Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘rainbow

Unexpected Shower

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Since the threat of rain had passed yesterday afternoon, Cyndie and her mom invited all the Wildwood members up to our place for a little cocktail hour gettogether on the deck. Before company showed up, Cyndie and I enjoyed a swim in the lake that felt a bit like it might be our last soak of the summer.

Soon after, chips, dips, veggies, and heated appetizers were set out along with plates, napkins, chairs, and seat cushions for the ultimate social gathering. Everyone arrived and conversation flowed delightfully for over half the anticipated duration of the visit.

Then, the sky darkened considerably and a sprinkle of drops fell from the cloud. Plenty of comments were made about the unanticipated probability of precipitation. This wasn’t what we expected for the evening.

Maybe it would pass without significance.

Nope. Suddenly the shower nozzle opened up and watered everything in an instant. Everyone grabbed something in each hand and scampered back and forth to the protection of the porch until all the food and gear were brought inside.

Like any good social gathering, conversations picked up right where they left off. Of course, then the sunshine reappeared and, though wet, the great outdoors was simply gorgeous once again.

Mid-sentence of someone’s interesting story, there was an interruption with the alert: “Rainbow!”

Yes. Yes, there was a rainbow out there now. The widest and most brilliantly vivid rainbow I had ever witnessed.

Most everyone dashed out for a view beyond the trees and phone cameras came out en masse. Cyndie provided this shot for my use.

I stayed on the deck to watch with confidence there were enough cameras capturing the spectacle that I would be able to borrow a shot from someone. Thank you, Cyndie.

After most folks decided the rainbow excitement created a convenient opportunity to head back to all of their respective evening meal plans, we started putting things away. I went down the deck stairs to return a table and chairs to storage and discovered the rainbow was still visible.

Now it was reflecting off the water, too. I took some pictures of my own. A different version of a “double rainbow.”

So, our little party got washed out early, but at least the woodshed shingles project was completed well in advance of the surprise rain shower and no firewood was dampened by the minor deluge.

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Written by johnwhays

September 5, 2021 at 9:11 am

Engine Failure

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When we first made our move from the tiny suburban lot to our acres of rural property, one of the concerns I had was the reality that I would need to deal with small gas engines. I’ve never had a knack for mastery over the secrets of gas-oil mixed fuel, filtered intake air, carburetors, and electric sparks. If an engine doesn’t start on command, I am basically stumped.

There’s always the old “It’s flooded” explanation. When and why that phenomenon occurs evades me, as does the trick of not simply flooding it again on subsequent tries. I can pull the spark plug and pretend I know what it tells me, but that didn’t produce any desired results yesterday.

For the first time since we started buying gas-powered equipment after moving here, one of the machines foiled my plan to trim the growth on our trails by not starting. My original concern was finally realized.

I’ll try a new spark plug, but if that doesn’t bring it to life, I will be paying real money to have a professional service the trimmer.

It is a special blessing every time one of our engines starts without hesitation in the moments we seek to use them.

This makes me long for the ability to use a manual push reel mower to cut our grass. That was a machine that I understood.

After I was well frustrated by being foiled in my attempts to get that dang engine to fire, I decided to go stand among the horses. That is a priceless antidote for what ailed me. Cleaning up manure and turning the compost pile aligns much better with my abilities.

The horses continue to seem increasingly comfortable with their accommodations. Even the skies appeared to reflect how idyllic it is around here lately.

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Written by johnwhays

May 16, 2021 at 9:08 am

Free Show

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Nature put on quite a show last night. We swung from oppressive heat and humidity in the afternoon to a sky-mazing thunderstorm that moved in with such darkness it got the chickens to enter the coop an hour early. Well, full disclosure: it took a little coercion from Cyndie to get the last two to move inside because there was still a sliver of daylight visible in the sky, opposite the direction from which the storm was approaching.

They weren’t all being fooled.

Cyndie dashed back in the house just before the full force of the deluge began to pound down. We received about an inch and a half of rain in roughly an hour’s time.

From inside the house, it was unclear how severe the wind gusted, but there was enough to open a rare, but not unprecedented, leak over the toilet in the bathroom. Only certain combinations of wind and water trigger that short-lived breach of our shingles.

