Summer Storm

Although I often post images of the flowers. birds, and insects populating the Brazoria Wildlife Refuge, it recently occurred to me that I’ve never shown wider views of the Refuge itself.

Its 44,414 acres of prairies, ponds, marshes, and sloughs provide ever-changing delights. When summer heat and humidity bring their own sort of change to the sky, the delights only multiply.

 

Comments always are welcome.

36 thoughts on “Summer Storm

    1. It is large. Even though portions are off-limits to visitors (except, in some cases, during hunting seasons) there’s so much to explore that I could spend the rest of my life there and never see it all. Some parts I may never see, because every time I head down the trails I scare up creatures I’d rather not tangle with, like this fellow. I think I interrupted his mud bath.

    1. I was lucky that the rain clouds were to my right as I drove into the refuge, while broken clouds to my left allowed patches of sunlight to slide across the land. Of course, that sun placement made the clouds seem even darker — I thought it was a pretty scene.

    1. No, I haven’t. Later in the summer, when things really heat up, there can be those pool-of-water-on-the-highway mirages on roads leading to the refuge, but that’s all I’ve ever seen on land. Many years ago, sailing the Pacific, our crew saw a Fata Morgana-type mirage one day — a ship that seemed to be sailing well above the horizon — but that’s it for me and mirages.

    1. You would have loved the rain those clouds produced about three hours later. For the past week or so, our rains have been spotty, but almost tropical where they show up. Some parts of Houston got three inches yesterday, while my neighborhood didn’t get a drop.

      I just pulled up your radar and see there’s some rain roaming around. I hope you get some.

    1. I do, too. I like watching them build, and I enjoy experiencing them once they arrive. It can be a little unnerving to be on the prairie with lightning all around — but only a little. And this one brought almost no wind: just downpours of rain. You would have liked it, a lot.

    1. There are cattle along this road, and I suspect some of the land’s been leased for grazing: hence, the fence. The kind and amount of fencing does vary from location to location. In areas with auto tour routes and hiking trails, there are no fences at all, and much of the prairie is open range.

      I’ve been trying to figure out who I’d bet on in an emu vs. gator fight. On the one hand, if the gator caught the emu, I think it would be all over for the emu, but the emu certainly could outrun the gator. What about your crocodiles? Do they ever kill emus?

  1. I see WOL called it a “glowery sky” – – yes! I was just thinking, when people here would say a “lowering sky,” for years, I heard it as “glowering”. Same difference when you come down to it, and snowbird says “brooding,” also dead on for this picture.
    One of the few fragments I remember from high school science, was being told that a nice, fluffy-looking cumulus cloud, seemingly floating weightlessly up there, for postcard purposes only, was actually a million pounds of water hovering over your head. It’s a handsome shot you’ve got, I like these colors, and you can just feel the weight of all that water over your head!

    1. When I was growing up, we called it a glowering sky. No doubt the expression was derived from the word ‘glower’ — to have an angry or sullen look. Now that I think of it, we sometimes talked of angry skies, too, although ‘lowering’ generally was reserved for clouds. ‘Brooding’ is good, too, and has a bit of extra resonance because of its use in Genesis.

      I’ve never thought about the weight of clouds, but it makes sense. After all, “a pint’s a pound the world around.” When these clouds decided to condense and come on down to earth, they did it with enthusiasm, that’s for sure. And it was a great test for the best radar app I’ve found: RadarScope Pro. It’s got far more than radar: it provides data on things like lightning strikes, and real-time warnings from across the country. You can pick your radar, too, so it’s not limited in the same way local radar apps are. Anyway, for anyone who’s out and about, it’s really a worth-while investment: ten bucks a year can’t be beat. And no, I’m not on their payroll — just pleased with how it works.

    1. And there’s no longing like the longing for rain after a prolonged dry spell — let alone a drought. I still remember what it was like here in 2011 when we had extended drought. Every now and then I still hear someone say, “Well, I’m not going to complain about the rain. I don’t want to go through that again.” And everyone knows what that is.

      I agree about the pleasure of those threatening skies, too. When I lived in Berkeley, my only complaint about the California weather was that it was so placid, so predictable. There was the fog,and we didn’t have quite the sunny-and-seventy-five of Southern California, but still: there were days when I would have welcomed a good, old-fashioned thunderstorm.

    1. What a lovely way of putting it, Tina. It was one of those days when, despite all the sky drama, there wasn’t a lick of wind. Of course, when there’s no wind and you can feel the humidity creeping up — there’s not much question what comes next!

    1. Every now and then I catch a photo someone takes from a Houston skyscraper when there’s weather about, and they really are impressive. Lucky you, to have been in a position to enjoy that kind of sight. That’s the sort of fringe benefit most human resources departments wouldn’t recognize!

    1. And a wise man you are. I remember your tale of taking refuge in that stout little building — was that in Texas? It was a great story. This one ended up being more tropical: lots of rain, no wind, and not much lightning. In short, it was enjoyable as could be — especially since i had the car to shelter in.

    1. My favorite clouds are the huge, white cumulus that build and build, and then pour down rain with sunshine all around them. But, if I can’t have those, I’ll take these: dramatic, and a real complement to the prairie grasses. I think you must have be having an uncloudy evening tonight — enjoy it!

      (Have you ever heard the Staple Singers’ version of “Uncloudy Day”? It’s wonderful.

  2. Wow! Enough to keep you occupied for days, weeks and months! I love the calm before the storm photos, so this is a keeper for sure! I want more picture of the refuge! Please. :)

    1. I’ll be sure to include more wide-angle refuge photos, just for you. I’ve not taken many, just because I love all the little details, but I need practice in landscape photography, so — why not?

      Like you, I love the time before a storm. It’s especially interesting to watch the behavior of the birds. Some seek shelter early, and some seem to stay in the currents as long as they can — just playing in the wind.

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