Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘storm clouds

Nature’s Magnificence

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It was a beautifully warm sunny afternoon that found Cyndie and me splashing in the lake to clean duck shit off the inflated floating platform in the swimming area. A thankless task because not long after we leave, the ducks return and make themselves at home again. A price we pay to co-exist with wildlife.

At the time, we had no idea stormy weather might be lurking nearby. As the dinner hour approached, pizza from Coop’s was chosen and I got elected to drive into town to pick up our order. Emerging from the trees onto the road to Hayward, a view of the open sky revealed a most spectacular display of roiling cumulonimbus clouds that were so engaging I struggled to pay appropriate attention to my driving.

While waiting at the bar to pick up our par-baked circle of deliciousness, the two tv screens overhead began to display ominous-looking warnings about a thunderstorm in Sawyer county. Based on what I had just seen in the sky, I wasn’t surprised in the least, but the folks around me who were oblivious to what it looked like outside were caught as unaware as I had been 10-minutes earlier.

It just didn’t feel like a storm-threatening kind of day.

With the pizza box safely stowed on the seat beside me, I checked the radar view on my phone before setting off and saw we were on the backside of this long line of storms that were percolating just to the southeast and moving away from us.

I called Cyndie and suggested she check out the view, knowing her deep appreciation for cloud formations. By the time she was able to see it and take pictures, the clouds had lost some of the initial splendor of the freshly blossoming thunderstorm that I was able to witness, but because we were granted a rear view of the event, it still looked impressive.

As the rotation of the earth moved the sunlight closer to our western horizon, the storm in the distance began to glow and bounce vivid color off the lake for a whole nother visual presentation.

Isn’t nature magnificent?!

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Written by johnwhays

September 3, 2022 at 9:16 am

Arrival Sky

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This is the sky that greeted us upon arrival in Brainerd.

It was threatening looking but never moved over us. First hazard avoided.

Ultimately, we were graced with a beautiful evening. Gentle breeze suppressed insects.

Here’s hoping we didn’t use up all our good fortunes in the first hours of the tour.

Written by johnwhays

June 19, 2022 at 6:00 am

Heavy Sky

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Who doesn’t like posts about the weather? It’s like a friend that everyone knows. We interact with the weather every single day. It’s our common denominator, even though it could be completely different for us at any given moment.

We didn’t receive the hail that our children in the Twin Cities reported, but the wild weather was swirling all around us. Poor Delilah was on full alert trying her darnedest to scare away the intimidating thunder with her most energetic ferocious barks. She leaped straight into the air to get after one particular rumble in the sky.

She puts out an incredibly valiant, yet futile effort to combat the ominous sounds and flashes of thunderstorms. The noise and her frantic energy quickly get tiresome to our weary ears and fractured ambiance.

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While out feeding the horses, the clouds put on a spectacular show that became very difficult to read. I wished I had taken one of the skywarn classes offered by the National Weather Service. The rain came in several waves with just a scattering of lightning and thunder. Between each, we saw moments of sunshine and general calm.

On an evening with a looming threat of severe weather, we lucked out as the worst cells slid either north or south of us. As nightfall descended, we walked out to deliver the trash and recycle bins to the road and got a good view of the backside of one of the big cells.

Our sky was beginning to look much less heavy already.

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Written by johnwhays

May 20, 2022 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

Angry Skies

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When I opened the door to take Delilah for a walk yesterday afternoon, the sound of endlessly recurring thunder from the southern horizon instantly notched up her excitement to 11. She wasn’t sure what to do with the fact it didn’t end. The rumbles just kept rolling over, one on top of the other.

Our assessment of the tipped tree across one of the trails in the woods was akin to the old “We will rebuild” memes with a lawn chair tipped over post-earthquake.

Removal of this hazard will barely require the chainsaw, but that is not a complaint. Not by any means. I am thrilled this is the worst we suffered. The bigger tree leaning from the right side of that image is from our neighbor’s property and it was blown over in a previous storm. I will probably tend to that at the same time I get around to dealing with the little one across the trail.

It is wet enough around here again that the mosquitoes have become a nuisance that will make lumberjacking a less pleasant endeavor. There may be a rudimentary trim that happens in the short term, leaving the ultimate cleanup for more inviting fall-like weather in a couple of months.

The chickens were undisturbed about the angry sky rumbling almost overhead and came out of the tall grass to be sociable when I stopped by to pick eggs.

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The cut fields from last weekend haven’t even been raked into windrows yet. They just haven’t caught a break this summer for getting enough consecutive rain-free days to allow the grass to dry sufficiently for baling. It’s really sad to watch. I would really be suffering emotionally if we were depending on it to feed horses.

I can’t imagine how all the others who need hay are dealing with it this summer.

By luck, our fields were missed by the round of cloudbursts that moved past just to our south yesterday, but chances don’t look promising for later today.

The angry skies seem to echo the vibrations coming from my news radio covering U.S. politics.

Boy, do I miss blue skies, dry days, sunshine, and benevolent leadership.

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Written by johnwhays

July 17, 2019 at 6:00 am