Good morning and greetings, April shower fans. After a winter that was drier than Steven Wright’s sense of humor, (“I went to a restaurant that serves ‘breakfast at any time.’ So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance,”) a thunderstorm blew into the Bay Area Thursday night that was one for the record books, as it shattered rainfall records and CD’s for the day in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and New Jack City.
The evening’s festivities produced more lightning balls and strikes than any storm in recent years, as the National Weather Service counted 750 lightning strikes up and down the coast between 8 p.m. and midnight. It was reminiscent of Lou Christie’s 1966 smash hit, “Lightning is striking again and again and again and again.” I loved those lyrics, although the first time I heard them I thought the record was skipping.
We had some rain showers earlier in the week that brought billowing clouds and beautful light to the morning sky. It was particularly pleasant on Wednesday morning, as I was walking along West Cliff Drive thinking, “Boy, I wish I had brought my camera with me.” That’s right, even though it’s 2012, I still roll camera-free.
It was a low tide morning, and much like my silver hair, there was a lovely glitter and shine to the Pacific waters reflecting off the massive thunderclouds above. So to make up for this faux pas of not capturing the morning’s magnificence, I decided to head up to Four Mile beach, as I knew if the tide were out, there’d be mucho photo opportunities up on the North Coast.
Unfortunately, when I arrived at 9:30, all the major clouds had disappeared from the sky, so those reflection shots I was looking for were as over as Rick Santorum’s presidential bid. I guess when you compare homosexualtiy to beastiality and state that “Contraception is not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be,” you’re going to have a little trouble getting the mainstream behind you, for as we know, life is not a Tea Party. Or in the words of Steven Wright, “For my birthday I got a humidifier and de-humidifier. I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.”
I’ve always been extremely fond of the Four Mile of beaches. It’s less than a five minute drive from my westside abode, and I’m never disappointed when I hit the path to the beach and see the gulls lined up like like bowling pins with wings. Or as Steve Wright put it, “I was walking down the street wearing glasses when the prescription ran out.”
As I hit the sand, I immediately came upon a very rare sight, as a great blue heron was swimming upstream in the creek that leads into Billy Ocean. Much to my dismay and June, I was not able to photograph this beautiful bird, as it took off and flew away faster than my hopes and dreams of someday returning to runway modeling. Or as Steven Wright might have said, “What’s another word for Thesaurus?”
So I headed out toward the area of beach that was normally covered by the blue Pacific. The sand was strewn with brown and green sea grass and the rocks covered with barnacles along with sea stars, sea anenomes and friends. There were also a number of surreal looking jellyfish (photo #6) lounging in the sand. Throw in some linguini, clams, and a snowy egret and I was a fairly happy camper.
There were a few surfers in the water, but the rest of the beach was deserted, except for the gulls, who were considerate enough to put on a small aerial display. I will continue to journey up to the North Coast throughout the spring, as there are so many beaches to be photographed and I’m lonely. Or from Steven Wright’s perspective, “A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I’m afraid of widths.
On another weather note, last Wednesday, a freak afternoon thunderstorm in Armarillo, Texas dumped one to two inches of matzo-ball-sized hail in a two-hour period that buried cars and trapped motorists and Cowboy cheerleaders in muddy drifts that were waist-to-shoulder high. It was quite an unusual event, even for the Lone Star State. It reminded me of the old George Carlin line, “There was a freak accident on the San Diego Freeway today as six freaks in a van hit two freaks in a Volkswagon.”
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