


Seattle does this wonderful thing with light, sometimes. Part of the sky will be dark and stormy, exceedingly grim, threatening a downpour. Another part has the white fluffy clouds and patches of blue sky that let the sun through. The effect is extraordinary. And it’s generally dry enough to enjoy it. Temporarily.

Stormlight I

Stormlight I

When the sun popped out briefly, so did I. Over the drumlin, along the transmission lines, which were made beautiful by the stormlight.

Stormlight II

Stormlight II

Thing about winter is, the leaves are off, and that reveals things unseen in summer. I got to see some interesting drainage, which I’ll hopefully puzzle a post out of someday, and then crossed the road through a screen of small trees that would have been impassible in a different season. Beyond them, there’s a stand of very tall trees in a very swampy area, where one has to tread carefully but can see spectacular views. Especially looking straight up.

Stormlight III

Stormlight III

Amazing, aren’t they? Tall, stark, look like they’re holding up the sky. Note the fluffy white clouds and patches of blue sky. Turn round, and you’d see the heavy blue-black clouds that promise winter ain’t half over yet. But it’s on its way out, according to the budding trees, and the sprouting grass. We should have lots of flowers soon, perhaps earlier than normal.

But not yet. Now, we have a beautiful broken light, lowering clouds, and our old erratic friend.

Stormlight IV

Stormlight IV

And the skeletons of trees loom over the road, gleaming against the storm-dark skies.

Stormlight V

Stormlight V

Turn round, and the skies are benign. Well, Seattle-benign.

Stormlight VI

Stormlight VI

So there it was, just over an hour of ethereal light. But when there are dark clouds in the west, you know what’s going to happen next. And I lingered far too long in that slightly swampy grove, for reasons I will explain later (but have to do with some delightfully abundant wood mushrooms and a wee metallic green beetle). By the time I’d begun wandering through the park on the way home, the clouds led off with some hail, then a bit of rain. A few minutes after I arrived home, drizzle turned to downpour, and the meterologists earned their plaudits. Yup. Back to the Gray. But I appreciate it, because the rarity of those sun-broken hours makes them all the more precious.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin to introduce you to more of the delights along the way. Put on your detective hats and get out your guides, because we have mysteries in abundance to solve. Serious work can wait just a bit. Sometimes, it’s necessary to pause and revel in the beauties abounding around us before we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and tackle the other stuff.

Comments

  1. azportsider says

    The last time we flew out of SeaTac it was sunset with heavy, but low-altitude, cloud cover, and when the plane broke out of the clouds we could see Mt Rainier, apparently floating on the clouds, and on fire with the pink/orange alpenglow. Most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen…

  2. rq says

    Hooray for sunshine. Spring was on its way in, but as of today, Winter has stuck another boot in the exit door. I’m hoping the constant snowfall will encourage Cat to return home, seeing as he’s been a pampered indoor cat his whole life, and slipping off the second-floor balcony-terrace is not the way to be introduced to the Great Outdoors. That’s one freaked out kitty out there right now (at least he’s hanging about an not trying the whole Homeward Bound thing to the old apartment…).

  3. says

    I really love that pre-storm sort of cloud cover. “Stormlight II” is definitely the most, and perhaps the only, beautiful depiction of power lines I’ve ever seen.

  4. Trebuchet says

    May I start the mystery-solving a tad early? The trees, based strictly on what’s abundant in the area, are most likely red alder. It grows like a weed and is not good for much, although one of my former employers had a small sawmill for processing it and was trying to sell it in Europe as a hardwood.

  5. Trebuchet says

    Oops! I said alder isn’t good for much. I forgot alder planked salmon! That alone justifies its existence.