Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘clouds

Lightly

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

October 11, 2019 at 6:00 am

Impressive Specimen

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Last weekend, while I was up at the lake biking, Cyndie sent me a picture of a spider she was startled by in her garden. I don’t mind at all that I was not home to see it in person. The image alone revealed an impressive specimen of a black and yellow garden spider.

It’s about sixteen times bigger than spiders I’m not bothered by. I glanced toward the garden from the safe distance of my lawn tractor seat as I mowed around the perimeter, but didn’t spot the gargantuan arachnid. Thank goodness.

Despite the possibility of thunderstorms yesterday afternoon, I got out to finish the last of the mowing. Now I am ready to head back up to the lake for the weekend. Cyndie is due to return this afternoon, and as I understand it, the plan is that we will take Delilah with us. Maddie will still stop by to tend to the chickens while we are away.

Speaking of impressive specimens, this beautiful cumulonimbus cloud sprouted overhead just as I was preparing to start mowing.

Based on that beast and several others developing close by, I was prepared for my plan to be foiled soon after I started. Alas, that never happened. They moved off to the east and a fresh dose of dry air flowed in behind them.

The yard looks nicely manicured and gives the impression someone actually lives here. That is, until one approaches the overgrown paddocks in front of the barn.

I guess you could say we have an impressive specimen of tall grass going to seed out there.

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Written by johnwhays

August 8, 2019 at 6:00 am

Standing Straight

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In the few moments between watching documentaries of the Apollo space flights and dodging thundershowers this week, I snuck down the hill to the fruit trees Cyndie planted beside the labyrinth to stand them back upright. Between the saturated ground, the high winds of thunderstorms, and now the added weight of some apples, the tallest tree was listing to about a 45° angle.

It’s a little difficult to separate the apple tree from the foliage behind it in that image, partly because the trees and vines in the background were attempting to swallow the tipping fruit tree so they would get all the sunlight.

Despite Cyndie’s efforts to sell anything that wasn’t permanently affixed to the barn, we still had some t-posts available for staking the trees. As soon as I attempted to pull the tree back to straight, it became obvious the tree deserved to have three points of support if I was going to do it justice.

I had only brought one stake with me, so I decided to see if I could make that work for the time being. As long as the wind only blows in one direction for the rest of the summer, it will be fine.

We had a near-miss last evening as the dew point temperature peaked at 75°(F) and the sky filled with a variety of water vapor versions as a cluster of thunderstorms slid by just to our south once more. Within minutes of the gust that rolled over us, the dew point dropped to 67°. The sky was spectacularly entertaining.

The 7-day weather forecast is offering hope for several days in a row of sunny skies next week, so just maybe the ground will firm up a bit and hold the roots in the preferred upright orientation. Although, giving it further thought, at 45° it would be a lot easier to reach the apples come picking time.

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Written by johnwhays

July 19, 2019 at 6:00 am

John Photos

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Written by johnwhays

January 24, 2019 at 7:00 am

Stare

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

October 5, 2018 at 6:00 am

More Weather

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Weather was the center of attention on the ranch again yesterday afternoon. During my hour drive home from work, I heard the announcement that our county was included in a tornado watch until 11:00 p.m. I checked the radar when I got home and found there was nothing to indicate a storm was imminent.

During the short time I was catching up on my daily reading on a handful of web sites, the radar screen rapidly changed from nothing of interest to “better take cover soon!”

That came up really fast. In the image, there is a marker indicating our home, southeast of River Falls. I figured there was plenty of time before the main event would get here, so I stepped outside to see what it looked like in real life.

The change in atmosphere from when I left the workplace to when I walked out the door to look at the sky was remarkable. The dew point temperature had soared to a tropical 70° (F). The air temperature was in the high 70s.

I don’t know how much the sudden return of warmth might have contributed, but yesterday also happened to mark the return of our annual Asian beetle infestation. It is striking how specifically the environment changes in a single day, going from nothing at all, to thousands of bugs swarming all at once.

Somewhere nearby, a soybean crop has been harvested from the field, triggering the mass migration of beetles to some source of water and shelter.

Getting out in the air provided a feeling that there was more than enough fuel for a rip-roaring thunderstorm, but the reality I encountered didn’t look bad at all yet.

It was actually a serene scene of calm horses in front of a backdrop of fall colors in the trees. Low clouds were sweeping by at a pretty good clip, mostly obscuring the higher and darker wall of the approaching storm.

A short while later, while we were eating dinner, the sky opened up to dump an inch of rain in a relatively short-lived outburst. Oddly, there was little in the way of lightning and thunder. Maybe it was moving by too fast. The sky turned a little green, but that was probably more a function of the low angle of the setting sun than it was the measure of threat from the storm.

It didn’t even blow that hard during the peak. That actually came later. Once the storm had passed, the sky cleared, stars shined bright, and strong gusting winds blew in to fill the void.

It was just another day where the weather served up the equivalence of several days of action –or several seasons even– all in a single afternoon.

We measure that in WPMs around here. That is, Weather Per Minute.

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Written by johnwhays

October 4, 2018 at 6:00 am

Serenity

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

August 29, 2018 at 6:00 am