Earlier, Cyndie had already reported the dramatic storm that rolled over us on Sunday night (which I successfully slept through) had tipped a tree that is now leaning across the west border trail in our woods. There will need to be additional reconnaissance later today to check for even newer toppled trees or branches from this storm.

During the roar of the downpour, it was hard to hear how much thunder there was, but based on Delilah’s reaction, it was occurring regularly. After the rain stopped, it seemed like the lightning and thunder became more intense. I know the dog’s barking sure did.

As the sun sank closer to the horizon, the back side of the storm clouds moved clear to allow for a nice double rainbow. At the time, there were still some spectacular flashes of lightning happening, so it provided quite a visual splendor.

The rain brought down the temperature to a more comfortable level, but the humidity still lingered. Unfortunately, our normally wonderful geothermal AC system is displaying a fault that showed up before bedtime, so we opened up the windows for the relatively fresh overnight air.

The storm offered a dramatic weather show for free, but I don’t think the AC service call today will produce anywhere near that kind of a bargain.

Frankly, though, when the weather is oppressively uncomfortable, functioning air conditioning almost always seems worth the expense.

A bargain at any cost, you might say.

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Written by johnwhays

July 16, 2019 at 6:00 am

Rainbow

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words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

July 16, 2018 at 6:00 am

Tears

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

April 14, 2017 at 6:00 am

Life Giving

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Despite the recent trend of precipitation missing us as waves of disjointed showers and thunderstorms have been flowing over our region, yesterday evening we finally received rain, but in the form of a dramatic gully washer. It poured as if from a pitcher, and then stopped as quick as if the pitcher had returned to upright. Just as I was beginning to consider a trip outside to tend to the horses, the downpour resumed in full gusto.

The sound of such heavy bursts of rain is dramatic enough on its own, but we also had a few booms of thunder which served to amp up the excitement. On top of that, Delilah felt the need to run to and fro, barking her 2-cents worth toward the storm. My decision to remain calm and collected despite it all made no visible impact on her confidence over our relative safety in the moment.

After the third or fourth wave of heavy rain, we received a sign that I could venture outside. The setting sun popped out from behind clouds, creating an irresistible invitation to go outside, even though some residual rain at our location was still dripping from the clouds overhead.

I chose to override my better judgement and wandered around with Delilah tethered closely to me as the lightning and thunder on the backside of this storm continued overhead, preventing Delilah from reaching anything close to calm and secure during this particular walk.

DSCN3432eThe air had the fresh smell of recent lightning strikes and the copious amount of water that fell in a surprisingly short amount of time was now rushing through our drainage swale. I felt a sense of appreciation for the much-needed moisture that was providing a life-giving treat to all our growing things.

The giant double rainbow that was filling the sky to the east served as an exclamation point to the whole sensational event. From where I stood, it shone down on the horses clustered close together in the paddock to ride out the storm.

I took Delilah into the paddock with me to open a gate that allowed the horses into the back pasture for the night, then headed back toward the house to check the rain gauge.

We had received 1.75 inches of rain in about 45-minutes time. I hope more of it soaked in than flowed away in the runoff. It just might have been a case where we got too much of a good thing.

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Written by johnwhays

May 8, 2015 at 6:00 am

A Fogbow

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Before the heavy humidity broke yesterday, we had an extremely foggy morning. I was walking with Delilah after feeding the horses, and as the sun broke the horizon and burned its way through the fog, I spotted the distinctive arc of a rainbow. But it wasn’t a rainbow. It was a fogbow.

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Eventually, the dew point dropped and a glorious breeze picked up, making it a fabulous afternoon to be out working. The morning was another story. It was too wet to mow, so I started the day with a chainsaw. I headed down to the south trail that needs to be widened. Also, there was still one tree laying across the trail along our western border. After tackling those areas, I moved along to a string of box elder trees that need to be removed for installation of the new fence around the grazing pasture. The work had my t-shirt and pants totally soaked with sweat by the time I stopped to head in for lunch.

When I came out again after eating, it was like a whole new day. It made the mowing chore downright pleasant. By the time I finished, my shirt was completely dry. After a long day, during which I had confined Delilah to her kennel, we headed to the house for dinner and I happily turned off the air conditioning so I could open up the windows to the fresh summer air.

