Tag Archives: Weather

Sunday Snapshot: Frosty Clover

I’m in the throes of NaNoWriMo right now. I’m behind on my word count but I can finally feel the rhythm of the story . It’s a weird sort of hope, like finally seeing the life preserver floating in your direction after treading water for hours and hours and hours and being excited about it even though you know you’re in the middle of the ocean and you haven’t seen a boat for days.

In traditional Kansas fashion, our weather has been erratic. Today it’s raining and in the 50s (exactly right for the stormy Kansas horror novel I’m piecing together), but earlier this week, we were waking up to temperatures in the single digits. Still. The morning frost can be magnificent and beautiful if you don’t mind standing still long enough to take it in. It shows us the details that get lost in all of the green of spring and summer.Frosty Clover

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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: Bridging the Marais des Cygnes River

Kansas is ablaze with prairie fires right now as the farmers and ranchers are preparing their fields for rebirth. Unfortunately for my asthmatic self, I’m stuck inside instead of trying my hand at paying homage to photographers like Larry Schwarm or Dave Leiker by creating a pastiche of their amazing images of this prairie rite of passage. Taking pity, Jim took me for a quick ride around town so I could escape the house.

We drove through Hope Cemetery, which was hazy with prairie fire smoke.

That haze in the background at Hope Cemetery isn't fog. It's smoke blowing in from the prairie fires.

That haze in the background at Hope Cemetery isn’t fog. It’s smoke blowing in from the prairie fires.

And then, for the first time, we followed the gravel road past the cemetery, where we found a pretty view of the Marais des Cygnes River.

An old railroad bridge crosses the Marais Des Cygnes River west of Ottawa.

An old railroad bridge crosses the Marais des Cygnes River west of Ottawa.

The Marais Des Cygnes River west of Ottawa.

The Marais des Cygnes River west of Ottawa.

The forecast calls for thunderstorms this week, which will wash away the smoke. In the meanwhile, I’m hiding in the house again.

Sunday Snapshots: Two Weeks of Kansas Weather

Here is a synopsis of Kansas weather these past two weeks.

The pond at the Traylor Zoo in Emporia is thawing and happy ducks are waddling through the snow and ice to swim and bathe in the water.

February 14: The pond at the Traylor Zoo in Emporia is thawing and happy ducks are waddling through the snow and ice to swim and bathe in the water.

February 19: Ottawa is hit by a thunderstorm, which drops pea-sized to nickel-sized hail. Thanks to the piles of not-yet-melted snow, much of the hail sticks around for hours.

February 19: Ottawa is hit by a thunderstorm, which drops pea-sized to nickel-sized hail. Thanks to the piles of not-yet-melted snow, much of the hail sticks around for hours.

February 20: Large rain clouds drift over the snow-free hills along I-70 near Topeka.

February 20: Large rain clouds drift over the snow-free hills along I-70 near Topeka.

February 25: Jim and I attend the National Weather Service's annual Storm Safety and Spotter Training event in Franklin County. Aubra Henneke did an amazing job talking about the events of the past year. Most interesting takeaway: helmets should be part of your emergency preparedness kit. After talking about tornadoes for 90 minutes, we left Celebration Hall to find snow.

February 25: Jim and I attend the National Weather Service’s annual Storm Safety and Spotter Training event in Franklin County. Audra Hennecke did an amazing job talking about the events of the past year. Most interesting takeaway: helmets should be part of your emergency preparedness kit. After talking about tornadoes for 90 minutes, we left Celebration Hall to find snow.

March 2: After hours and hours of sleet, Ottawa is getting more snow.

March 2: After hours and hours of sleet, Ottawa is getting more snow.

 

 

 

Sunday Snapshot: A few pretty shots of ice and snow in Ottawa

Most of Ottawa, Kansas, shut down for two days this week when heavy snow blanketed the area. We weren’t hit as hard as other parts of Kansas–there are stories of 12 to 16 inches of snow–but nine inches of snow is more than enough to shut down the roads, and the -30° F wind chills kept kids out of school a third day after the roads were (sorta) passable.

After my third round of shoveling, I could only feel my fingers long enough to take a few pictures.

In the front yard, my plants were covered with beautiful, clear icicles.

Front Yard Ice III In the backyard, the ice was inexplicably opaque.

Backyard Ice II Backyard Ice I

And the rest of the yard looked like this: fluffy snow too powdery to use for snowpeople construction.

Pure Snow