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#Sunday Stills: April Showers Fill the Dry Creeks

Terri Webster Schrandt is sending us arid people on a wild goose chase into our archives for this week’s Sunday Stills rainy day pictures. (Sorry no droplets on beautiful flowers! None, I mean NONE in all my files – that I could find!!!) Here is a picture of the creek that ran behind our house in Elderwood, CA (Central California) most of the time.

Note: I use that word “ran” loosely – notice the tire tracks. ATVs, not water, ran most of the time.
Cottonwood Creek, Elderwood CA August, 2017.
Cottonwood Creek August, 2017 (after a major rainy year)

I had to go clear back to 2012 to find these wonderful pictures of a memorable hail storm. While Central California is only semi-desert receiving about 10 inches of rain on average, this kind of rain is rare. When it comes, you stop everything you were doing, run get your camera, and and stand at the sliding glass door or windows, or under cover outside and marvel as you take pictures.

  • CA April 2012 Hailstorm
  • CA April 2012 Hailstorm

When you live on a dry creek as we did, we kept entertained by how much water flows, how far it flows and for how many months. Our friend Chuck House charts it every year and sends graphs and charts out to all his science and Kiwanis friends. I have pictures of Cottonwood Creek flowing in 2008, 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2019 I think 2012 was the year that Cottonwood Creek flowed until August.

  • Millwood Creek 2/4/2019
  • Cottonwood Creek 4/30/2012
  • 2017 Cottonwood Creek
  • 2017 Cottonwood Creek
  • Cottonwood Creek 3/8/2008
  • Cottonwood Creek

It rained hard again in 2017, and I took many pictures that year, but none of the rain. I was more interested in Cottonwood Creek, Kings River and flowers that bloomed prolifically. Two of my friends invited me to go to nearby National Parks to observe the effect of the heavy rains that spring. We visited Yosemite National Park outside of Fresno in May, 2017. In July I visited Kings Canyon National Park to see if the Kings River was still bolting down the gorge.

The rain had a temporarily lasting effect.

  • Kings River in Yosemite National Park 05/17/2017
  • Kings River May 17, 2017
  • Kings River Flowing at Kings Canyon National Park
  • Kings River flowing over rocks 724/017
  • Kings River Waterfall at Yosemite 5-17-2017
  • Kings River flowing through Yosemite 5/17/2017

My reading material for the week.

Thanks for joining in Sunday Stills. Be sure to check out these other friends who played along. πŸ™‚

36 replies »

  1. Hi, Marsha – What I love most about #SundayStills is that it shows how we each respond so uniquely to the exact same theme. Sometimes this is due to personality, sometimes perspective and often the environment of where we live.

    I love the energy of your post and how rain is a special occurrence to you, that makes you drop everything, grab your camera and immediately go outdoors when it begins to fall. How awesome is that?

    On Vancouver Island, rain is much less rare. Our average yearly precipitation ranges from 6,650 millimetres (260 in) at Henderson Lake on Vancouver Island’s west coast (the wettest place in North America) to only 635 millimetres (25 in) at the Saanich Peninsula in Greater Victoria.

    Like so many things, it would be great if we could share things up a bit – we give you a little rain, you give us a little extra warmth. Win-win! πŸ˜€

    Awesome photos!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Donna, I’ve often thought things would be a little easier if we could manage the floods on the eastern rivers by piping them out west where the states are desperate for rain. If we can pipe oil, why not water. It sounds like you have more than enough to go around. If we could average everything, we could all have an Hawaii-like environment! Wouldn’t that be lovely. Then no one would move to get away from the weather they hated at least.


  2. Like Donna has said, I too enjoy learning more about the stories behind the photos and you’ve certainly done that here Marsha! Thanks also for the mention πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, especially the human animals that are trying to grow crops, Jacquie. They do have plenty of coyotes, wild boars, squirrels, rabbits, and mountain lions. I’ve seen them all. (But they are few and far between.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fab photos of rain, Marsha! That is quite the downpour shown! Those flash floods that fill the creeks are always the talk of the weather news even in Sacramento. Amazing to see the Kings River cascading through, too. Reminded me of our little trip there last summer. How time has flown and how different life is now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Coming from a country where the lack of rain is only a problem from time to time (we do get droughts in the UK some summers!) I was fascinated to see the contrast between your usually dry and sometimes rain-filled creek πŸ™‚ And I love the photos of the Kings River in full spate! We had a wonderful visit to Yosemite many years ago – I would love to return one day, although I know it gets much more crowded now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The crowding is terrible, Sarah. Sometimes the wait to get in is miles long at any of the three National Parks. We lived near the Sequoia Park. I seldom visited any of them, partly for that reason, partly because my husband hated the windy drive to Sequoia. It could make you sick. My brother couldn’t handle it when I took him. But these two trips were extra special because I went with friends. My Yosemite trip I went with an artist, and Linda alerted me to views I might have missed. Monica and I love to walk. We had to wade through one of the parking lots – even in July.

      Liked by 1 person

        • COVID-19. CA is not totally locked down, but COVID restrictions have changed the way people travel. A couple of friends own Air B n Bs and they have been moderately busy in spite of the shutdowns.


    • Seriously, Frank, I’m going to have to stand out in the rain when I see it. I haven’t seen ANY in over a year. We might get some this week. If so, I’ll be out shooting wet flowers and people with hair pasted to their faces. πŸ™‚


  5. Living in one of the wettest cities in the UK, droughts are rare for me, Marsha. However, when we do get some hot summer weather, I enjoy the thunderstorms that arrive as the heat breaks down.
    When I was a child, I had ginger hair and got asked this question a lot – ‘did your mother leave you out in the rain too long?’ πŸ™„

    Liked by 1 person

    • I bet you were a cutie. I love red hair, so I’m jealous. When I was a kid in Indiana, we had tons of rain in the summer. It was hot lovely rain and we played outside in it. The thunderstorms at night saved us from insanity. We all got out of bed and set up lawn chairs in the garage and watched the lightning streak across the sky and counted the seconds until the thunder rolled in. It was better than fireworks. But it left a hot muggy earth behind that was like living in a sauna with no air conditioning to save us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Argh! Hot and humid is something I’ve never been able to do, Marsha. Give me cold weather any day. Lovely memories from you. I can remember counting the seconds between lightning and thunder too. Usually at night, while laying in bed. That seemed to the time we always at thunderstorms during the summer back then.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I loved them. I still love thunder and lightening storms. When we lived in Colorado Springs, they were often and furious. We had a 45-pound dog at the time who was deathly afraid of thunder. He would climb up as close as he could get to your head and wrap his body around your neck , if he could.

          Liked by 1 person

          • One of my dogs dislikes thunderstorms and fireworks. They really stress him out. The vet told me that it has something to do with their acute hearing and may hurt some dogs. I bought a ‘comfort’ jacket for him, which seems to help a little.

            Liked by 1 person

          • That’s good. I hope it works. I’ve wondered about those jackets. Puppy Girl is fine with thunder and lightening, but other noises set her off and she barks at the top of her lungs scaring us out of our quiet reveries!

            Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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