Dark to Light
Left the house at 5:30 this morning for a walk. I hadn’t been feeling that great all week, but today I woke up at 5 feeling hale and hearty and in need of walking off the ’tilla-‘tater chip binge of the night before. My walk of late involves walking toward Fairmount Park, around the complete perimeter of the park, then to downtown for coffee. (This takes about one hour and 15 minutes, total.) 10 minutes into the walk I felt what I thought were sprinkles so I put on my hood, thankful I had one. All the way around the park the sprinkles continued intermittently — with added excitement supplied by far-off lightning — until just before I exited the park to head up Market St. (which is when I took the picture above). I love rain, so it was exhilarating to be out in the cold, with the wind, wetness and electrical flash accompanying the soundtrack pulsing in my headphones. Fantastic! And, then it happened … just as the outline of the Mission Inn came into view, the skies opened and it began to pour.
Thankfully, there were now plenty of places to walk so I didn’t get soaked, and I was able to make it to the Coffee Bean for a much needed red-eye and a muffin … and, just in time to hear some terrifically loud thunderclaps. Paul soon joined me, and after riding around in the warm car to see the rainy day sights, we arrived back home just as the sun was peeking around the dark clouds.
Wandering around the property I was struck by how some of the succulents were wearing their rainy-day bijoux. A potted opuntia cactus drips with crystal drops as the sun makes its first appearance, looking festive and tastefully appointed.
At the back gate, ponytail palm has been bejeweled by the earlier downpour and rivals any holiday display with new, if temporary, finery. In the front garden, a very large aloe ferox, native to South Africa, offers up to the first rain of the season signs of its coming flower-head. Eventually, these little nubs will grow into a tall rust-orange candelabra of blooms. I can’t wait! Back at the gate, a fan aloe’s undulating flat leaves are accessorized with little glistening pools of much-needed winter rain.
I’m delighted that I was out for this first rain of the season — and what a great surprise! It was really fun to see lightning, hear booming thunder and splash around a bit. Plus, I won’t have to spend hours watering today (as I originally planned), so now I can share it with you!