Tag Archives: rain

Sunday Snapshots: Weather and wandering in southeast Miami County, Kansas

Our drought-plagued state breathed a small sigh of relief this past week as rainstorm after rainstorm swept through much of the state. It’s not enough rain to repair the damage of several dry years, but it’s helping. Between the storms, Jim and I have found ourselves wandering the countryside and enjoying the late spring weather, especially in the evenings. Yesterday, we wandered around southeast Miami County, which is currently lush and green. The rural landscape is dotted with old cemeteries and a handful of tiny towns, though our truck’s brakes got a workout as deer, loose cows, and rabbits dashed across the gravel roads.

Wednesday Evening Storm in Ottawa, Kansas

Wednesday night: In a matter of minutes, this rolled into my neighborhood Wednesday night.

Wednesday evening storm in Ottawa, Kansas

Those clouds were followed by this.

Last night was lovely, so we jumped in the truck and went for a drive with no particular destination in mind. We found ourselves on our way to Miami County, and as we drove past Princeton, we saw a sun dog near the water tower.

Sun dog near Princeton, Kansas water tower

As we drove through Southwest Franklin County, we spotted sun dogs in the sky near Princeton.

In Miami County, we discovered an old country cemetery. Spring Grove Quaker Cemetery was established in 1860, and it was especially picturesque in the setting sun.

Many of the headstones have weathered well, and their art, as well as the epitaphs, are still visible.

And just before the sun sank completely, we were treated to miles and miles evening primrose blooming along the gravel roads of Miami County.

Evening Primrose in Miami County

Evening Primrose blooms along Miami County roads.

Sunday Snapshot: Crepe Myrtle in the Rain

Many storms have rolled across Kansas this past week, causing flooding in Emporia, Hutchinson, and Wichita. Here in Ottawa, the weather has been more kind, but the ground is saturated and water drips from leaves and flowers during the short breaks in the clouds.

When we first moved into our 112-year-old house, we thought we had a dead shrub by the front porch. Imagine our surprise when it not only leafed out, but also began blooming the most gorgeous fuchsia flowers. This young crepe myrtle is heavy with blooms and even heavier with water and too beautiful not to photograph.

Crepe myrtle heavy with raindrops.

Crepe myrtle heavy with raindrops.

Searching for Higher Ground

Ottawa, Kansas was scoured by a two-hour-long storm that dumped nearly five inches of rain before it moved on. With so much rain, the birds and bugs were all scrambling to get out of the water. The normally hidden rolly pollies were just hanging on in the backyard after the rain had passed.

I could use a little help here...

I could use a little help here…

Sunday Snapshot: On the Way to Burlington

After last year’s drought, this spring’s series of rainstorms have been a welcome sight. I especially love driving through the countryside during these times, where nothing impedes the view of the clouds rolling in. Many Kansas storms seem to follow the I-35 corridor, and I ran into the rain turning at Beto Junction (the intersection connecting highways to Burlington, Emporia, Topeka, and Ottawa) on my way to Burlington.

Turning on to U.S. 75 at Beto Junction.

Turning on to U.S. 75 at Beto Junction.


Sunday Snapshot: Rainy Day

After two substantial snowstorms, we enjoyed a wonderfully dreary, rainy day here in Ottawa. I’ve always loved dark days with rain and thunder; some of my favorite memories of being in old WPA school buildings include those moments when the sky was dark as night outside and the windows rattled with the storm.

A few stubborn piles of snow cling to the grass as heavy rain pounds on Ottawa, Kansas.

A few stubborn piles of snow cling to the grass as heavy rain pounds on Ottawa, Kansas. Tree branches that came down during the February 26 snowstorm still litter many yards in our neighborhood.

Today’s thunderstorm is also a reminder that we’re about to move into the traditional season for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. If you’re in Kansas and want to learn more about how these storms develop and what you can do to maintain your safety, check the National Weather Service list of Spotter Talks. Their meteorologists do a fantastic job covering the basics of what conditions create severe storms and the precautions you can take at home or on the road.