This morning the sky around the volcano was striated – bright gray-white on top and dark gray-black on bottom. It started slowly but there appeared a deep red glow in the darkness, like the glowing embers in an almost dead fire. To me it looked like fire mixed with the black smoke from a fire-breathing dragon (I just finished watching the first season of Once Upon a Time), the volcano being the humps of its back and shoulders.
The color got brighter and more intense with the clouds rimmed in red and looking like they were being singed when as quickly as it appeared it was gone. From a blast of crimson to a white-gray monochrome in a matter of minutes.
I’m really glad I got to see it.
P.S. If you’re going to get tired of seeing photographs of Mount Vesuvius you’d better tell me right now so I can get over the loss of readers sooner rather than later.
The climate of southern Italy is a lot like that of southern California. This so-called Mediterranean climate is characterized by hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Most of the rain in these areas falls during the winter time and places can go 4-6 months without seeing any precipitation at all. Personally, I love weather. I love crazy extreme weather that gets people talking. You don’t even know how bummed I was to miss out on the derecho and the insane heat wave back in DC. I missed out on the blizzard of December 2009 and got stuck in Zurich, Switzerland over night when our flight to IAD was cancelled. (That also resulted in my having to pay a $500 fine to the Swiss for over-staying my tourist visa. P.S. Don’t fly through Switzerland if you over-stay your visa.) Naples exists in a sort of bubble where no exciting weather happens. Ever. The further north you go you’ll encounter snow storms, crazy rain events, flooding, excessive heat, you know, the cool stuff. But here, we get bad air from a mix of all the cars, the constant burning of trash, a steady high-pressure system, and a marine layer that doesn’t move. The only interesting weather is during the winter when the winds come. Sometimes they get so strong they move between the buildings at such a rate that they howl. On occasion that howling is so loud you can barely hear the tv. The winds also like to blast doors open and blow rain inside. They can be such jerks sometimes. Okay, so Naples has one cool weather phenomenon. (They also had a freak snowstorm last winter but since I wasn’t here for that I’m not counting it.)
Because Naples is perpetually sunny it came as a nice surprise today when for five minutes it got cloudy, there were two rumbles of thunder, and we had a little rain. It literally lasted for only those five minutes but it was still a refreshing change of pace. Always having sunny days requires you to always feel upbeat even when you don’t want to. It’s like the Sun demands it, “I’m going to shine and you’re going to be happy and smile your stupid face off, dammit.” Well sometimes I don’t want to be all smiling and happy, sometimes I want it to be dark and cloudy, or I want to see a huge thunderstorm on the horizon and watch rain drops the size of quarters pelt the ground. Even though I’m always lazy cloudy days mean I can be lazy without feeling guilty about it. The weather here is the definition of insane, at least according to Ben Franklin: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Okay, so I’m forcing a round peg into a square hole, I’m not so good at metaphors. But you get my point, right?
Sure it’s always nice to know that when you come to Italy in the summer you’re pretty much guaranteed warm, sunny weather. I get that. It’s why I love going to Florida in the winter. Even if the temperature is in the 70s, which for SW Florida is like the arctic, it’ll still be warmer than Maryland. But seriously, can we at least get one day of rain? Just one? Anyway, I guess there are worse things in the world than six months of perpetual sunshine.
Ooh yay! I hear more thunder!