By Diana Poulos-Lutz


It had been raining for two days on Long Island and the weather forecast predicted the precipitation on the second day to end by early in the afternoon. However, as with most things in life, circumstances and timing are often unpredictable. So, on my drive to Jones Beach for a sunset walk, the light rain continued to fall on my windshield.  However, small sections of the sky began to appear brighter. Once I arrived, the rain continued. Since the rain was light and the sky showed signs of hope, I began walking along the beach pathway despite the conditions.   On this evening, there were no birds to see or hear along the pathway. It seemed unusually silent, and the unrelenting misty rain gave the air a cold chill. Yet, as I approached the shoreline, my attention was drawn to the churning surf, the kind of waves often seen after a passing storm. The Oystercatchers were also lively, like the active waves. They were scattered along the shore, mostly in pairs, gallivanting along the rain drenched sand. Some were also flying around making their loud calls, and others were exploring the sand along the dunes. The Sanderlings, too, were active in small groups, scurrying around by the water in their characteristically frantic manner.  Some great black-backed gulls were also seen, seemingly calm and placid. It’s always interesting to notice the apparently different behaviors and personality of animals from species to species. They all have the same basic objective and instincts: to find food, survive the elements, and procreate. Yet, different species of animals have adapted their own unique ways based on their specific needs, and display their special innate behavior, in order to meet those objectives and satisfy those instincts.

As I continued on towards the jetty in the misty rain, the cloud cover and low-lighting provided a special ambiance at the shore, much different and, in some ways, more soothing than the daytime hours.  Despite the less-than-ideal conditions for photographing wildlife, I took the camera out, feeling that the time of day and weather conditions would capture something different from a pleasant sunny day. As I continued walking west toward the jetty, the small hopeful areas of clearing in the sky seemed to disappear, and the rain became a little more persistent. Nevertheless, I kept walking on the path that I had set out on. Just as the sky grew even darker, and the rain heavier, the sun unexpectedly broke through a portion of the cloud cover. Through the small opening in the clouds, the sun became so strong that the light began to reflect on the roaring waves. Although the sky had suddenly become much brighter, the rain continued. As I gazed south over the water, a small rainbow appeared to be melting into the turbulent ocean. I looked east and I saw that the other end of the rainbow appeared over the dunes, not far from the Jones Beach tower. Although I was not able to view the entire arch of the rainbow because of the higher cloud cover, it was an extraordinary sight. It seemed to be a validation that despite the dark clouds and continuing rain, sometimes it’s worth it to continue on the mileage you had set before you. As long as you have the energy and a little hope, you never know what you may find, and what the universe may show you, if you persevere through lingering rain.

Click on page 2 for the rainbow images!