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24 March 2008

Red Rain

Grey Sky
Red rain filtering the light on this picture of a church on Hydra

Over the weekend I was on Hydra, one of my beloved islands. On Saturday the weather was nice, but on Sunday it got cloudy with a warning of storm. The coming rain was said to bring red earth from the Sahara.

The tree I was sketching - much too hard for my skillz, even without rain

While I was sketching a tree that is clinging to some rocks above the sea (much too hard for my skills), red drops appeared on my sketchbook. I switched to taking photos. These turned out to be special too afterwards: The clouds of red rain had given them a distinct sepia tone.

A boat off Hydra island

It's interesting how the mind had compensated for the tone of the light, it did not appear red or sepia to my eye, but apparently it was enough off balance to trip the auto white balance of the camera.

It's spring here in Greece, and I loved all the flowers I saw on Hydra. These here went especially well with the white sails in the distance.

Posted by betabug at 11:58 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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Re: Red Rain

Beautiful Hydra and nice pixx. Maybe one day I'll have the chance to walk on that soil with you buddy. AFAICR, Moroccan Sahara is full of beige sand. I visited quite many places there when I was a teenager with my family and there was no red sand or earth. It must be coming from other parts of the desert?

Posted by: Saad Kadhi at March 24,2008 13:29
Re: Red Rain

Yeah, the red / Sahara connection struck me as weird too, dunno were the stuff really came from. We have sand in the wind (or sometimes in rain) sometimes here, usually it is more yellow. I hope you will be able to come to see this nice place sometimes!

Posted by: betabug at March 24,2008 13:36
Re: Red Rain

Last summer, the first day full of fires when the sky turned red, I woke up and thought "Clouds from africa".

In Spain is common to get them from Morocco. But unfortunately, I was wrong that day :(

Posted by: graffic at March 25,2008 12:16
Re: Red Rain

graffic, seeing the pics I was reminded of those horrible days last summer too, but when I was there under the "sand rain", I didn't see it so red. To me it looked mostly grey.

Posted by: betabug at March 26,2008 09:03
Re: Red Rain

It is frequent in Greece in the springtime to have some days of dusty winds and "muddy" rain coming from the Sahara. As one can see in the National Marine Research Center 's page (, under the "Επιλέξτε παράμετρο"-"φορτίο σκόνης", it is very often for the jet streams from Sahara to reach the southern parts of Europe (esp. Greece and Italy).

Posted by: Panagiotis at March 26,2008 10:33
Re: Red Rain

Very nice pictures from Hydra!

Ah the story of the red rain again or is it the story about "no rain in Greece again". The red skies during Spring over Greece are caused by the southern Sahara wind the "Khamsin" - pronounced "Khamaseen" in Arabic meaning the "50 days". It is an intense wind blowing sand from the heart of the Saharan desert mainly over Egypt and Libya.

Today for example, 21 April 2008, temperature in Athens is at 31 Celsius and Cairo at 43 Celsius (just to give you an idea of the heat brought with this wind).

On a tangent, according to research by the National Technical University of Athens and the Hellenic Meterological Organisation, rainfall over Athens and southern Greece was the lowest ever during 2007 since records in Greece began in 1896.

According to experts, Greece desperately needs sunbstantial rainfall and any time for this is welcome as well as substantial snowfall next fall/winter.

Posted by: Victor Theofilopoulos at April 21,2008 15:56
Re: Red Rain

We had red rain here in GEX France near Geneva on Sept. 11, 2008.

The puddles on white plastic chairs, that were indeed clean before the shower, were full of red rust colored puddles. I've never seen such a rain.

The night before I was researching deep water ports and shipping, and was taken to two iron ore ports in N. Western AUSTRALIA. There they have red - I presume Iron ore - colored earth. Impressive. I 've seen it before in some iron ore mountain range on the South Isle of NZ.

That the red rain could travel all the way to Switzerland impressed me. I guess we live in interesting times. Red Rain on 911 2008 will bring more changes in this world. I hope for the better and for peace.

Posted by: John Marden at September 12,2008 05:22
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