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Written by johnwhays

August 26, 2014 at 6:00 am

Thunder Barking

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IMG_iP0647eAfter a delightful afternoon of hosting visits from family and friends yesterday, we were finally blessed with a mild-mannered summer thunderstorm. It has been so long since we experienced thunder, Delilah seemed to have forgotten what it was. She was in a tizzy of nervously running at the door and barking major alarms. We went for the Thundershirt, but it wasn’t enough. Cyndie provided a dose of Benadryl, but when that proved insufficient, she administered an anti-anxiety drug.

We took Delilah out for a walk as the back side of the storm sprinkled down a last few leftover drops. An opening in the clouds allowed a splash from the setting sun to illuminate a spectacular full rainbow which doubled on one end. We have a wonderful vantage point for sunset-timed rainbows. I need to remember the value of getting outside to survey for these marvelous sights whenever the conditions offer the potential.

I took a shaky cell phone photo after we put some hay out for the horses and closed them into the paddocks for the night. They seemed to be enjoying the shower. It was enough to get them wet, but not enough to create too much mud.

After darkness settled in and most of the thunder had moved on, I was just about to comment to Cyndie about how pleasant it was that Delilah had finally settled down and we were enjoying a peaceful… Oops, one more thunder, Delilah up and barking. Oh well.

Later, as we were wrapping up our evening activity, I walked toward the kitchen, where Cyndie was involved in some creative endeavor, and I spotted our lovely canine sprawled on the floor in a slumber that presented every indication of the drugs having finally kicked in. Success, at last.

Weather predictions are for more thunderstorms today, so either I proactively serve up some calming drugs in her breakfast, or I hang my hopes on her having quickly grown used to the booming after surviving last night’s reintroduction to thunder. The scenario is made a bit more complicated by the fact I need to be away from home for a few hours at the dentist today. Hopefully the weather will hold until I return.

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For those of you following closely enough to care… the wheelbarrow tire is holding air adequately after just the two patches! YES! <pumping fist>

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Written by johnwhays

August 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

Changes Afoot

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This week I am back at the day-job to cover for my assistant while she is on vacation. By coincidence, this week also happens to be when Cyndie starts a new job in education administration. In fact, today is her first official day in her new role as Chief Academic Officer of the Anoka/Hennepin School district, the largest district in the state of Minnesota.

How do these things happen? I don’t know. It’s not like we planned for her to land such a demanding position so far from our home. The opportunity arose and Cyndie peeked in at it, getting quickly swept in for another shot at solving the world’s problems through helping improve another public school system. Can it be done? I hope so, because she always gives her all in trying.

DSC03205eWhat does that mean for our plans at Wintervale? Probably that our efforts to launch a self-sustaining education and retreat center here will be a bit more drawn out. For me, it means that I will need to do a better job of again reducing the need to travel across the cities to my old day-job gig. My primary responsibilities will shift to managing things at home. Heaven forbid, I might be forced to finally do the grocery shopping and dinner prep for the two of us.

I have already started my unintended plumbing apprenticeship. I’m daily growing more comfortable with animal care: horses, dog, and cat. I’m getting the hang of using tractors and gas engines. Most importantly, I’m making connections with the farmer neighbors and local business owners who will become the new co-workers I will be interacting with to accomplish whatever needs attention on any given day around here.

We think it is a glorious opportunity for both of us.

Happy first day of July, 2014!

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Written by johnwhays

July 1, 2014 at 6:00 am

Nice View

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One benefit that I have particularly enjoyed since moving to the country, is the improved view of the sky, and being able to see weather events. The shot below is from last Sunday evening, when we were returning home from Father’s Day festivities at Cyndie’s parent’s home in Edina, MN.

I wonder what thoughts went through the minds of the first humans to witness a rainbow.

This one changed a lot during the time we were able to observe it. There was a period where the colors became the most vivid and well-defined as I can recall ever seeing. Since we were in a moving vehicle, I had to wait until our car had turned just enough to allow me to capture a shot out of the side window. The windshield was so speckled from impacts with insects that I chose not to shoot through it during the time when the rainbow was directly in front of us.

Aftermath

Written by johnwhays

June 21, 2013 at 7:00 am

Posted in Images Captured

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