Posts Tagged ‘storm’

Before the Storm

I was working in the backyard when I started hearing thunder in the distance.

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I kept my mind on taking pictures of any cooperative insect, like this damselfly. It was so small, and the sunlight overpowered its colors.

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The ever-present widow dragonfly perched for its turn to pose.

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These are the last flowers on the clump of butterflyweed. I will miss it.

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For some reason, I didn’t expect to see a praying mantis.

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Thunder announced the approach of the storm cloud.

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The sky continued to darken, and lightning flashed occasionally.

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And then sheeting rain fell. The thunder and lightning completed the experience.

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A Long Strong Storm

We had a strong storm today that lasted from 10:30 till 1:30

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There was heavy rain and a lot of thunder. The thunder actually last at least three hours after the storm ended. Light rain continued too.

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The young ground hogs didn’t seem to mind the weather. It was probably fun.

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This one kept me laughing. It was under the bench for the picnic table out of the rain, munching away.

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It looked around before

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joining the others out in the yard. It was still raining relatively hard.

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I wonder if this one was surveying its domain.

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This is the adult. I don’t know if it saw me or not. It took off for the barn as fast as it could go.

 

A Yard Visitor

A storm passed through southern Illinois earlier this morning.

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 I sat at the computer, beside the picture window, working on blog. I looked out, and there was a box turtle crossing our yard. I grabbed my camera and out I went.

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At least turtles are slow and more cooperative for pictures.

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You can tell the approximate age of a box turtle by counting the rings on plastron (a plate). I counted thirteen rings on one of the plates.

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Male box turtles have red eyes and the females have brown.

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I sat at the computer working on the blogs from the earlier yard visitors. Then what do I see next — a young squirrel.

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Squirrels aren’t common in our yard.

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This one was a fast little critter that didn’t pose for pictures. I lucked out getting these two.

Living Lawnmower

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   Our first storm of the day passed through about about 8:30 this morning, Another’s to come through before lunch.

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Two groundhogs live under our barn — a parent and a young one.

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The rain didn’t seem to bother this young one.

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It moved along, from one tasty morsel to the next.

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It must finally be full.

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It took a little time to rest before it went back under barn.

Brilliant Sunrise

I laid on the couch early one morning. It gave me a view out the front of the house where a storm was slowly approaching from the west. It was dark enough I didn’t think about it being morning yet.

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Then it dawned on me that the sun would rise behind the house at an earlier time.

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Obviously, I was glad the approaching storm woke me early.

Relive a Memory

The words, “Relive a memory” came to mind. How odd?

My mind started wondering and ended up with when I wrote nature articles for the Saturday edition of several local newspapers. This was in the 90’s. I illustrated every article with an ink drawing.

It didn’t take long to pick out the memory I wanted to relive.

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Bell Pond, a remote cypress swamp.

My son, Keith, went with me. He was 15 years old.

Intermittent rain fell. There were no trails as we followed the water’s edge. Every step was a slurp. One of the first things I saw was a water moccasin. My little red umbrella almost kept my sketchbook and field notebook dry. A bullfrog called. A long dark snake swam effortlessly along the water’s surface. Another snake rolled off a log into the water.

The sky darkened again. This time dark-dark. Thunder was nearing. We picked up our pace as we followed an animal trail, the only trail through here. Suddenly we were in a heavy downpour. I hurried to the water’s edge, not wanting to miss a thing. The area was open with dead trees scattered about and a thick undergrowth of buttonbush. All was grayed by the angled sheeting rain. Occasional lightning  and rolling thunder added to the experience.

We heard bullfrogs. Deer flies found us. Fallen sticks, logs and patches of dense vegetation made walking difficult. Some areas smelled fishy from all the crawdads. The rain finally stopped. I was soaked!

The word dismal must have originated with someone trying to describe a swamp on a rainy day. After 3 1/2 hours of hiking, we were tired and very exhilarated. We couldn’t have had more fun if we had tried.

The swamp was an amazing, intriguing, eerie place for a visit. The weather added even more drama to the wildlife packed wetland community.

I was just glad I didn’t call it home!

The Grandmother Tree

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One of my tree friends, the Grandmother Tree, one of my tree friends, was still standing January 2011 and went down during a strong storm later that the year.

She grew on my rural property, near the creek and in view from “my rock” seat at the top of a short bluff. During many, many camping trips, I saw her in all seasons, different kinds of weather, different times of the day and under full moons.

Davis (my youngest son, now 34 years old) and I did a night hike one winter evening when he was in 4th grade. We laid with our heads near her trunk. The limbs made her look like a giant spider standing over us.

 One time  a raccoon tail hung out the hole on the side near the top. I would sit and lean against her and watch/listen to the water running in the creek just feet away.

It’s been nice to sit here and “walk” back through memories of the Grandmother Tree.