It’s always peaceful when you see a rainbow in the sky, especially after a very hard rain. I captured this image as Jo and I were close to the end of a dirt road on the north end of Everglades WMA in Palm Beach County on Saturday July 4th.
We both really needed some quiet time after having a very bad week so we set out for our happy place in the Florida wilderness. At this time of the year it gets a little warm and humid. The thermometer in the Jeep read 99 degrees when we stopped along 6 mile road in the sugar cane field to enjoy a snack about 1/4 mile walk along a wetland path.
During our respite we could see a very dense, black, cloud moving quickly toward us from the south west. There were beautiful lightening bolts sparking from the sky. The prevailing wind had a thread of chill as it breathed hot, humid, Florida air in our faces. After consulting the live radar map we cut our picnic a little short and headed for our yellow safety shelter a little ways away.
About the time we had our basket stored in the back of the Jeep the rain began spraying a chilly mist in our faces as the wind picked up and blew my hat to the ground. I chased it a few steps but was gifted with a soaked shirt in return.
The sky had grown dark and looking through the windshield was like trying to see through a white sheet but we decided to leave the safety of the parking lot and head into center of the storm as all good Florida adventurers should do. Luckily we were on an untraveled back road so there was little traffic to be concerned with.
In that parking lot the car thermometer read 99 degrees. As we drove closer toward the center of the red-mapped storm the temperature began ticking down. 99 dropped to 95, then it dropped to 90 degrees. In a mile or so the temperature dipped to 85 then 82. I could see that the wind was whipping outside, the white clouds that once filled the air above us were now pressed to the ground and the wind was stirring the deep black soil of the burned-off cane field and there was now a dark black dirt cloud from ground to tree-top level beside us. It was spooky to see the contrast of the clouds and blowing black dirt. I looked at the temperature and it read 80 degrees. I blinked and a moment later it read 78, then blinked to 76. By that time it looked like, and felt like, we were in the eye of a tornado. 75 degrees, 74, then 73 degrees.
As we drove head-long into that mighty storm, In the matter of 5 minutes, our thermometer transposed from 99 degrees to 73 degrees. In disbelief I had to roll down the window just a bit to test the air with my own hand. It was colder outside than the inside safety of our air conditioned yellow Jeep.
We didn’t stop along our narrow path but continued to our happy place about 30 minutes past the storm. By the time we reached the spot for this view the temperature had returned to 95 degrees and again it felt like Florida summer. The weather in Florida never ceases to amaze me.