February 1, 2015 – Winter Arrives

Well, it first started out to be a 3-5 inch snowfall, then less than one inch, then back to 3-5, and when it finally arrived, 12-14 inches of snow.

The house nestled in the new fallen snow.

Along with the fresh snow, the moon was full, making for brilliant light-filled nights. Can you find the cat in this photo?

The cat abides, and follows me in the night, hoping for a treat.

Finally one more shot in the moonlight.

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.

June 20, 2014 – Seems Like a Rerun

Every few days it seems a storm rolls through.

This is looking east in the late afternoon, with some funky rays streaming up (or down?).

The back pasture is lush (and mostly thistle-free).

More passing clouds over the barn.

This is the first year we’ve had deer problems – here’s one of them we scared out of the back pasture on on her way away somewhere else.

A look across the fields to the west after the storm.

Martin *was* building a tree fort in this grouping of basswoods when one of the three limbs of the just-started fort came down.

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.