Tag Archive | weather

Enjoying the Climate Roller Coaster!

This is kinda crazy weather for February in the Midwest. In my experience, when Mother Nature teases us with a week like this in the middle of winter… She will generally rain down a hellion’s dose of rag-ass on us during April – May. I know. Just try to schedule outdoor construction for a living!=-O
Granted, things have started early and hung on to transition right into summer. It was as recent as 2012, when I had lilacs blooming on April 13, instead of the average time of late May.

I hope that we have another 2012, I’m ready for it =-)

Kayaking Savannah

We really wanted to get out and kayak while we were down in Savannah. The weather wasn’t so bad (for a Midwesterner), however the day we picked turned out to be very foggy. We were a bit uneducated dealing with tide information. Of course we knew what it was, just to what degree did the water change. Considering some of the piers we saw were 100’s of feet long, we figured we wanted to go during high tide, and ride low tide back out for less paddling.
We chose to launch from the Rodney J Hall Boat Ramp, as it was nearby, kayak friendly and free.

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MINE! MINE! MINE! Fish heads for the gulls. Ass fisherperson could have thrown them off the ramp, tho.

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Note the water is high on the poles. There’s a bird perched on every pole!

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I love how birds sit on the poles.

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This guy had a kayak that he peddled instead of paddled! Very cool!!

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Not sure what type of birds these are.

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The pelicans followed this guy like begging dogs! Too cute.

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I think these are oysters on the shores.

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The tide had gone out about 5 feet by the time we came back to the boat ramp.

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The water had gone down so much, we couldn’t get near the poles the birds were on at the beginning of the post.

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Border Collies – The Animal Kingdom’s Meteorologist

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Incoming!!!!!

I rarely have to check the weather to see if a storm is on the way, as Breck let’s me know by becoming ‘clingy’ (Clink-on dog) or hiding. I’ve written many posts about this already…

There is a prediction of 8″ of snow on the way to us. I found Breck hiding behind the boxes in the garage, after I had let him outside and then had a heart attack  when I couldn’t find him in the yard. Thanks, Buddy… not. When it comes to snowstorms it’s funny… He knows they are coming, however he doesn’t freak as much since there is no thunder. Rarely, do we get thundersnows, ie, thunder during snowstorms. Watch the video below about a meteorologist and his reaction to the rare phenomenon.

Cliff’s Version: The ingredients necessary for thundersnow are so exceptional that it’s estimated only .07 % of snowstorms are associated with thunder. In a 30 year study of snowstorms with lightning, meteorologists found there’s an 86 % chance that at least 6” inches of snow will accumulate within a 70 mile radius of the lightning.

I remember the first time we experienced a thundersnow. It had started to snow so we went out to get some energy (anxiety) out before the snow hit hard and filled the yard. All of a sudden a huge, varicose vein of a lightning covered the sky, then a very loud clap of thunder! It was super awesome to experience… well, at least for the humans. The fur kids were high-tailing it for the garage.

Animals might react to incoming weather events and natural disasters wp-1481903109197.jpgby using one or all of their five senses which are usually better than a human’s. Many weather occurrences generate sounds in the infrasonic range, too low for humans to hear, however well within the range of many animal species.

Scientists have observed animals being effected by barometric pressure and sound waves. Sea birds are frequently noted flying inland when the pressure drops before a storm.

I do believe animals can sense many types of weather or natural disasters. Read here about the animals in the area of the Asiatic tsunami of December 2004. Animals don’t think about paying bills, having the latest android, if they should dye their gray hair, quit their job… They only need to think about survival; food, water, shelter, procreation, safety. When that’s all you have to think about, you get good at learning about these things. Stupid humans… why do we clutter ourselves so??

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Long Pond ~ Kickapoo State Park

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This area was inhabited by the Kickapoo tribe. They later were moved to Kansas.
Kickapoo (Kiikaapoa or Kiikaapoi) which means “Stands here and there,” and “wanderer” which describes their nomadic ways.
This area was once a marred landscape, ravaged by turn-of-the-century strip-mine operations. Fifty years of nature’s rejuvenation have changed Kickapoo’s 2,842 acres into an outdoor playground. Twenty-two deep water ponds, ranging in size from 0.2 of an acre to 57 acres, provide a total of 221 acres of water for boaters, canoeists, scuba divers and anglers.
Long Pond is right below our camp site. It was a great kayak paddle.


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Woodstock Willie Says It Will Be an Early Spring for 2016!

Today, February 2nd, we celebrate Groundhog Day.  Our local Groundhog “Woodstock Willie” will let us Midwesterners know if we will be enjoying an early Spring!! Oooor not. =-(

I will update this post after 7 AM when Willie let’s us know!

UPDATE for 2016!! Willie did NOT see his shadow, so we will be enjoying an early spring here in the Midwest!! BTW – Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow either, so it looks like an early spring for most of the U.S. Smiles all around!! =-D

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Photo courtesy of WoodstockILchamber.com

Groundhog day started here in the U.S. around 1840 when German immigrants in Pennsylvania introduced the tradition of weather forecasting via the hedgehog (der Igel) in Germany. Since there were no hedgehogs here, the Pennsylvania German’s adopted the native woodchuck, aka the groundhog. The town of Punxsutawney, just northeast of Pittsburgh, has played up the custom over the years and has managed to become the most famous locations for Groundhog Day celebrations. Each year, people gather to see if a groundhog named “Punxsutawney Phil” will see his shadow after he emerges from his burrow. If he does, the tradition says there will be six more weeks of winter. (Phil has a rather dismal 39% rate of accuracy for his predictions.)

