Winter While We’re Not Looking


It’s raining tonight here in Berkeley. It rained a liittle here on Friday, too, and some more a few days before that. Except for the fact the rain has only added up to a large thimbleful so far, it’s almost like a real winter has snuck in to Northern California. A couple more little storms might shuffle through this week, but the forecasters seem to be competing with each other to display the most pronounced lack of enthusiasm about the prospects for any appreciable rain falling. One can understand why they’re a little out of sorts. February is a time when storms have made history in California, when meteorology is a matter of life and death. This year, the weather scientists here are keeping their eyes peeled for computer models that might portend a tenth of an inch of rain.

But we had a beautiful day waiting for this evening’s rain to move in. Low cumulus type clouds beating their way to the east and in the spaces between them you could see high clouds and condensation trails. Kate, Thom and I went to Wheeler Hall at UC Berkeley to see storyteller/country picker David Holt. Afterward, we drove down to Oakland’s Pill Hill neighborhood for lunch (non-East Bay types: Pill Hill is the site of hospitals and medical centers, thus the name). On the way down Telegraph I looked up through the roof window and thought it would make a swell cellphone camera shot. So that’s where that picture up there came from. (It was processed in an iPhone app called Instagram, so the contrast is much higher than the original scene, which was shot in color). I did not even notice the bird when I shot the picture, and even if I had I could never have placed it so nicely at the convergence of those two contrails on the right. (No Photoshopping here–unlike this guy.)

And the picture below is from yesterday. I wrote a little something last week about the profusion of blossoms in these parts, winter or no winter. Here’s more evidence:


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