July 6, 2014 – Mother Nature’s Fireworks and Funnels, Oh My!

Once again, dramatic skies in the neighborhood.

midwest storm

Looking to the tornado-spawning clouds to the south before sunset.

midwest storm

Same place as the sun set. This is the same tornado-spawning cloud as in the earlier picture.

barn and storm cloud

Clouds and the barn.

farm building and storm cloud

Clouds and the hog barn.  This cloud made tornadoes by Tama.

funnel rock creek

A view of the tornado near rock creek park in Jasper county. No wind here, and only a sprinkle of rain.

January 27, 2013 – Want a Little Icing on that Earth?

Even though I’ve got photo editing software that puts this effect on any photo, the following are real, undoctored photos.

The view out the kitchen window looking towards the doghouse and barn.

A maple tree in the front yard.

The detached garage.  Everything is shut down this morning because of the ice.

I was hoping for a power blip or two as I finally broke down and bought a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) this week so the computer would work through power blinks and shut down properly during an extended outage with battery back-up.

May 17, 2012 – Another Barn Destoyed

Another classic turn of the century barn was put to rest. This is what the place where the barn used to be three days ago looks like now.

Usually it’s the same story – some equipment comes, digs a big hole, pushes the destroyed barn into the hole, covers it up, and then corn/beans are planted on top of it.

In the fifteen of so years we’ve been here, this is the sixth barn within two mile of our place to lose the turn of the century barn.

March 9, 2011 – Silly Putty Snow

We awoke to a few inches of very heavy snow with a thick layer of slush underneath.

It’s the kind of snow that tends to swoosh off the barn in one giant slide.

It’s also the kind that isn’t fun to drive in.  Emma needed to be to school early, so she was off before the roads were plowed. The road had three ruts, with each lane sharing the common center rut – a semi-truck approached and as she moved over into the deep slush and the semi blinded her with a windshield full of slush, she lost control and avoided a car traveling behind the semi and ended up resting in the ditch – thankful that she didn’t collide with the oncoming car or roll as she traveled down the steep ditch. She wasn’t the only one as there were 4 vehicles in the ditch on the way to town, including a jeep that had rolled.

one year ago…”Discarded Toyota Marketing Slogans”

June 20, 2010 – Mammatus!

We had a spectacular show Friday night as the second round of storms for the day passed by to the east. A nice field of mammatus clouds developed.

mammatus over barn

I went out anticipating that the thunderheads to the east might have some interesting illumination from the setting sun to the west, but was very pleased to see these clouds and watch as the grew and developed.

skystream under mammatus

The following bit of information is condensed from Wikipedia: Mammatus are most often associated with the anvil cloud that extends from a cumulonimbus (thunderheads). Mammatus are often indicative of a particularly strong storm or maybe even a tornadic storm. These tend to form more often during warm months and are most common over the midwest and eastern portions of the United States.

Mammatus may appear as smooth, ragged or lumpy lobes and may be opaque or semitransparent. Because mammatus occur as a grouping of lobes, the way they clump together can vary from an isolated cluster to a field of mamma that spread over hundreds of kilometers to being organized along a line, and may be composed of unequal or similarly-sized lobes. The individual mammatus lobe average diameters of 1–3 km and lengths on average of 0.5 km. A lobe can last an average of 10 minutes, but a whole cluster of mamma can range from 15 minutes to a few hours. They usually are composed of ice, but also can be a mixture of ice and liquid water.

mammatus clouds

As the sun sank lower, the clouds turned from yellow to red.

It was rather exhilarating to be outside walking under this strange meteorologic phenomenon under a wide open sky!

one year ago…”Emma’s First 5K”

June 8, 2010 – Barn Staining Update

Looks like Claire managed to complete staining the east side of the barn.  There is not complete agreement as the window frames are left unpainted, but daughter claims that was not part of the instruction since no white paint was left in an obvious location.

At any rate, the stain-splattered body tell me that she indeed make a good-faith effort before her looming trip to India!

one year ago…”Spring Lettuce”

December 28, 2009 – Stagecraft Snow

We had about 2-3 inches of what I call “stagecraft snow” Saturday night.

The gentle, large fluffy flakes that lazily fall down on a calm evening.

They gently rest wherever they fall and adorn everyday objects with a new look. Whether it be a hat on top of a fencepost.

Or a symmetrical snow carbon copy on the barn handle.

And even a few moments of the fluffy flakes glinting down in the sunlight.

one year ago…”More Ice; Another Day at Home”

November 13, 2009 – South Side of Barn Painted

The flurry of barn painting this summer is as complete as it is going to be until spring – 3 of the 4 sides stained. Two weekends ago we had 70 degrees and a north wind, so it allowed me to get up high and finish the south side.


The doors and trim on the back need replacement as well, but that’s probably a next year item as well.

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #141″