Winchester, Virginia, USA

A rose is dressed by water droplets at the beginning of a rain storm.
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Having stayed overnight in Winchester, Virginia, we decided to spend the afternoon visiting the nearby Museum of the Shenandoah. The afternoon threatened bad weather with heavy clouds and thunderstorms in the area, but we decided to press on. With storm clouds looming and thunder nearby, we toured the grounds and the historic Glen Burnie mansion (built by Virginia pioneer and surveyor James Wood in the early 1700s), which is on the museum grounds. Or maybe the museum is on the historic Glen Burnie grounds. I guess it’s a matter of perspective. (Yes, a photography-history pun. Clever, huh? Right: Lame.)

Thunder chased us through the well-manicured grounds as we sought the most direct path from the mansion back to the relative security of the museum building. We did not make it. The rain started gently at first, then quickly grew to a downpour.

Just as the rain started, I noticed an ornamental rose garden about 50 yards off our path. Nancy and her brother did not pause; They were not at all confused about their objective and headed directly for relative absence of rain under the museum’s welcoming roof (still a bit far away, but by now at least we were clearly on the most direct path). I squished over to the flowers. It was worth the cold feet and sodden shoes: The flowers were still in their prime, the light was nearly perfect under the cloud cover; and the rain had not yet ruined either flowers or camera. I shot with one hand and tried to control an umbrella with the other. The umbrella thing didn’t work too well. The camera seems to have been more successful.

(Canon Powershot G9, lens focal length 7.4 mm, ISO 100, f/3.2 at 1/40 sec., natural light in a steady rain)