This week’s Sunday Stills theme is all about weather, which can be quite unpredictable during the spring in the Northern Hemisphere as well as the fall in the Southern Hemisphere.

This week, our weather warmed up to 80 degrees on Thursday then it rained overnight! Strange even for the Pacific North West. After a cool, windy day on Friday, we woke up Saturday to frosty conditions. Four distinct weather conditions in two days!

Lets take a look at the the kinds of weather we can expect in May. First up is the creepiest cloud formation I have ever seen. Hubby and I sat in our backyard enjoying the evening and these clouds started developing into…a face? A skull? Egads! It looks creepier in black and white!

Remembering other days of turbulent weather, out of a clear blue sky, spring thunderclouds appear and chase our cars or block our views of Yosemite’s Half Dome!

I’m more used to the beautiful spring storms we would see in the Sacramento Delta.


Those same delta spring storms are a mere preview to a windsurfer’s dream day in high winds!

Windsurfer getting some air
Windsurfer getting some air

Unexpected snow falls in desert places (Sedona on the left) or makes a late spring hike in the mountains slightly unmanageable.

On the flip side, too much sun over a long period of time can create devastating drought conditions, like what we experienced in Sacramento 6 years ago.

Dry Park during droubt

Even the Birds are Confused

Speaking of weather, these sunny days warm the land around our property and create thermals that attract the nearby nesting Violet-Green Swallows. They dart and fly at breakneck speeds feasting on insects. For Lisa’s bird weekly, I’m sharing this perky swallow with attitude perched on top of my husband’s truck.

The other day, we found a swallow trapped in our wood stove, having flown into the tiny space of the rooftop smokestack. Luckily my dog’s frantic barking alerted us to the dilemma. Of course I rescued it and took a photo op! She flew away quite vigorously and seemed no worse for the wear. Yesterday, as we continued to watch their flitting antics, my dog kept barking at the BBQ grill. Yep, I opened the cover and out flew another swallow!

Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays

Have you heard of Marsha’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays feature? This week is our choice, so I thought I would hop in with a quote about weather from one of my favorite writers, John Muir.

“What a psalm the storm was singing, and how fresh the smell of the washed earth and leaves, and how sweet the still small voices of the storm!”

John Muir, Stickeen

Behind the Artwork Details, Part 2

Last week, to celebrate the theme of water, I shared some information about the Thomas Mangelsen Snake River print hanging in my dining room.

The other two pieces are framed prints purchased in Placerville, California, near my former home in Sacramento. Placerville is home to a popular, long-standing Thomas Kinkade art gallery, a beloved local Christian artist and painter, who passed away in 2012. He was best known as the “Painter of Light,” depicting whimsical cottages, magical streetscapes, mountain churches and idyllic landscapes. He also painted scenes from around Northern California, instantly recognizable by locals.

Memories My Mom Made

Since Mother’s Day is celebrated in the US today, I wanted to share more about how I came by these prints.

Dining room

Back when my mom could travel, she visited me in the early-2000s and we took a drive to walk the quaint streets of Placerville. We stopped in at the Kinkade gallery and gawked at the lovely prints and originals. Of course, most originals and many framed prints were out of my price range, but we saw a two-piece framed set that included the two smaller prints you see. One is of the pink cherry blossoms, a fantasy-scape for which Kinkade is so well known. The smallest print is a snow scene of the American River that runs along Highway 50 that leads from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe.

Kinkade American River
Snow Along the American River, Thomas Kinkade

Believe me when I tell you, I have driven by this scene countless times over the last 40 years during every season. As I oohed and ahhed, my sweet mom, lover of art, bought the set for me. She had some money saved and said it was a gift to me. One that I will forever cherish especially now that she is gone. This is my second Mother’s Day without Mom and my first without my Mother-in-law who passed in February.

Nature’s Garden

With capricious weather conditions here in Eastern Washington, wildflowers can be found everywhere, including our bare backyard. We have lived in our new home for almost two months. As we await the pole barn/shop to be built soon, landscaping our property is a distant project.

I really miss my sunflower, hydrangea and plumeria plants, which were grown and nurtured from seeds. The plumeria and hydrangeas were rehomed where they will thrive. For now I can enjoy what nature provides in the way of wildflowers on our property. Surprisingly, for a half-acre of nothing but sandy dirt, these wildflowers manage to pop up everywhere.

You have seen the Arrowleaf Balsamroot before (aka sunflowers), but just this week, the gorgeous Silky Lupine (a similar species grew in Yosemite) and Carpet Flox are popping up and adding purple and white spots of color to the forest floor and to my dirt yard!

Sharing my wild, Alpine garden this week for Amy’s Lens-Artist Challenge: Gardens. And for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Each week I will share the links from the previous post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…we had 26 link-ups this week and two new bloggers to Sunday Stills. I enjoy reading each and every post!

Cascade of Blogger Links for Water

What kind of weather are you expecting and what is your favorite? Some of us are getting it all this month! I look forward to seeing the weather in your neck of the woods. Have a great week!

