Pregnant Sky and Rainbows : Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rain

This week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt from Frank  is  “Rain“.

I grew up with rains, lots of it, about seventy inches in average a year.  Monsoon, thunder and lightning.  Sound of raindrops drumming on the rooftop.  Hot, humid summers cooled down by a sudden downpour.  Flash floods and muddy roads, swift flowing rivers, overflowing drains.  And the place with most rain, Mawsynram, four hundred seventy inches of it, is about sixty miles away from the city I grew up.

Now I live in place with hardly any rain, just an average of fifteen inches a year and that too in winter.  Last few years we had much less than fifteen inches, with about eight inches in 2015 and about four inches in 2013.  So as you can imagine many a times we play hide and seek with rain clouds and we get deceived. Today is such a day, the sky is gray, the day is cloudy and there is just a nine percent chance of rain.  From experience I know it is not going to rain.  Here is a photo of  grey sky today pregnant with the promise of rain that will turn out to be deceiving.  Couple of months back I had posted a poem, Flirtatious Rain Clouds , on this topic.

bf85894e-9884-43f2-b84d-70333be6ff2b
Sun fighting a losing battle with the clouds but chances of rain is minimal.

But there is always hope and what is hope if not that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And where would be a rainbow without rain.

rainbow

Advertisements

Fifteen Minutes of Fame had No Name

This is my first attempt at writing short story.  Constructive feedback and comments appreciated.

The dream keeps coming back to haunt him.  Digging a hole, he lies down peacefully waiting for death to come.  He is not sure why this dream bothers him anymore. Continue reading “Fifteen Minutes of Fame had No Name”

One Tree Hill

Today’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt by Frank is Hills.  This is a topic near and dear to my heart.

Readers of my blog by now must be familiar with the featured image of my home page. It is a photo of Dana Peak (13000 ft) in the high Sierras taken by me in September of 2014 hiking down Gaylor Peak (11000 ft).  But I am not going to talk about it today.MtDana_1.jpg

My current residence is in a valley (Almaden Valley) inside a valley (Santa Clara Valley / Silicon Valley). As such we are surrounded by hills.  Mount Umunhum (3300 ft) to our west hovers over us and can be viewed from our front and back yard.  But I am not going to talk about it today.MtUm1The white cube seen on top of Mount Umunhum was a radar station in the air force base that was closed nearly forty years ago.  During its heyday it used to keep tab on all flights coming in from the east over the Pacific Ocean. The radar station is still off limits to public due to asbestos hazards, but Mount Um was opened to the public in fall of 2017.  It’s a gorgeous hike up there and on clear days one can see past San Francisco to Mt Tamalpais ( about 75 miles north) to the north and Monterey to the south and whole of Silicon Valley to the east.
MtUm2Mount Umunhum as seen from my back yard.

Now that I have gotten these out of my way, let me come back to the main topic of today.  Near our house is a small hillock (or a knoll ) hardly a couple of hundred feet tall.  The landscape changes with the season.  It is verdant in winter, slowly turning to golden brown with advent of spring.  On top of the hill there are three oak trees.  Looking from the bottom, only one oak tree is seen at a time.  I think that’s where it got its name, One Tree Hill.  Generations of kids have grown up swinging on homemade swings attached to its branches.  Many graduating high school seniors use the plateau on top with the oak tree as a background for their high school graduating yearbook photos. I use the hike up the hill as my excuse for exercise but mainly to let my dog Skooby run around freely on the few soccer field size flat top.  He enjoys the freedom, absolute lack of traffic and gallops, canters or sprints as he feels like.  It’s pure joy to see him enjoying the freedom.
1040533_1.jpg
OakTree1Oak2     Alas, as spring comes the hills will slowly turn golden brown.
This enchanting hill can become dangerous fire hazard if some idiots drop their cigarette butts on those golden brown grass as can be seen from a photo taken couple of years back.
Thank God (and quick responding fire fighters) that no one was harmed and no property was damaged.

Yesterday it rained here, just sparingly.  As the news channels said, it was just teaser rain (Flirtatious Rain Clouds) , harbinger of more rains to come in the next few days.  God knows we need as much rain as we can get.  But there was a forecast of snow at higher elevations.  So come morning, I along with my best friend, Skooby, trudged up One Tree Hill.  It was a gorgeous morning, cool,crisp and clear.  And what a sight it was.  Mount Hamilton (4300 feet) to the east of us was covered with snow.  It was difficult to get a good photograph as the mountain was to my east and the sun shining bright in the morning.

I know I have gone completely overboard with this post.  But as I mentioned at the beginning of my post today, this prompt is very near and dear to my heart. I wish I could have just given you a birds eye view as seen by the falcon flying over my head today.


All photographs by the author.

 

 

 

Spring is in the air II

Spring is in the air

Last week I had share with you some photos from our neighborhood basking in spring. Today I persuaded a few of my friends, who are my weekend hiking buddies, to accompany me for a hike at Uvas Canyon County Park. The park is few miles south of my home. Swanson Creek that runs through the park swells up with winter rain and many small water falls can be seen during the hike.  Best time to visit the park is just after some sustained rain.  The creek nearly runs dry during the summer months. During the summer, morning is the best time to hike but during winter and early spring, from sunrise to sunset, it is a very pleasant hike.  The park is very peaceful, not very crowded and today being Easter Sunday, we had the trails nearly to ourselves. Sharing some photos from the hike today. Flower on the right lower corner is periwinkle that has started blooming. Color is normally blue or purple. My cell phone photo did not do justice to the photo.

UvasCanyonCollage

Orange trees on my backyard has started blooming with the advent of spring. The sweet20160327_130943
smell of orange blossoms is mesmerizing. For the last few years, it has been a spring ritual for us to see our dog, Skooby, being busy hunting bees and bumble bees that are attracted by the blooming flowers.  Not sure how successful he is in hunting but it is a treat to see his focus and concentration trying to catch a bee.  Of course I had to pay dearly to treat him for bee sting couple of times. Nothing in life comes free.


All photographs are taken by author.