Magnolia with raindrops

When I was a kid, I had a picture-book titled What Do They Do When It Rains? The premise of the book was simple: for each two-page spread, the pictures showed someone doing something in the sunshine, and then the same person doing something else in the rain.


I don’t remember most of the scenarios pictured in the book: I think firefighters were shown polishing their fire engines inside the fire station on rainy days, and surely there were pictures of people walking outside wearing colorful raincoats. I remember, though, that the man who sold umbrellas was the only character who was noticeably happier on rainy days because of the brisk business he did, and I remember the book including a silly tableau depicting a house painter who painted houses when it was sunny (picture a man on a ladder painting the exterior of a house) and who painted houses when it rained (picture the same man inside his living room, painting a picture of a house).

Of the various picture-books I read as a kid, I think I’ve always remembered this one because of the cheery message it sent. Even though everyone apart from the umbrella-seller was happier when it was sunny, everyone made the best of even a rainy day. “Life doesn’t stop when it rains” was the implicit moral I took away from this picture-book. “You just make the appropriate modifications.”

Grape hyacinth

What do I do when it rains? I take pictures. Because my everyday-use camera is already well-worn, I don’t worry about raindrops; as long as the rains aren’t torrential, you can keep your camera “mostly” dry inside your pocket, taking it out for quick snaps between raindrops. The secret to taking pictures on overcast and even rainy days is to keep shooting. This morning was drizzly, so I walked in a raincoat and ball-cap; wanting to snap a picture of some rain-dampened magnolia blossoms, I ended up shooting a handful of poorly lit images before getting one that was good enough to share. This morning might have been overcast and drizzly, but that wasn’t enough to stop the birds from singing, the magnolias from blooming, or me from shooting pictures.

This is my contribution to today’s Photo Friday theme, Overcast.