Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

rain haiku

December 6, 2016

Never ending rain

Put out all the forest fires

Then leave us alone.


cfblack 12-05-2016


so peaceful

May 14, 2013

So peaceful, another day goes by, bright sunshine all around but cool (about 70 degrees). Turtles in large numbers now congregate on the pond, telling each other about their day. They jump or “run” (slowly crawl) away from me as I walk by. One thing I love about this pond is the mistrust of all the animals on it, of humans. This means they are still “wild” life, untamed. They live as they live and do not interact with humans. The duck population has grown rapidly, as the Neighborhood Association decided it would be a good idea to place a floating “duck house” on the water…. I don’t mind a few ducks, but now one mamma has 10 ducklings that follow her. How many do we want?? There is one larger pair of snow white ducks, no babies yet. There is the one polygamist with his two females that swim around the pond, and I SUSPECT that he fathered the other 10. Shameful!

The exception to the above “wild” life is the pair of geese, who unfortunately are being fed by the idiot down the road– the same one with a trail of cats & dogs that follow her into her house and back out again. She throws pellets to the geese, who cover the walking path now with their excrement, and said lady doesn’t seem too inclined to clean it off, since she lured them there. The geese they could do away with and I wouldn’t complain a bit. They are disgusting. Besides that, they are likely to come up to you as you walk by, now expecting a hand out, and one of them actually bumped me in the leg! They scare me and I don’t enjoy walking past them. I’m sure if I were 3 years old, I would be completely terrified.

Got my 1 hour of sun and have been since sitting inside monitoring an online discussion and lazily watching the day pass by. Very peaceful. My left knee has decided to develop a problem, so I can’t walk. I manage to hobble around the pond once a day & go to the doctor next week.

It is relaxing to be out of class. I’m sure in 3 months I will be ready for it again, but right now relieved to not have to be up on all the latest depressing news, ready to lead discussion on the latest political arguments. Most of our politicians are showing their blatant greed and hatefulness and their absolute inability to come together to resolve any one issue. I believe change has to come from the people, from Ground Zero, from collective will. Nothing is coming down the pike from the folks at the top.

Wintry December

December 4, 2011

Dec. 3rd and winter has hit the Midlands. What does that mean? It is 45 degrees outside, and cloudy. I just took a 2 1/2 mile walk without gloves. The trees are nearly barren, the colors are gone, and brown oak leaves are strewn all around the pond. I don’t see turtles swimming, but an occasional large fish still jumps & splashes as I walk by. Our heat is on WAY too much, because our house is so poorly constructed, I can see 1/2 an inch of sunlight at the top of the back door. This is when it is “closed”. So we keep it set to 68, and lay in bed way too long in the mornings, because it is the warmest room in the house. It gets down into the 30s at night & hits 50 during the day. Winter in the Midlands.

late November in SC

November 20, 2011

Our heat is on. Nights have been in the 30s, which here means people stay home because “it’s too cold to go outside”. Cracks me up because up north, back home, this would be the time kids pray for, hoping it will snow! I’ve only in the last couple days taken my winter jacket out of the closet. Didn’t even wear it last night when we went out.

The stupid next-door dog is barking once again incessantly while I write this. Someone is undoubtedly walking around the pond. He will bark until they go all the way around. The family is gone to church so what do they care, they don’t have to hear it. There is no thought, here, of needing to bring animals inside. Cats run wild and there are many of them. It’s an animal paradise, never getting cold enough to freeze the pond. It would be an easy fix: No animal ownership if you live ON the pond, or requiring muzzled dogs if they are outside. But no, the people in the neighborhood association love dogs, own many dogs, and so this abuse continues.

I got sidetracked. Fall leaves have been BEAUTIFUL this year, proving my prediction wrong. Yellows and oranges, even reds, were breath taking and bright. The trees are now turning somewhat brown and leaves may fall — by the first of December. It’s a different climate, the timing is “off”. I can remember Halloweens in the snow, in Indiana, though usually it wasn’t quite that cold. But by the end of November? You betcha.

The weather won’t stay this cold. It will fluctuate, some days going up to the 50s, possibly even 60s & then  back down. We may see snow in December or January — which will accumulate and bring all the children out to play wildly, build a snowman in their yards — and it all disappears by noon. Snowmen left standing will melt by next day. It is really bizarre.

Tulips are never planted here. The ground doesn’t freeze enough to have them do well and come up in Spring. Flowers grow year-round. Pansies remain in bloom at the Statehouse through the winter.

A group of 3 small children are now seen fishing across the pond, a mother standing with them. They wear long pants and a light jacket, open in the front. One just wears a long-sleeved shirt. They REALLY, truly, have no idea what cold is. When I think of cold winds whipping through your coat like you have nothing on……. being snowed in for days………. starting the car 10 mins. before you leave and spending that time scraping ICE off car windows……. no they have no idea.


late October on the pond

October 23, 2011

Sun sets sometime around 7 – 7:30. Just before dark, a few bats can be seen flitting high above, in quick, darting motions, almost like birds but way too fast and changing directions too many times, eating up any insects hovering in the air. The large heron swoops in, making a low squawking sound. It will be found stalking small fish on the edge, even after dark. The frogs have gone into hiding, they are no longer to be seen jumping across the sidewalk, moving from woods to water. I know that deer start their dusk movement, but they are not seen near our houses. We occasionally see them crossing the roads nearby. It seems to me I don’t hear song birds as much as last year. Perhaps the mockingbirds are mocking other types of bird calls, haven’t heard them singing much.

