It is January in the Northwest and that means rain, wind, cold and general gloom. Right now we are gearing up for what we are promised is going to be a wild, wet, and windy weekend as a series of storms make their way inland. Then again, we are always gearing up for some near apocalyptic weather event. And generally we are a bit disappointed when it turns out to be just another day.

I was caught in a decently impressive rain storm yesterday. It was my own fault and I’m not complaining (though I did grumble a bit at the time). Being rather gray and gloomy, it seemed a good day to spend some time at the library; and with all the dire predictions of deluge in the afternoon I had planned to leave just before that happened.

Why I thought that would actually happen, I don’t know. Because it didn’t and I got to the truck looking rather like a drowned rat. And so the afternoon went, the usual periods of nothing interspersed with moments of downpour that a good Scottish friend would refer to as ‘pissing down.’

Then, suddenly by sheer chance, I looked up to see sun. Sun! Actual sun.

This required stepping out onto the deck to see what the heck was going on. Sun at four in the afternoon? In January? Unheard of!

I’m really glad I did. I was rewarded with wonderfully dramatic skies – patches of brilliant blue, big and fluffy back lit clouds, dark and menacing storm cells on the horizon.

Growing up in Las Vegas, summer was the season of dramatic skies. I am sure that is where I came to love such scenes. In San Diego, it was skies and seas just after a storm. Here it is the winter/spring storms that stir my heart. I am just more moved by the wild and woolly than I am by the pastoral and benign.

On this particular afternoon I could watch the clouds racing – racing – across the sky. I do love that.

So I grabbed my camera. My neighbors must think I’m a bit daft – standing on my deck, snapping pictures of clouds. Clouds! Then again, I am sure I have given them many, many reasons to think me daft that have nothing to do with my weather picture fixation. Probably best not to think of that too much.

In any case, this was the sky when I first walked outside:


Note the blue sky in the background as one storm passes over.















A moment later it looked like this:


Another storm band passed directly behind, but well to the west.














I moved to the front porch to see what was beyond the roof tops:


The second storm band from another direction.










And finally, this:


Blue sky ahoy!










All in the span of not more than ten minutes. Yes, this is why we love it here. Never a dull moment. And hey, it is well above freezing. Sure, we also love to give cute names to our storm systems. The East Coast may have its Polar Vortex, but we have Pineapple Expresses and talk about convergence zones; we can natter on about microclimates and will comment on whether there is an onshore or offshore flow. Regardless, we get some damn fine skies some evenings.