Thursday, July 31, 2008

When the Rain Came Down - Post 50

Didn't it rain, children?!

I had just started checking out the links on Sky Watch this week, when all heck broke loose! Lightening, and thunder so loud the windows rattled. I had to shut down my computer, of course, so what else was there to do than to stand in the doorway and click off a few shots. While I'm happy for the rain, I should have checked the forecast, I think, and saved myself some $$ on what will turn out to be a large water bill, I fear. It has been so dry that I ran a nice trickle of water in my flower beds for about 36 hours, moving the hose from place to place after several hours in each bed. And, then... it rained! And rained, and rained! I expect we received a full inch of water before the storm was over. My flower beds have had their fill, and more.

Crepe Myrtle
Standing in my front doorway, one of the things that caught my attention was the Crepe Myrtle. This particular shrub was planted on my mother's 75th birthday, August 8, 1976. I trim it occasionally, but it's currently higher than the roof. In the horrific heat we had in July, it began to shed its bark, something it does from time to time, taking on a piebald appearance. I can't remember taking a good look at it during a pouring down rain, but I should have; the rain, which was still coming down pretty hard, as evidenced in the background, gave a sort of glow to the limbs, and the shed bark on the grass took on a distinctly cinnamon hue.

Tattered Bark
After the rain stopped, and I could safely take my camera out without also having to carry an umbrella, I took this shot of some of the peeling bark, and the bare spots on the limbs. This loose piece must have grown on the north side of the limb, because it definitely has some moss/lichen on it.
More Peeled Bark
You're probably tired of looking at Crepe Myrtle bark by now, but this piece had such lovely colors that I had to capture them.

Crepe Myrtle Blossoms
Just so you won't believe that all I have to offer are photos of peeling bark, I present one of the still rain-damp blossoms.
Raindrops on Japanese Maple Branch
These lovely droplets of water clinging to the branches of my Japanese Maple also caught my eye. I bought this tree when it was less than 2 feet high; it's now taller than the Crepe Myrtle, and has the most glorious spring and fall foliage. Almost done... just one more.

After the Storm
To look at this sky, you'd never believe there had been a torrential rainstorm just minutes before. As I've reported before, "if you don't like the weather in Arkansas, just wait a minute." I swear on a stack of pancakes that this photo was taken within two hours of the first one.


TSannie said...

Your sky photos are just wonderful. Your crepe myrtle bark photos....perfection! So funny, we don't myrtle here in Connecticut, but I go down and see my sis in Alexandria, VA, and crepe myrtle is EVERYwhere! I just love it and your pic of it's bark shedding is just wonderful, Pat!

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Thank you, Annie. I have a new toy (Nikon D60 and a 55-200 lens)and these are the first "real" photos I've taken with it. I'm so glad you liked them.

auringonkukka =) said...

we have been raining quite a lot of July!
I hope to be hot in August!
a good weekend!

Hilary said...

Those photos are fabulous, Pat. I've never heard of Crepe Myrtle before and it sure is an interesting looking plant. A fresh rain sure adds to the lines and textures of bark. You've done a great job in capturing that.


Beautiful, beautiful. Shots and your comments.

Louis la Vache said...

"Louis" remembers well those summer thunderstorms from his childhood in the Texas Panhandle!

Very nice series of images, Pat!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I love those crepe myrtle photos.

JC said...

I love your SW picture but these are great. Rain is hard to capture. You did good. I've never seen a crepe myrtle losing its bark. Very interesting.

I'm take a week away from Sky Watch to do a daily post from my vacation. I'll be back to SW next week.

BTW my painted sparkly luggage was a big hit. I didn't have to locate my bags the men on the trip did it for me. How cool is that!!

Have a great weekend.

SandyCarlson said...

Oh, these are great! God bless, friend.

Anonymous said...

Another talented photographer! Don't you just feel duped when it rains after you have spent time watering everything? LOL.

Marie said...

Wonderful photos :)

Kay said...

We say almost the same thing in Hawaii about the rain. I love your crepe myrtle photos. What gorgeous flowers. I'm missing my Japanese maple that we had in Illinois. I haven't seen it here in Hawaii so it must not be able to grow here. Your Nikon works great! (along with your artistic eye.)

PJ said...

Lovely, lovely photos. I'm faniliar with your part of the country and we have crepe myrtles here in FL as well. Thanks for visiting.

Faery said...

This photos are awesome I love to watch the rain.Today we had rain thunder and lightnings too in this part of the word.

Whitney said...

These are great photos! That tree is so interesting..we don't have any like that in Florida! And I can't believe that blue sky right after the storm! Great post! And thanks for visiting my blog and for leaving all of the nice comments!!

Tricia said...

Pat - what a great blog you have :)

Many thanks for stopping by mine and leaving your mark on my guest map - much appreciated.

I shall definitely be coming back for further visits.

Paul said...

Great pics Pat!

excellent color and composition!

thanks for the comments on my blog. come back soon!


Louise said...

Like the Crepe Myrtle bark and am jealous at the height. I've had one for 3 years that started out at about 2-1/2 feet tall and it MIGHT be 2-3/4" tall now. It blooms red, though, and is gorgeous.

And I believe the weather. I used to live in MO, and year, I very much believe it. Crazy that you had a dry spell with all the rain this summer. Never in reasonable amounts. Feast or famine. (And you wouldn't want to know what it cost to run water for 36 hours straight here in the desert!)

Ackworth Born said...

you watered the garden
and then it rained
now we know who to blame

seriously though this is a great set of pics and we do need some rain and it can produce some interesting effects worth photogrphing.

Kerri said...

I love the sky after a storm!

And I am a HUGE fan of BARK. I Love to see the colors and textures! Fabulous post!

storyteller said...

Wow … what a turnaround from your first to last picture today. I enjoyed all your photos … crepe myrtles aren’t a familiar sight here in Southern California. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs and blessings,

Marvin said...

Congratulations on your rain. We haven't seen anything that remotely resembled a rain shower in at least a couple of week. I too am afraid of our next water bill.

Great shots of the crepe myrtle bark. Interesting colors and textures.