50 Shades of Gray

Woke this morning to a steady rain. Checked the forecast and saw more of the same until at least mid-afternoon. So I pulled on some layers, set my umbrella near the front door, helped Dash don his bright orange rain slicker, and headed out into the gray.Puddles on the wet asphalt of the Huckleberry Trail reflected the bright silver sky… in fact, the whole landscape felt a bit as if it had been plated with silver.The rain started late the night before and continued past dawn, so our local creek was full of rushing water, and the small, rocky tributaries were splashing, too.

It’s so much easier to see subtle variations of color in tree bark and the dried leaves and stems when they have a moist veneer to give them a quiet sheen. Plus, when the conditions are right it can feel like living in a cloud… feet firmly planted on land but also somehow not exactly earthbound.

I’m not sure why the phrase “gray day” is so often used to evoke sadness, or depression, or similarly negative connotations. Gray is a beautiful color and, as long as gray skies don’t continue for so long they become monotonous, a gray day can provide plenty to smile about… like the chattered scoldings of a gray squirrel, or the muted hello of a mourning dove. 

[Thanks to the following photographers for making their work available through the Creative Commons license: Tracie Hall; Muddy_Lens; Mathilde AUDIAU; Caleb RoenigkLindley Ashline; and Richard© 2018 Sidewalk Zendo. Reprints welcomed with written permission from the author.]

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