A reminder to slow down

Cranberries in the rain_Staats-11922Like many people I’ve been caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  So many things to squeeze into the next couple of weeks; we dash from one place to the next, eager to check off all those items that make up our long list.  I headed out the door this morning on one of those errands.  I did notice that the temperature was in the upper 30’s and it had been raining off and on –  roads were wet, no worry of snow or ice.  I mentally checked off all the tasks for the morning, and headed down the alley.  But something caught my eye and interrupted my trip.  A cranberry tree was dripping with the rain.  Drops were suspended from the berries, each catching the gray light of the clouds around.  There wasn’t any wind to speak of, so the droplets seemed intent to stay in their suspended state.  I marveled at the beauty and reminded myself to be more focused on the world around me and be more intentional in appreciating the beauty that surrounds us all, no matter the time of year.

Roses through the rain

Roses through the rain_StaatsThe rains have continued this past week.  Unlike most years, everything remains green and lush.  We haven’t had the excessive heat of a typical summer, and the rainfall has been more than adequate to keep things watered.  As the rain pelted the window yesterday afternoon, it created a wonderful effect with the roses in the background.  Each droplet reflected the roses – the bright colors and shapes seemed to dance in the water.  How wondrous and mesmerizing to see the many “small roses” that decorated the window pane in those droplets.

Rain on the tulip window

The day started gray and blustery.  The promise of a blue-sky spring day was not going to be a reality on this morning.  After a few hours the wind picked up, the sky darkened, and the rain began making its own music as it hit the window panes.  And it left its distinctive spring smell hanging in the air outside.  As I walked into the room I saw the two tulips framed in the window.  They are both past their prime, one more so than the other, and yet their curves and shapes were so nicely set off by the straight lines of the window.  Their beauty was so very evident in all their simplicity.

Raindrop ripples

Whenever I’m out on a lake I’m always looking around at the sky, the clouds, the shoreline and the reflections — anything for a delightful image and photograph.  Last week I wrote about musical patterns that I saw in the surface of a lake with the reflection of cattails and lily pads.  This week I found raindrops dancing on a lake surface.  It was early evening when we put our canoe into the water, with a sun sinking into the west and a bank of clouds passing by.  The sun was still out and when I looked around I could see small circles on the surface of the lake, and not of the fish-kind.  Although we couldn’t feel it ourselves it was starting to rain.  The single drops spaced themselves on the surface of lake, making beautifully concentric circles and ripples spreading outward.  With the sunlight and the blue sky reflected in the surface, I was presented with a wonderful photographic opportunity.  As quickly as the rain had started, it then stopped.  After awhile the sun slid below the horizon, painting the sky a shade of pink and orange; the full moon rose over the trees, the stars filled the sky above, and we were treated to another beautiful summer’s evening on a Minnesota lake.

Racing with the rain

Now that my wrist has healed I’m enjoying getting back on my bicycle.  And with great summer riding weather I’m slowing working to build up my mileage.  Yesterday dawned gray and cloudy with the promise of sunshine by late morning.  A quick check of the doppler radar showed rain to the north, but not a problem.  Off we headed, cycling on a route we’ve ridden many times before.  As we neared our turn-around point we were confronted with ominous black clouds.  We conferred and decided it best to turn around and head back….as quickly as possible.  As luck would have it, the dark clouds were soon enveloping us, the wind was gusting from the right, and then from the left, and the rain was starting to come down.  We knew of a couple of places we could go for protection and we pulled under the eaves of a maintenance and storage shed just as the rain cut loose.  Nearby was a marsh filled with cattails.  As they waved back and forth in the wind and rain we stayed huddled under the eaves watching the lightning, listening to the thunder, and watching the storm pass through.  Once it seemed that the rain was beginning to let up we decided to get back on our bikes and ride the remainder of the way home.  Within a half-mile of the house we found that the pavement was dry and the rain hadn’t made it that far south.  Regardless of the weather (or perhaps because of the weather) we set new personal best speeds for our route and were only slightly soaked when we pulled into home.