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112 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: #Weathering Memories

  1. We’ve had it all in the past three weeks. Snow-covered to sun-drenched, in the 20s to near 80ºF. While I enjoy variety in theory, this weathering through the weather has been a bit tiring for me. Love the photo of the wild sunflower. Made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Weather photos is some of my favorite kind of photography. Forming clouds to suit our imagination is one of the great pnemoneon of Mother Nature. Speaking of Mothers, I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. To have something so special from your mom put a smile on my face. I’m a Thomas Kinkade fan and was heartbroken when he died. He has a gallery down in St. Augustine. Now about the birds. What a cute little baby swallow. The swallow that you caught looks like a Northern Rough-winged Swallow. The photos above it are fantastic!!!! Those are Violet-green Swallows, not Barn Swallows. I’ve never gotten a decent photo of one. The Violet-green Swallows are only on the west coast. We got them as a life bird at the Desert National Wildlife Refuge outside of Las Vegas.

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  3. Happy to see spring is in the air over there, Terry! Those patches of color in the yard mist brighten your day. I love it how your art pieces each have a poignant story. Thanks for sharing them. I hope to – one day – have my own home as well and be able to decorate it with collected souvenirs with their own stories. Alas, this is not in our near future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spring has sprung, Liesbet, and lots going on. Thank you for those kind words, my mom was such a lover of art and so was my grandmother. I’m grateful it wore off on me! Hopefully that day will come for you sooner than expected!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s the Pacific Northwest for you… hail in the morning, rain at midday, and tee-shirt weather in the afternoon! Those are definitely creepy clouds, Terri. And the black and white brings them out perfectly! Wow. What a great picture. Enjoy your week, my friend.

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  5. I love talking about the weather, Terri. It’s claimed that British people like talking about the weather more than anything else.

    As I mentioned in my comment on last week’s post, the UK has just had its coldest April in history. Not only that, but it was also one of the dryest Aprils on record. Temperatures are still cool, but mother nature is making up for the lack of water we had in April.

    How cool that your mother gifted you those pictures. What a lovely memory to share with us. I like your ‘cloud’ photos, too, especially that first one with the creepy looking clouds. On a windy, sunny day, I love to lay on our lawn and watch the clouds travelling across the sky.

    Here’s one of my favourite weather photos for this week’s challenge.

    We had some snow last month. Not a lot, but snow in April is scarce.

    Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that is a lot of snow for April, Hugh! I think we all love to talk about the weather. Funny, sometimes someone will ask how I am and I’ll comment about the weather, “I’m fine, it’s nice and sunny out today.” LOL! You are so right about this. Since I’ve retired for real, I’ve found myself extra chatty in my blog posts these days. I hope that is not a put off! Thank you for your kind comment about the clouds, they are quite fascinating!

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      1. A put off? No, not at all, Terri. It’s one of the key elements that make a blog a friendly and inviting place to come.
        I’ve always been chatty on my blog posts. Most people (I think) like it, especially during the pandemic. Keep on chatting.

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  6. Hi Terri, what a great topic. You are getting a total change in weather where you are, so you have past weather and current weather to draw from. As usually our lives mirror each other as we run from place to place chasing the best weather. Thanks so much for linking to Wednesday Quotes! I loved that tiny little swallow. How cute and amazing that he/she would let you hold it until you let it fly off. I wonder if it will come back. Here’s my hot off the presses post. I hope my late night writing is somewhat understandable and correct. 🙂 I’ll miss you this week, but should be back on track next week. – Pickle ball lessons start next Monday at 7:30 am for three days. Cool weather will be a blessing then. 🙂


  7. I loved your cloud photos, Terri. I hope you’ll have lots of opportunities to photograph them from your new house. I believe the bird that was in your chimney was a Vaux’s swift. They like to nest inside chimneys. We had them in our chimney where I used to live in Washington state. In some locations, like Monroe, they congregate in large numbers to roost and nest in chimneys. They are cool birds!

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    1. Definitely a lot of interesting clouds in the afternoons, Siobhan. The cool breezes are so refreshing compared to California’s central valley when afternoon temps traditionally soar. I’ll have to check out the Vaux swift. Locals tell me these are Barn Swallows who are also pretty swift, lol! In any case, we bought some mesh for the top of the stove. They still want to get into the grill though, silly things! Thanks so much and hope you are doing well!

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  8. Terri,
    Great pictures as usual. Love the Barn Swallow–I have never been close enough to know that they’re green! Boykin Spaniels are common in Eastern Tennessee with our duck hunters. Great dogs. My contribution for the week is a picture of a storm moving over the range in Ennis, Montana. I love weather pics! Have an awesome week! Joe

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    1. All kinds of weather in this spectacular image you shared, Joe! Yes, those Boykins are incredible retrievers, their sense of smell is a mile long! The swallow show goes on daily here, they still want to nest in the grill, though.

