Monday, September 10, 2012

Rainbow Colors

San Francisco's sky on fire!

Last week went by quickly. The weather has been gorgeous and I’ve been enjoying every bit of it. I guess it’s true that San Francisco’s summer starts late. I had been promised that September and October would bring warm sunny days and that seems to be true. Even though I’m not a hot weather kind of person, I sure appreciate sunny summery days, followed by cool, fresh evenings.

In addition to the sunny days, Mother Nature decided to treat San Francisco to an amazing rainbow last week.

Mesa Verde, CO
Last Wednesday, as we set out on our evening walk, we felt some raindrops falling from the sky. We looked up and the clouds didn’t look too menacing so we decided to keep walking. It didn’t look like the rain was going to get worse or last long. We walked about another block and looked at the sky again. Up there, on the pink sky, surrounded by fiery clouds, was one of the most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen in my life, and I have seen many of them!

Santa Barbara

The rainbow was perfect. It was like the ones kids draw in school. It was so bright, you could see every single color on it. Every. Single. Color!

Togian Islands, Indonesia

Above this colorful treat, was a second less bright rainbow. Yes, we were being treated to a beautiful double rainbow without having had to endure the heavy rain that usually precedes it. No, we only felt a few drops fall on us, enough to keep us looking up to sky to catch the rainbow.

The sky was adorned with this multicolor gift for about a half hour!

Santa Barbara
Biarritz, France

One reason I was very excited about this rainbow was that I thought I had left weather-related events behind when I moved out of Minnesota. Since moving to California over 2 years ago, I have only experienced one thunderstorm and a total of less than 3 weeks of rain! No rain equals no rainbows. That sure was a change compared to the stormy Midwest.

Togian Islands, Indonesia

Santa Barbara

So, this unusual appearance inspired me to go over my photos to put together a colorful collection of rainbows from around the world. Well, at least from those places where I’ve been lucky enough to see rainbows and to capture them with my camera!

Santa Barbara
Two of my favorite rainbow photos are from Mesa Verde, CO and from Bangkok, Thailand. The reason why I like them so much is not because the photos are spectacular, but because they both happened on my birthday! It is pretty exciting to get a rainbow on your birthday. Makes you feel special in so many ways.

Santa Barbara

Talking about rainbows on special occasions. The day Joe and I got married, rain was forecasted for the day. We decided to stick to our outdoor plans and, minutes after our ceremony was over and we headed inside, the downpour started! It rained for a while and, when the rain clouds started to pass, two beautiful rainbows appeared on the sky! I haven’t really looked into the symbolism of it, but I’m pretty sure it was a good omen for our future life as a couple! I did not take the photo of our wedding rainbow. Our photographer Molly did and I'm grateful to her for capturing that beautiful moment on our wedding day!

Leaving Santa Barbara

There is a tie between the two places where I have seen (and photographed) the most rainbows over the past few years: Santa Barbara in California, and the Togian Islands in Indonesia.

As I mentioned before, since moving to California we have only had about 3 weeks of rain in total over more than two years. The funny thing is that, when we lived in Santa Barbara, our two weeks of rain came in doses of 1 week each time. At the end of one of those weeks, as we were driving home, in front of us was a beautiful rainbow! It was so pretty that it made us forget the 7 days of rain we had just endured prior to this colorful appearance.

Bangkok, Thailand

Two other rainbows I remember from the Santa Barbara area include: one we got on our way to Death Valley National Park when we were heading there to camp during the winter holidays; and one I saw while walking downtown SB with my mom when she was visiting. The one with my mom was more like a halo around the sun, but it had all the colors of a rainbow.

In the Togian Islands, rainbows were a frequent occurrence. I think we saw about five or six rainbows over the two weeks we were there! In fact, we sort our first rainbow shortly after we got off the boat that took us to the island of our dreams.

Saint Paul, MN - Our wedding rainbow!

Because of their location, these small islands see lots of storms go by them. Sometimes, the storms hit them, and other they simply appear in the horizon, hitting surrounding islands with rain. No matter where the storms were, we were almost always guaranteed to see a rainbow after they passed. Storms, rain and rainbows sure made us feel like we were on an island in the middle of the sea.

Togian Islands, Indonesia

I guess the bottom line is, I love rainbows! They are such a reminder of the beauty that only Mother Nature can create. They are a reminder of how wonderful our planet is, how perfect nature is, and how lucky we are to be able to enjoy wonderful natural events like rain and the rainbows that sometimes follow it.

Just remember, next time you feel raindrops falling on you, make sure you look up. You never know what will follow!

Santa Barbara
I hope you enjoyed this week’s photos. For more fun photos from all over the world, check my Etsy page at:

On our way to Death Valley


  1. I love rainbows too! They feel magical and special. I've seen a few double rainbows but my favorite was a double rainbow with lightening going through it! I was in New Mexico and didn't have a camera handy. Always love seeing your new posts. Miss you friend!

  2. How vibrant, Paola! YOU are the rainbow in my life, friend - beautiful, bright, and ALWAYS a sign of wonderful things <3