Clouds | Moses Coulee, WA | 2014

I bounded up the mercantile’s steps out of the blazing sun. The store owner sat in the cool shade of the building’s front porch and cuddled his sleeping granddaughter in his arms. “Jilly here just made 18 months,” he whispered, beaming with pride. “She’s a cloud baby.” I’d never heard the term, but the old man explained that Jilly entered the world while a storm raged. Now, said Granddad, the only time the toddler stops squirming is when weather approaches. And her instinct is surefire. “When she nestles in her blanket, you know rain is on the way,” he said. I ducked into the store to grab a cold drink, doubting that the day’s searing white skies would produce any precipitation. But as I climbed back into my truck, I glanced north. Sure enough, a cluster of clouds swelled on the horizon.