Sparkling Raindrops

Some much needed rain fell this weekend and continues to make the fall scenery a bit wet.  I am not happy with the cloudy periods but when the sun breaks through, there are some really spectacular sights.

This nandina bush is heavy with little red berries and the raindrops hang from the ends of the bunches.  When you can get a view of the sun behind these drops, there are fantastic starbursts that shine off the edges.  This is a natural effect and not something added by a filter.  It is really neat to see.

Nandina berries after a rain
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
110mm @ f/10 – 1/125 sec – ISO 800

Lluvia means Rain

One of several acts from Luzia where the ceiling opened up to bring the rain was this duo of Cyr Wheel artists.  One was twirling in the air, the other spinning inside a big metal wheel while a downpour drenched them both.

How the performers do these amazing feats with all that water being dumped on them without drowning or slipping off the stage is beyond me!  It is also a very cool to see the water dripping and spraying all over.  A fantastic show.

Cirque du Soliel – LUZIA
Atlantic Station
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
270mm @ f/6.3 – 1/80 sec – ISO 2500

What to do on a Rainy Day at the Beach

Well, I am back on my theme of making the best of unfriendly weather.  We arrived at St Augustine Beach ready for Florida beach weather and were greeted with gray skies and rain.  All the locals were happy because they have been in drought conditions but don’t they know we’re on vacation?

For some people, bad weather is good news as you see with the surfers out on this ugly day.  The waves were breaking all around which made for good surfing even if the rest of us were wishing for sunny skies.  Things have gotten more to our liking and we’ve been able to see lots of interesting stuff but on this day, I had to look hard for a good subject.

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
110mm @ f16 –  1/100 sec – ISO 400

My Favorite things…

I know, the song from Sound of Music says Raindrops on Roses but, I think Daffodils are just as nice.  This is a macro shot of one of the 20 million daffodil bulbs that have been planted at Gibbs Gardens.  Many of these are blooming right now.  It is quite early for this but Atlanta has had a mild winter with rain and warm weather over the past month or so.

I am very glad to think that winter has left us now but one of the things about Atlanta weather is, the only constant is change.  I suppose it really doesn’t matter right now.  It’s time to enjoy the beauty of Spring and not worry about cold snaps that may or may not happen.  In any event, it’s a great time to go out and see the beautiful flowers.  They are closed on Monday so don’t try it tomorrow but I recommend that you plan the trip soon!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1/5 sec – ISO 320

Desert Storm

It was looking very ominous but we made it to our destination

Don’t let a little rain stop you

This is one of my favorite memories of Arches National Park in Utah.  We took that “short” walk to see the famous Delicate Arch on an evening where we were being chased by a storm.  It was one of those, probably won’t get another chance type of moments.  How could we pass up this opportunity?  When I look back, it was a bit of a miracle that we got there at all.

Bad Information and Determination

It all started out with bad information.  I swear that I read somewhere that the hike to Delicate Arch was an easy half-mile walk.  Anybody that has been here can tell you it is a difficult, steep climb of about 1.5 miles (each way).  Joyce was sure it was going to start raining at any moment but I was convinced that we could make it there and back easily.  I kept walking and walking till I got to a narrow curve that looked like it was going nowhere.

I turned back thinking that Joyce had stayed put back down the slope only to find that she wasn’t far behind.  We convinced each other that we had come this far so, may as well keep going.  It was worth the effort to see this most famous spot in the park.

Unfortunately, quite a few others had the same idea and it was pretty crowded by the arch.

RMNP_May 07 2016_1057
Delicate Arch is surrounded by tourists even on stormy evenings

Rewards in spite of it all

In spite of the ugly-looking weather that was trailing us, we got to one of the must-see places in the state of Utah and ended up with a beautiful sunset on the way back down.  Well, that and aching legs!  Still, it was worth the risk and we ended up not getting rained on during our trek.

Sometimes, I guess you just have to go for it and hope for the best.

Daily Prompt: Storm

Dry Mesa Wash at the approach to Delicate Arch
Arches National Park
Moab, Utah, USA

Nikon D7000
NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
62mm at f/5.3 – 1/13 second – ISO 400

#landscape #photography #nature #travel #ArchesNationalPark #clouds #desert #Moab #Utah #NationalPark #NationalParksService #USNPS

End of the Rainbow?

No pot of gold but it definitely looked like the rainbow’s end.

I almost forgot about this event we witnessed on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park back in May.  This isn’t the best quality image since it was taken out a car window while moving, in the rain, with my cell phone.  Still, it came out OK and I just had to share.

Our approach to RMNP was a winding route through the mountains south of the park.  It was cloudy and rainy most of the way there but the skies brightened up every now and then which is ideal for rainbows.  As we came to one especially twisty part of the road I spotted a rainbow but it wasn’t high in the sky.  It looked like it was almost flat on the ground!

Fullscreen capture 7122016 82743 PM.bmpThis was in a spot called Peaceful Valley. Colorado Route 72 takes a big hairpin turn around the valley here and we could see the rainbow all the way around.  When we got around the side, we could see how this “ground rainbow” came to be.  Down into the valley you could see the full rainbow but where we had first seen it, only the top of the arch was peeking up out of the valley.

I have never seen anything like this before and may not be lucky enough to experience it again.  I am sure glad that we got to see it and at least could record the event even if it was just on my cell phone.

Daily Prompt: Journey

Peaceful Valley Rainbow
Boulder County, Colorado, USA

Samsung Galaxy S5

#rainbow #EndOfTheRainbow #OverTheRainbow #PeacefulValley #Colorado #RockyMountains #trees #mountains #aspentrees #valley

Don’t Rain on my Elephant Parade

It is kind of strange that this amazing formation in Arches National Park known as the Parade of Elephants, is somehow second-sister to the Windows arches just south of it.  This image was taken at the head of the trail leading from the parking area at Windows and leading down to see the parade up close.  Use your imagination a little and you can see how the great bulk and graceful curves within this formation make you think of elephants.

On top of this being an impressive group, there are many unique and interesting individual formations within the parade.  My favorite was the Double Arch.  This formation is the result of two different forms of erosion.  Part of the double arch was formed like most or the other arches you see in the park, from below.  The second arch was formed from above, by what is known as a pot-hole arch.

DoubleArch_May 09 2016_0574
Double Arch on a Rainy Day

We almost skipped going into the Windows section since (as you can see) it was raining and overcast. I actually was planning to go to the end of the road to see the Devils Garden section but, something convinced us to make this stop.  I am so glad we did!  If I had gotten nothing other than the double arch picture shown above, I would have considered this a successful photographic trip.  It’s strange how things work out if you have a little trust and patience.

RMNP_May 09 2016_0594
More detail from the Parade of Elephants