A similar German tradition is connected with St. Swithin’s Day (Siebenschläfer, June 27th), for which tradition says that if it rains on that day, it will rain for the next seven weeks. However, the Siebenschläfer is a dormouse, not a hedgehog.

The movie, “Groundhog Day” 1993 staring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell is one of my favorite movies. It was not filmed in Pennsylvania, where the movie takes place, but in Woodstock, Illinois, which is right near my home.

There is a small plaque that reads “Bill Murray stepped here” on the curb where Murray continually steps into a puddle.

I would encourage everyone to snuggle up with something warm… A husband, wife, dog, cat… or even a hot toddy and watch this great movie.

2/2/2016

Katy Did

imageWho walked up the tree?

Katy did, Katy did!

Who’s grown up to look like a leaf?

Katy did, Katy did!

Who’s turned a beautiful green?

Katy did, Katy did!

Who heard things through her front feet?

Katy did, Katy did!

Who accused a young woman of murder*?

Katy did, Katy did!

 

*There once was a beautiful maiden named Katy who fell in love with a handsome man. She loved him with all of her heart and only wanted to please him. Fate turned against her and the handsome man fell in love with her sister. The pain of seeing them together was too much for her and in a fit of jealous anger she killed them both. No one in town would have ever believed she killed them but the insects turned against her. Telling the towns people Katy did it Katy did it.

Some other Katydid folklore:

  • Katydids sing to bring in cold weather.
  • Three months from the first katydid chirp, there will be frost.
  • The earlier in the summer you hear the katydids, the earlier the first frost will be that fall.
  • The first katydid you hear in July, it’ll frost on the same day of the month in September.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Public Service Announcement – Where to Go During a Tornado and or Fireworks

Breck really doesn’t like storms. It suffices to say that fireworks are also on the top of the list for finding a safe spot. Although I’m not an ass that would want to monopolize on my dogs phobia, he would be a great spokesperson for where to go when there’s a tornado!!
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Here’s where he’s found a new spot to hide. Behind the freezer, under the basement stairs. There’s only about 6″ inches for him to fit through there, but he finds a way.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-21-2015

Happy Thursday to all!
I’ll admit I scheduled this post to publish while I’m in down-state Utica, Illinois for the long weekend. This is one of my favorite areas of our state, however there is plenty of it I’ve not seen either. We’ve decided to roll the dice for the Labor Day weekend and drive 7 hours south to go to a campground with caves et all… WITHOUT RESERVATIONS! Gasp.

I hope you all in the US enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend, and for everyone else, enjoy your regular two day weekend =-)

Wanna see what was blooming in 2013 or in 2014? Click the year.
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Buddleia davidii ~ Butterfly bush

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Phlox divaricata – Woodland phlox

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Lamiastrum galeobdolon ~ Yellow Archangel 

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Arisaema triphyllum ~ jack-in-the-pulpit, bog onion, brown dragon, Indian turnip, American wake robin or wild turnip

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Osmundastrum cinnamomeum ~ cinnamon fern

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Eastern carpenter bee (Xyocopa virginica) on may night salvia.

These guys are very non-aggressive. The male doesn’t even have a stinger, however females do. If there is a bee you’d like to pet, this is the one for you.

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Annual Flower time at the office!!

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Paeonia suffruticosa – Peony tree – Holy cow! What a specimen!!

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Rhododendron ‘Stewartstonian’ ~ Red Azalea

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Rhododendron ‘Girard’s Pleasant White’ ~ Azalea

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-14-2015

Thursday is here!

Thursday nights are “Ilex Nights” as my husband goes to play in his pool league. These nights are usually reserved for blogging, sappy movies or GNO (girl’s night out). Tonight will be blogging. Blooms opening up like crazy here!! In all honesty, these ‘Blooming Flower’ (phenology) posts are the easiest to spew out. Name them (very few boggle me now) & link to two years of past info, done. Nature stops for no one!!

Although, I guess I hadn’t though about all the work (and DANGER) I put myself in to gather these photos. Have you ever played ‘dead car’ (hood-up or bonnet to my followers over the pond) to get a photo of a plant from the side of the road? Yup, that was me you honked at and flipped off… 😉 Or how about the time I noticed a tick in my ear and a class-full of horticultural students were too freaked out to help remove it. Kids these days are weak!

No worries though. I will continue to throw myself into the way of danger to bring you, my dear followers, these flowering posts, even if it kills me 😉

Click here to see last years blooms and/or 2013’s.

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Helleborus ~ Lenten Rose – Not sure of flavor

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These are my apple blossoms. If you wanted blemish-free apples this year, the time has passed for spraying now.

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This is my shade garden now. It is flourishing with life, as in general, shade garden plants do receive some sunlight when deciduous (leafed-trees) are leaf-less. In this instance, my apple trees are the added shade to the area. Here there are very few weeds, however, I do need to take back the aggressive Lamiastrum ‘Herman’s Pride’ ~ Archangel (the yellow flower/variegated foliage) and the Viola blanda ~ Sweet white violet.

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Dicentra Spectablis – Bleeding Heart – Hand’s down another favorite of mine.

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Uvularia grandiflora – large-flowered bellwort or merrybells

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Asarum canadense ~ Canadian Wild Ginger – This is not the type of ginger you spice your cookies with…

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I spy with my little eye.. These are very small blooms.

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Aquilegia ~ Columbine – Not sure of flavor

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl