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Sunset & Rain

September 1, 2013


Last week confirmed my worse suspicions: Summer is not going to go quietly. Instead it’s going to make us all uncomfortable with triple-digit temperatures, high levels of humidity and more, before giving way to autumn. I suppose we brought it on ourselves by thinking — saying — that it wasn’t so bad this year, that it had been mild compared to others. I just hope it doesn’t really punish us all by hanging around until October and beyond. Anyway, because of this icky-stickiness I’ve been taking my daily constitutional later than usual. And although most days my heat avoidance efforts have been futile, I have enjoyed one thing: The sunsets. Last week, especially, they were so great I had to take pictures of them. Above is Tuesday, across the lake at Fairmount Park. I was entranced by the way that single fluffy cloud bank was hanging on to the day’s waning sunlight, appearing as if lit from within. Fisherman dotted the banks and sailboats floated lazily. Really beautiful.

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The next day was even more striking, with the horizon topped by a broad band of gold that reflected blazingly on the lake’s rippling surface. The air was cooled by a breeze at the water’s edge as fisherman cast their lines unhurried by the coming dark.

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Then Thursday: A freakishly intense rainstorm in the early afternoon took us all by surprise! In fact, it was so sudden, and so wild, that it was scary … Winds seemed to be blowing several directions at once, rain was slashing horizontally and the trees all around looked as though they were having trouble staying rooted. Click play to see the Rancho’s backyard being whipped by the storm and take special note of my large industrial fan in the background, those blades are spinning for their lives.

The storm lasted about 40 minutes but in that time it dumped about 6-inches of water on us. It also brought mud floes down from God-knows-where, broke off huge tree branches and flooded both homes and businesses. This is a video of the lake at Fairmount Park overflowing its bank near the American Legion hall. The park was a complete mess and roads were closed because of the danger from mud and tree debris; not many fisherman out, and very few walkers …

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The sunset, however, was an amazing spectacle that almost made me forget the afternoon’s earlier pandemonium.

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The week ended with more rain, more heat, more humidity. This was a much gentler rain, however, one that didn’t faze me or the park’s ducks; fisherman, though, stayed home. The sky was aflame as the sun bowed out for the week; a promise of more fire in the days ahead.

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Today, Saturday, was so horrendously overheated that I was sapped by day’s end, no energy for walking or sunsets. I hate that the sun got the better of me. Still, I know the days are getting shorter, the sunsets earlier, and autumn’s waiting in the wings.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Faye Carter permalink
    September 1, 2013 5:45 pm

    Beautiful sunset pics! Didn’t realize it rained that hard, enjoyed seeing it from afar. Thanks, good post!

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      September 1, 2013 6:29 pm

      The storm was pretty amazing, Faye! Thanks for commenting.

  2. September 1, 2013 11:31 pm

    I wish I could play a loop of the rain at RR to fall asleep to. When it gets hot and miserable in Long Beach, I always think of you guys out in Riverside to keep me from whining too much.

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      September 1, 2013 11:39 pm

      What a great idea, Denise; I love the idea of a Rancho rain loop. As for the heat: Pity us! We’re deserving …

  3. Vickie Perez permalink
    September 2, 2013 5:01 am

    Wasn’t the storm something? It was something to watch as we were sweeping out the water out of the garage. What was funny about it was watching our water loving puppy trying to figure out how all this water was coming at her at a 45% angle and I didn’t have ahold of the hose… But those puddles didn’t turn out to be as much fun as her wading pool. The sunsets had me entranced, too.
    Your pictures reminded me how much.

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      September 2, 2013 5:23 am

      I was truly agape as the whole storm played out, Vickie; it was unbelievable! I really feared for all our trees … the best part was watching our neighbor’s trash containers blow over, float down the street, then turn the corner and down 14th Street: Amazingly forceful!

  4. Vickie Perez permalink
    September 2, 2013 6:31 am

    We were all lucky if our trees stayed intact! Only a few small branches down here. Wasn’t to sure abour some that I watched bending so. Wind and water together with such force can be so amazing in what they can destroy. That combination has made me nervous ever since I was a kid. Watched our creek in Oregon rise 36′. Watched houses float away. Heard that they clocked the wind at UCR at 75 mph. Don’t doubt it a lick!

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      September 2, 2013 2:45 pm

      Whoa, Vickie, 75 mph! I don’t doubt the forces of wind and water and I’m glad I’ve not seen what you describe … must have been terrifying! I was really afraid sometimes during this storm, mostly because I didn’t know if, and when, it would end.

  5. September 2, 2013 4:57 pm

    Good lord! We rarely get downpours like that (thank god). Watching the rain dance from the gutters was amusing, thank you for capturing the magic.

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      September 2, 2013 5:12 pm

      Thankfully we get such downpours extremely rarely, too, Loree! According to some ol’ timers I talked to after the storm this was the worse in 60 years …

  6. Jack velen permalink
    September 2, 2013 11:54 pm

    You have wild and unpredictable weather there. The sunsets are beautiful. We here in chicago have our share of crazy weather thruout the year —–

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      September 3, 2013 12:22 am

      Hi, Jack, you’ve certainly got weather extremes I can live without; namely snow and deep cold! I’ll take an outta-nowhere summer storm any day. By the way, Paul says our current humidity reminds him of living in Chicago.

  7. AlgaRythums permalink
    March 14, 2014 3:53 am

    thank you for the beautiful rain video. i just loved it!

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