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  9. That first cloud photo is very dramatic, but I love the shot of Half Dome even more 🙂 It was interesting to read the back-story behind your art – what a wonderful gift from your mother! The lupines stood out for me too, with memories of our Washington State road trip 😀

    We’re having a strange mix of weather here this spring – April the driest on record (but cold), now May is proving very rainy 😦 But I’ve chosen to focus on some challenging weather conditions for photography on the Olympic Peninsula, during that same trip:

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  10. Hi, Terri – I’m not sure why, but I did not get an email notificaiton about this post. I hope that I have not been kicked off your list :). I’ve been good – honest!
    What a great theme – and wonderful photos to go with it.
    You are right about May being a wonky-weather month! Our weather in early April was much warmer and sunnier than it has been in late April and the first part of May. Our weather forecast for the next 14-days doesn’t look much better.
    I hope that your unpacking/settling in has been going very well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, I’m glad you checked in, Donna. So many tech issues going on with WP these days! Thank you for your kind comments! Yes, spring in the north seems to be crazy but I love this! Spokane could use more rain, hope we didn’t bring the California drought with us! We’ve been in the house two months now, still lots to do but I can’t complain! Have a great week!


  11. Clouds and their formations are so different every single day but there are some that are warnings of what might be coming. I learned about low lie shelf clouds along the sky at the ocean are often the harbingers of change. We have moved from a relatively inland area of Sydney to an almost coastal area of our state and the weather has some similar and different patterns. You sure are finding out about that in your new state and home.

    I chose variable for my title because weather never stays the same for too long.Yes, we are sure in Autumn here but still not much cold weather happening (yet).

    Great to read your post! Thanks Terri.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I find weather to be a fascinating subject and honestly I don’t how meteorologists throw their hands in the air in frustration while predicting the forecasts, Denyse! If we were still in Sacramento California, there wouldn’t be much excitement about the weather, LOL! Happy Monday and have a great week!

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  12. Quite the broad collection of topics and images. Love the opening cloud image. A pretzel was my first impression, then came the face …. well, a hockey mask. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bird with that color green. Birds are will be having a feast soon as the 17-year cicadas will be emerging soon. Birds will then head to Weight Watchers for Aviaries.

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  13. Cute swallow, Terri 🙂 🙂 Wasn’t weather designed to give us something to moan about? Like Tina I’m happy with what we have right now, on the verge of getting too hot. Wishing you a lovely week!

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  14. Wow Terri, you covered a lot of ground this week! Happy to hear your wildflowers are welcoming you to the neighborhood. I’m sure you’ll have many more in days to come. As for the clouds – yikes on your first image! Our threatening clouds here usually mean real business as storms almost always follow them. They’re (thankfully) few and far between though. Our weather as we speak is glorious. The short period between cooler winter days and beastly hot summers, our spring, which is usually fairly short, has been longer and more beautiful than I can remember. Enjoying it while we can!

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    1. Yep, a little chattier than usual, I guess, Tina 😆! That cloud combo was wild but certainly interesting. I’m glad you’re enjoying a longer spring! I’m sure you are taking advantage of it!


  15. Hi Teri the sun is shining this morning and it is cool out. Tye winds have been very strong and frost warnings. I hope the cherry crop is not damaged. I am surprised that there is still the ‘wild phlox, There are many species of lupine around. I think I might have a picture of the same lupine taken in California. Penstemon should be blooming about now. Arrowleaf takes 5 years from seed to bloom. Take care of that plant. The fires have hurt the many wildflowers in their native habitat. I miss seeing the desert coming alive in the spring. The hummingbirds are in the area and you should be seeing them. Put out a feeder and they should come. I am surprised that there is still the ‘wild phlox.
    I am thinking about doing the weather over the years.

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    1. That would be a lovely post, BL! Those arrowroots are everywhere! We have a hummer feeder but no hummers yet. The wildflowers on the undeveloped property right next to us is blooming well with lots of plants. I couldn’t believe I saw the phlox. So delicate but plentiful.

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  16. Wow. That is a crazy cloud formation for sure. But don’t you just love them. The PNW weather is so weird. I love those photos and the story behind them. Makes them all the more special. I also like the quote you shared. I’ve been joining in on the writers’ quote wednesday as well. It’s been so fun. Happy Mother’s Day and big hugs to you missing your mama and MIL. My mom has been gone 17 years, and we lost her mom last March. I miss them both so much.

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    1. I love weird clouds, Kirstin! Glad you can support WQW too! Hard to think our moms are gone but they definitely instilled the zest for life in their daughters. It shows in your life very much, my friend!


  17. Your dog seems pretty good at bird watching Terri. Does this make him/her a Bird Dog?
    That was very sweet of your mother to get you those paintings! You can always revisit her just by looking at them!
    Happy Mothers Day!

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    1. Brodie is definitely a bird dog (Boykin Spaniel) bred for duck hunting in the waters of the Carolinas. We don’t hunt but we wanted a dog that loves water, and that he does, Wayne! And thank you for the well wishes. Have a wonderful day 😊

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