Category Archives: weather

buds and bolts

Spring has been unusually hot this year. This week we’re looking forward to our first heat wave with temps up into the 90s and lots of humidity. Thunderstorms are in the forecast too. I know I shouldn’t complain about the weird weather because, well, after all, our congresscritters just held a vote declaring that climate change is real but it’s not our fault. Humans had nothing to do with it. So there.

In the meantime, random climate change has caused some of my plants to flower and bolt early. Here are a few in my yard that are well into summer even though it’s only May. Even though it’s not our fault.

First to bolt was my lovely sorrel, which I planted in a deck pot last spring. She rose up with gorgeous, lemony leaves, of which I managed to eat two or three before she bolted practically overnight. She puts forth such delicate little buds on long, gangly stems that it’s a pleasure to look at her instead of eating her.

sorrel buds

sorrel buds

The arugula saw the sorrel bolt and decided it was done and sent up these pretty little flowers.

arugula flower

arugula flower

Of course, the tomatoes should be sending out flowers — I just hope fruits follow quickly.

tomato flower

tomato flower

I swear there were no flowers on the nettles yesterday but today there are plenty.  I guess this year’s crop will be harvested for seed instead of leaves.

nettle flowers

nettle flowers

I’ve never had so much yellow dock spring up and immediately bolt than this year. There’s gonna be a lot of root digging later on.

yellow dock

yellow dock

And this little pennycress is included because she’s just the cutest little thing. I love that she has pods and buds all at the same time.

pennycress

pennycress


march roars

March snow storms are usually the worst ones in this neck of the woods. Something about rising temps, wetness, the tilt of the earth, or maybe just Winter’s last violent gasp? I dunno what exactly, but they are heavy, treacherous to drive or walk through, but often the most beautiful of the season. Isn’t it the way of it, that the more dangerous a thing, the more beautiful it is?

Here are some photos from a few hours ago. There’s much more snow now, and if accuweather is to be believed, still more to come.
march snow

march snow

march snow


in the aftermath of irene

Hurricane Irene garnered immense media coverage. The local television stations preempted all programming to bring us non-stop coverage of the storm before it happened. The weather dudes were all over this. Honestly, after watching hours and hours of the hurricane forecasts, I may have enough hours to get a degree in meteorology. This storm was huge and the news coverage was huger. Really huger, and I totally meant to type huger. Irene even eclipsed good grammar.

I sat transfixed as the anchor and pretty co-anchor on Action News reported as we saw a live picture of the Philadelphia skyline, “You are now seeing what so many are experiencing right now. Gray skies and lots and lots of rain.” The pretty little co-anchor then exclaimed, “Pelting rain. I experienced this myself today.” A stunning example of the in depth and truly gutsy journalism we were subjected to.

Our fearless leaders all over the Mid-Atlantic worked tirelessly to close down the cities, evacuate citizens and shut down mass transit in anticipation of the devastation to come. New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York City and other locales up and down the I-95 corridor declared states of emergency before the first raindrops fell. Not only did they shut down everything, they were kind enough to explain to the frightened public exactly what to do to prepare for the worst. This was not just your average bread, milk and eggs run on the grocery stores, no this was all out, hunker down in the bunker with three days worth of water, canned goods, and toilet paper.

Here in the suburbs of Philadelphia, people were out in droves making preparations to weather the biggest hurricane in 50 years. I’m embarrassed to admit, we started our preparations too late. A full day before the storm hit, there was not a battery or flashlight to be found at Home Depot, CVS, or even ACME.  As I spent my time hauling all our deck furniture, plants, bird feeders and other potential projectiles down to grotto under our sunroom, Brni secured the trash cans and tested the gas generator. We even identified the safest place in the basement to hunker down in case the hurricane spawned tornadoes. But we forgot to get D batteries before the stores sold out.

I was terrified.

Now that it’s all over, I feel it important to record pictorially for posterity, the damage in the aftermath of this massive and deadly storm that we suffered in my tiny quarter acre of suburbia. We feel lucky to be alive.

Flood!
flood!
There is a stream at the edge of our property. Not only did it flood its banks, but it started creeping up the southern side of the gully. We feel lucky that it only dislodged a couple of discarded bricks.

Lost harvest
lost harvest 2
Tomato on the ground and half eaten by a nearly drowned chipmunk.

Birdbath destruction
birdbath destruction
Not only is this birdbath on its side, but all the water has been spilled. This was a prime mosquito nesting site. Lost. All lost.

Fallen twigs and leaves
deck devastation 2
Would you look at the size of that twig? We’re lucky the deck held.

weird projectile
This pointy tree-thing could have put out someone’s eye!

downed twigs 2
Thank god no one was standing on the walk when these came down.

Fallen rake
fallen rake
We will pick this up!

Yes, there were areas hit with more severe flooding, power outages, damage and sadly, some loss of life. My heartfelt sympathies go out to those who have suffered, and I am truly grateful that we got away easy on this one. Almost makes up for the media overkill.


joining in

by this time tomorrow, our corner of the woods will be joining in on the heat wave that has so much of the country in its grip. we haven’t had rain since last friday, if i remember correctly, and i’m not so sure the predicted storms will amount to much. seems like whenever the weather dudes predict rain lately, it sorta skirts around us.

but for now, it’s a warm, breezy, gorgeous day outside. which is where i’m heading right now….cuzz after this, i’m probably going to be staying indoors as much as possible. i don’t do so well when it hits the 100 mark.


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