Sunday Stills: #Weathering Memories

Strange Cloud

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.

Thunderstorm

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!

my signature w/ hibiscus

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Sunday Stills: December #Chill is in the Air

Frozen Autumn Leaf

Today we welcome the first day of the last month of this decade! Traveling back from our Thanksgiving holiday road trip to Spokane Washington, we certainly got our fill of chilly weather!

road to Spokane
Wintery frost along Hwy 84 in Northern Oregon

Chill December brings the sleet, blazing fire and Christmas treat.

Sara Coleridge
icy twigs

The icy twigs you see in the above image demonstrates the chill of a foggy, icy morning. Frozen fog…”frog”?

I am used to “cold” Northern California weather this time of year with average daytime temperatures holding at 50 degrees. Although it does not snow in Sacramento, the night-time temps easily drop to freezing for most of the month. I know many of you scoff at such warm winter temps, and you should!

Fewer than 90 miles away in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the ski season got off to a slow start. With an unusually warm fall and little rain, the slopes are just now singing their siren song after a winter storm hit the west.

snowy bough
Fresh snow graces this lovely bough

Technically, it is still Autumn until the Winter Solstice on December 21, but this poor leaf experienced the December chill a little early.

Frozen Autumn Leaf

Welcome and please visit five bloggers who were new to Sunday Stills in November. Travel with Tech Blog; The Platinum Line, Sharing Thoughts, The Photography of David and Victoria Slotto, and Sharon McConnel Redux.

Please visit the Sunday Stills page for December’s themes. There will be no challenge on Sunday, December 29.

I am looking forward to your chilly images. If you reside in the warm southern hemisphere, please share one from your archives.

Until next week,

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

One Word Photo Challenge: Drought

Dry-Marigolds

Dry-Marigolds

Yeah, I know, another post about the California drought, yada yada. But, appropriately, drought is the subject of this week’s One Word Photo Challenge hosted by the talented Jennifer Nichole Wells.

My poor marigolds didn’t quite make it. I even replanted their seeds, but no. Too hot, too dry.

Here is our official watering schedule.

Watering-Schedule

I can water my lawn two days a week for 15 minutes. Yippee! I am still using the water saving tips I posted in June.

There are weather predictions about a winter El Nino weather system that promises record-breaking rainfall. The key to the winter storms, though, is a large snowpack in the California mountains. A deep snowpack is key to full reservoirs and the survival of the California economy and agriculture.

I am looking forward to unpacking my wellies and raincoat. Keeping my fingers crossed.