Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nothin' But Blue Skies

Today we get a little break from the rain. We have some blue sky. A little sunshine, even!

For our friends who live elsewhere, please try to understand why this is a big deal. 

The Willamette Valley, flanked by the Coast and Cascade Ranges, sees its share of 40-degree rainy days during the winter months. Strong rain systems barrel in from the Pacific Ocean, packing a tremendous amount of moisture, saturating the valley and covering the mountains with snow. Rivers rise and crest, hillsides erode and slide downhill, low areas and flood plains collect water and sediment. It's all part of the ongoing cycle that gives us the lush green beauty we enjoy in later months. We're just not there yet.

It can become fairly monotonous to live with the gray.  Dark gray. We get used to looking out our windows in the morning and seeing nothing but rainclouds and wet ground. We sigh, we wait, puddle-trudging, day after day.  In this part of Oregon, windshield wipers sell faster than sunscreen, for sure. 

Getting a sunny day like today offers some views that send a shock through us. Sometimes it can be weeks without seeing our beloved mountains: Hood, Jefferson, Adams, St. Helens.  Even the foothills can go in and out of hiding. On a clear day the sun makes their fresh coats of snow look spectacular.

Things will begin to look different around here soon. The gray-brown sparseness of winter will gradually give way to greens and blooms that usher in the Spring.  We'll be smelling blossoms again.  Soon.

Here are some photos I took back in February 2010. Early signs of spring last year.  Could these sights really only be one month away?

February 2010

February 2010


Jessica said...

As I drove in the driveway coming home from the gym this morning, I noticed my daffodils peeking. My first thought was "Are you KIDDING ME? It's only January!" But I'll gladly take the lovely color when we've been so gray for so long!

Kelly Carlisle said...

Hi Jessica...First of all, congrats for going to the gym on a Saturday morning! Secondly, daffodils?!? Wow!
Winter is likely to have a few more tricks up its sleeve before it's over, but still, I agree with you. A little color definitely helps!

Anonymous said...

Kelly, this is funny! I just posted about how our family was thrilled to see the sun again, jumped on our bikes, and got out in the rays today. I then came over to your site and what do ya know, another poor sun starved Oregonian posting his gratefulness for clear weather!

I hope that people who don't have to live with our grey skies get a sense from these posts of what we must be going through:-)