It had been a crappy week, weather wise. Our local Meetup group had issued a challenge for landscapes this week, but rain makes for nice photos if you’re in Thailand or Hawaii maybe. Not in Cincinnati.

On Friday, we had some wicked rain during the day, but the skies cleared around dinner time. The high temperature hit only 45 F, and it hovered at only 39 degrees when I headed out. When you’re inside a cozy brick house, you don’t notice the wind so much.

Not until you walk around outside where there is a lot of open fields, small lakes and some hills with no protection.

I didn’t have gloves, well, because I didn’t think it was really that cold. Big mistake. 

After the rain makes for lush photos, and the sun kept peeking out here and there. Although I didn’t really have enough time to head to an area with a spectacular view before the sun set, I decided to make the best of things and see what I could find at a local park.

The area that I thought would be really cool turned out to be not so much. It’s a nice hill with some interesting textures, but it had been mowed a week or so before, and flowers hadn’t really started to bloom a whole lot. The whole area looked rather drab.

Although I was a little discouraged at the area I had chosen to photograph, the clouds were moving at a high rate of speed, so I decided to make the best of it and find new ways to capture the essence of the evening.

Many of the photos were rather boring, although I thought I got some cool shots. Trying different angles creates different perspective, and as usual, I don’t like to have shots like everyone else. Time to move on.

There’s a small lake nearby with boats that can be rented. The boat house has a nice little walkway, and there are pleasant enough looking lights surrounding the area. Plus, there are frequently lots of birds hanging around the area, so I headed there.

Nope. No birds–I guess they were hiding from the storm somewhere. The sky became more overcast; there were no more cool clouds, and the scene was pretty boring.

Thankful for the heat of my car, I took a really short drive to a nearby campground looking for something to capture my fancy.

Ah, some pretty purple budding flowers on trees. Let’s try for those. They’re probably not in the category of “landscape” per se (or are they? I couldn’t decide) but pretty enough.

The wind started whipping about and rain started to fall, pretty nastily. Just for a moment, because it turned to HAIL. In the middle of April, my camera and I were being pummeled by little evil bits of frozen rain.

Lens spotty with water, hands freezing, I gave up and headed home towards the west.

And there it was. The most spectacular sunset I’d seen in ages. There’s something about a sunset after a wicked storm, but this sunset after hail was remarkable.

Instead of turning into my driveway, I kept going a very short distance where there are a few hills facing west. (View to the east: parking lot and high school athletic fields). The rain/hail was coming down on me and my car, but off to the distance, the clouds had parted to show God’s glorious sun setting for just a few moments.


Like in the old paintings, rays of light streamed towards me as I started to pull into the parking lot. Sadly, they evaporated as quickly as they had appeared, and I couldn’t capture the light streams.

Instead, the sun shone toward me and up, reflecting off the clouds.


Hanging out in that parking lot for maybe 10 minutes, I felt full of joy at that amazing light show after the nasty storm.

It’s kind of like life, you know? Like when everything seems like it’s falling apart, but then sometimes something really cool happens.

Storms and hail, it seems, make for a beautiful sunset.