The trees have only now noticibly started turning. They won’t be as bright yellow, orange and red as up north. They turn a dingy-type red down here, then turn brown and fall in maybe November. We’ve had a couple nights where it hit into the 30s, days still in the mid-to-high 70s. 


October 3, 2011

Turned on our heat at home for the first time this morning. It was 66 in the house. Current temp outside at 9:38pm is 55 degrees! How did this happen? The football game Saturday got cold too, I wore 2 jackets, & they felt good. Trees are not orange or red yet at all though, down here. They will be soon now, & the colors won’t be as bright as they are up north. The dragonflies seem to be gone for the most part, we still see the herons on the pond. The campus pool just closed this week. Fall in the South.

Tons of stories in the news. Amanda Knox was FREED today, or that’s the decision. I am happy for her. The Italian police couldn’t have botched it much worse or treated her more unfairly.


700 protestors got arrested in NYC. I wonder at how you can arrest 700 protestors. Where did they put them? Did they have to stand in line to get processed, assessed a fee and then released? This is a goldmine for NYC! Maybe they want to keep it going awhile.

It seems to be a young movement, somewhat nieve and yet, it IS a movement. It’s about the most organized thing since the early 70s & it somehow feels really good to see some people blatantly calling it what it is, calling those with the riches in this country to fess up to what is really going on. They have the money, they’re still making big money and it’s on the backs of the rest of America. Do the protestors have a well-planned response, a system to put in place? Not really. No, but they’re still making a statement that somehow we all know is true but don’t want to believe. Those with the money & power in this country don’t want to give it up, & they really don’t care if the rest of us lose our homes, lose our jobs, and have to struggle with daily life. They’ve been playing this game for a long time & they’re not about to give it up. But their walls have become transparent. The Emperor has no clothes.

memories of COLD

November 5, 2010

I grew up in the plains area of Indiana. Wind whips across those straight, flat cornfields in Winter like nothing you’ve ever felt before. Highways close because snow drifts so bad it closes the highway. Snow is no respector of roads cars need to drive on. It also causes “snow blindness” which is when snow is blowing so hard that you cannot see through it. You become literally blind. Most snows are not this bad; it depends on the wind and the amount of snow. Temperatures also make a difference. Getting cold enough to snow is not the entire snow story. When it is JUST cold enough to snow, it actually feels WARM — something like 30 degrees. At those temperatures, the snow melts fast. It also packs into a good, hard snowball which can be like getting hit with solid rock. The colder the temps., though, the less the snow packs well. It is too dry and fluffy to pack. Not good for snowman building or fort building, not good for snowball fights. Besides that, you turn blue with cold when you’re outside too long, in the really cold weather.

As a kid, I would be dressed in numerous layers of clothes and boots, and sent outside to play for hours. We had a blast just playing in our front and back yards, making snow angels, making a snowman, digging and building a “fort” and crawling in it, hiding under the pine tree in our front yard, sledding down the small hill on the side of our yard, or sledding with friends at a larger park.

One winter I was sledding with a good friend at the Country Club hill. This was a huge hill, great for sledding a long, long distance down. We were going down on a round disc, turning around as we went, when my friend’s brother decided to THROW his sled right out in front of us! He was a young boy trying to do something “funny”. It was not funny and knocked me out unconscious. I must have been thrown. It is the only time in my life I woke up with a circle of concerned faces looking down at me. My friend and I walked to her house which was not far, and I don’t think I ever told my parents about the incident. (The only other time in my life I was knocked unconscious was with the SAME girlfriend at the same park, when we had the brilliant idea to ride our bikes down a black tar hill right next to this sledding hill. I did a somersault off my bike, head first forward, and woke up in a few minutes.)

The year we lived in Michigan was my ice skating year. On Saturday mornings, I would go early and try to be the first one on the ice, which was actually a frozen pond or lake. I loved to watch the guy in the machine out cleaning the ice to make it smooth. I would walk to the place to skate, which was a good distance in itself. I was always cold when I arrived and looked forward to the hot chocolate inside the building where we would rent our skates.

My snow memories include more than once being literally “snowed in” for days. Being snowed in means you cannot go outside — like “AT ALL”. You are stuck inside your house. Hopefully you have enough food for a few days. If so, then it really becomes a wonderful, cozy time of family togetherness. I mean that. During those times, their schools would close, we would watch movies or more often choose one game which then turned into a tournament for 4-5 days. For example, Monopoly championships; Euchre; or just simple games of UNO. Those are also some of the rare times when we put an entire jigsaw puzzle together. I remember one year we did 3 of them. Some of my best memories are during those times, being stuck in the house with all my kids (and husband). We would cooperatively dig ourselves a path to get out eventually, with snow shovels, and help dig the neighbors out as well. Depending on where you live, you have to wait longer or shorter times for the snow plows to get to you, so you can actually DRIVE somewhere.

Cold is truly cold, up north. You can lose fingers and toes if they become frostbit. I remember one time my husband and I, being young with no working car, decided to walk downtown to get on a bus to get somewhere else. The walk was SO COLD, our fingers went numb, and we had GLOVES ON. That is below zero weather.

When we lived across from Purdue stadium, it made no sense for me to drive to campus, since I could walk in the same amount of time. But the walk was about a mile, to get from our house to where I would attend or teach a class, as a grad student. I walked, & became used to wearing my LONG winter coat which went below my knees; warm gloves; and a scarf which wrapped across my face (to protect my nose), around the back of my furry hood which was also over my head, and then tied again in front. I was SO WARM, it worked very well.

The nice thing about these stories is that they actually are just memories. Today the high in South Carolina is 59 and lows tonight in the mid-30s, and they think they are cold. This is not cold.