March 10, 2014 – Ice Breakup on Squaw Creek

While I dropped Martin off at church this evening, I had a couple hours to spend in Ames, so I wandered over to Squaw Creek to check out the river to take advantage of the warm day and extended daylight.

squaw creek

The creek was churning and crashing, sending its winter mantle of ice south.

ice breakup

It was something to witness that only happens once a year and reminded me that yes, I really do live in the north, even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes.

In the hour or so I was there, the amount of ice dramatically decreased, owing to the temporary nature of the ice out.

Here’s a short video clip of the ice out.

September 10, 2013 – Dramatic Skies

After the last two days of 101 and 99 degrees (the latest in the year it has been over 100 here), we were treated to some dramatic skies.

The first few little thunderstorms skirted just to our south.

The soybeans provide an interesting striped pattern in the field.

Although it may look like a mushroom cloud over Ames, this was the first of a few small cells that passed over us, leaving us with a bit over a half-inch of rain.

Maybe a sky shot without contrails? A nice sunset.

July 22, 2013 – Stiff Breeze

Last night we finally had relief from our latest mini-drought.  We had been unable to pull garlic as the ground was too hard  required watering  everyday (or rather morning or evening, and rather Grandma Jo was doing it).

A storm packing winds and rain came our way – 0ver an inch of rain, a temperature drop of 25 degrees in a few minutes and a breeze that verged on the dangerous.

The first corn field on the blacktop (1/3 mile away) didn’t fare thee well.

If the past is any indication, although this cornfield looks bad now, it will more than likely recover and stand back up.

May 29, 2013 – Record Flood on Iowa River

I’m late posting this, but better now than never. The Iowa River (the closest river to us) reached record levels this week – even higher than the floods of 2008 and 1993.

This photo from the Marshalltown Times-Republican shows the river looking south into Marshalltown along Highway 14.

This photo is of the other main highway north of town, Highway 330 near Albion. We put a sump pump in after 2008 when we redid our septic and while not perfect, it was much better than 2008 when water accumulated in the basement – this time there was just some water running through to the drains over the cement floor.

Needless to say gardening has been non-existent and we’re behind the 8-ball trying to catch up. Most of the things we did get in between raindrops is doing well, although portion of the garden have had water running/seeping through for over a week.

March 6, 2013 – By the Morning Light

It was a tough drive home last night. While the roads were perfectly dry in town, out here, it was a different story. Even though a neighbor cleared one lane last night, even the blacktop county road was down to one lane in parts, along with our road.

While it seems I’m spending all my time the last week driving on icy roads and bringing cars in for service, Emma had great news as she will join her sister in working at Wolf Ridge Environmental Center on the North Shore of Lake Superior this summer. Meanwhile, Claire is touring Hamburg and Berlin as we speak.

February 28, 2013 – I’m Voting for “Lion”

Last year at this time, we were tapping maple trees for sap.  This year seems a bit more normal.

We’re on about 36 straight hors of snow after the prediction was for “occasional flurries” with some places getting up to an inch.  The closest town to our west measured 14 inches and to the east 10 inches, so we probably got a bout a foot.  Last week they warned us three days before about a major storm that turned out to fizzle.  Now this one, they did not make any warnings until hours after the storm started.  More of the same predicted for the first week of March, so I’m going with in like a lion, out like a lamb this year!

January 31, 2013 – Winter WeatherTrifecta plus One!

Our streak of miserable winter weather continues. Day 1 ice. Day 2 thunderstorms. Day 3 snow.  Day 4 Howling wind and dangerous cold in the depths of the bleak midwinter.

Most of the day, the snow from 5-6 counties away blew in all day in single-digit temps.  Late in the day there was a slight lessening of the wind affording the first view of the power poles a mile away.

January 28, 2013 – Fire and Ice

Here’s something we haven’t seen for a while – red on the radar.

Thunderstorms and 39 degrees.

Yesterday’s ice storm did not want to give way.

Martin thought school should have been a two hour delay – and he was right – he heard that 5 buses needed a tow – and his bus picked up kids from one of the stuck buses.

Even a common Queen Anne’s Lace looks more elegant encased in ice.

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.