The storm door is open

For TV weather personalities in Sacramento, life is boring most of the year because our weather is so tame and predictable, especially compared to other parts of the country. However, in the winter things can get interesting, especially when a big storm arrives—or even better, a series of them. Turn on the TV, and you’re likely to hear one phrase repeated over and over: “The storm door is open.” I think weather men and women secretly practice this phrase so they can deliver it with maximum impact.

Well, the storm door is open, and the Pineapple Express has come to town. The first of three storms came through yesterday, and even though it was the mildest of the three in terms of wind and rainfall, it knocked a lot of leaves out of the trees, covering lawns, driveways and sidewalks with blankets of yellow and red.











At some houses, there were so many leaves that the driveway had completely disappeared. Yes, the houses in the next three photos actually have concrete driveways!




My favorite sights were the leaf swirls created by the runoff along the side of the street.




The most interesting photo I took at our house is this one: limes knocked off our lime tree along the edge of the driveway, floating on a puddle created by the garbage can waiting for the garbage truck.


Later in the afternoon the rain stopped and we actually saw patches of blue sky. But look at the dark clouds: Much more rain is on its way, this time accompanied by high winds.




  1. I know this word may not be that appropriate (considering it was caused by a storm) but I can't think of any other word to use (so I'll use it anyway): Wow!

    What a sight it must have been, with the yellow and red leaves almost completely blanketing everything! It looks oddly wonderful from the photos, I can just imagine what it must have looked like in the flesh!

    Anyway I hope the remaining two storms about to come won't cause much nuisance or damage :)

    1. I can't recall ever seeing such a thick blanket of leaves appear seemingly out of nowhere. It was quite a sight.

      We're not in a flood zone here, but lower-lying areas in Sacramento are gearing up for flooding. The next storm, due to arrive tonight, is forecast to bring up to 5 inches of rain--that's a quarter of our ENTIRE ANNUAL RAINFALL!

      I hope next week will be dry so my succulents can catch their breath from all this moisture.

      P.S. I just read this article on the Sacramento Bee website and, predictably, it features my favorite phrase: "The storm door is officially open," a Caltrans representative said :-).

  2. The best part of having the ground carpeted with colored leaves is how it changes the ambient light when the sun is shining. The light filtering through the golden leaves still on the trees, then bouncing off the yellow leaves on the ground produces an almost otherworldly glow to the atmosphere. One of the roads in town is lined with ginkos as the street tree, and this effect is particularly pronounced due to the intense yellow ginkos change into. It's almost disorienting to walk down that street! Sue

    1. Sue, that must have been spectacular! Which street is it--on the off-chance there's anything left to see tomorrow :-).

  3. One thing I've never seen after a storm here: limes floating in the street.

    Completely transformed your neighborhood!

    1. I also thought that the limes, churning around and around as the rain was pouring down, was an incongruous sight.

  4. The wind and rain here took out our power for 5 hours today. A couple of trees came down on Woodland Park drive and one of them creased a garage roof pretty good. The next storm coming through tonight is supposed to give us more of everything and winds to 55 mph! Hope all the trees stay where they belong and the snow up on the mountain!

  5. Y'all seem to be getting the brunt of this storm...we've just got some mild average rainfall (thank god, I've had enought of the downpours!). Those photos of the leaves on ground are amazing. Haven't ever seen anything like that around here...

    1. The second storm is over and it brought a lot more rain than the first. And the third, due to arrive on Saturday night, is supposed to be the wettest of them all.

      We do need the rain, desperately in fact, but I'd prefer to receive it in gentler doses.

      I'm already losing potted cacti to rot, not from this storm but from the first one of the season a few weeks ago. Strangely, I'm not upset. The tough ones will live, the others weren't meant to grow here anyway :-).

  6. Beautiful autumn color! Love the floating limes!

  7. Strangely, your pictures actually remind me of fall in Massachusetts. The ground and walkways and driveways there are often covered completely in autumn leaves, usually maples. I miss them, they made excellent compost. And your weather reporter catchphrase reminds me of something a Facebook friend said today, about how our weather reporters here in the PNW have to try to find new and interesting ways to say "It's going to rain."

    Hope you survive the coming second storm, and don't lose too many more limes.

    1. I just picked up 7 more limes that had fallen off the tree :-).

  8. It's been pretty crazy hasn't it and your photos are awesome! It does look like leaf snow around here! This is one reason I don't have any trees. But of course I get all the leaves from every one else's trees! I think I'm going to go out and take pics too!

    Oh and go get those limes!!!


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