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Some grumbled because we were doused with rain from January through May.

Except for brilliant sunshine on the day we moved here, it did seem as if there was nothing but showers for five months.

Tough for people whose depression deepens with the waning light of winter.

And tough for seasoned Portlanders, who advise that they usually head to Hawaii or the Caribbean during those dark months.

Yet we were so happy to wake every day to the brilliant green of “our” rainforest, that we were determined to find ways to live with the rain.  Admittedly, some rain-soaked days were tougher than others.

The long winter rains extended to a late spring, which affected every living thing here.

Some crops were damaged; grapes in wine country matured later; most Oregon produce was pronounced late.

I was thinking of this yesterday, when we chose a new route for our daily walk, tripping through ankle-deep leaves along a pretty street.

If not for those late rains, we wouldn’t still be enjoying full fall colors this late in the season.

Our maples are so blazing red right now, we joked that someone must have slipped in and painted the neighborhood during the two weeks I was away.

In a region that’s mostly green and gold in autumn, our neighbors have planted so many Japanese and other decorative maples that side streets especially appear to be glowing with color, above us and below our feet.

When the sun broke through the clouds after an overcast morning yesterday, it seemed to light a fire of crimson along our path.

I skipped my morning meditation due to an early appointment, so walked uphill through the scattered leaves, my mind excited with brief prayer:  “thank you-thank you-thank you!”

Then we encountered this street sign, which captured our mood:

All photos by Hadi Dadashian, shot in Portland 11/15/11.  Please credit if reposted.