I stepped out of the house yesterday evening and saw to the east some nice cumulous clouds, with brilliant white tops lit by the sun shining through low clouds to the west. The lower parts of the clouds were in graduated shades of lovely pearly gray. You know the kind of moment, when the skies get together and say to themselves, “Let’s give ‘em a light show!”
Of course, we humans who need to record this kind of stuff for broadcast to friends need to grab their cameras and capture the moment. In my case I was too late. By the time I had ripped into the camera case, yanked off the lens cap, flipped on the power switch so forcefully I was surprised I hadn’t broken it, and arrived at the scene with the smell of burning rubber from my sandals assaulting my nostrils as I dashed out of the house so fast I could look back and still see my fading streaked image lingering in the air, the sunlit scene got dull and dark. I must move faster!
So instead I took a picture of the clouds to the west.
The latest weather forecast says that by Wednesday we should have RAIN. Not a 30% chance, or even a 70% chance—just RAIN! That’s exciting. While many people consider rain as something either nice to look at or maybe a commuting nuisance, we who are closely connected to the soil and the elements consider this an important moment. We have literally tons of horseflesh on our near-square-mile ranch and early rain means free horse feed. If the horses find green underfoot, we find green in our bank account. People in our neighborhood stocking up on hay are lamenting the high price, almost double what it was a year ago. To hedge our bets, we are filling some of our new barn space with a few tons of grass-alfalfa-mix bales that we found at a decent price locally. If we don’t need them this winter, they have a long shelf life and we will have them for next winter. It’s always a crap shoot. People whose lives closely depend on weather are the real gamblers.