I know that the most famous animal today is a groundhog, but I prefer to offer a photo of an owl, shivering in this crazy, icy cold weather. I feel the same way buddy. Brrr.
Yeah. That polar vortex that descended upon the midwest this past week… well, I was not a fan. I wasn’t a fan when it delayed my journey back to Missouri, from Ohio, by a day. I really wasn’t a fan when I started traveling (finally!) on Tuesday, only to get stopped in my tracks on I-74. And stopped again in my tracks on I-70. I continued my great dislike when the semi in front of me started sliding on black ice. And when I started sliding behind him, I just wanted to avoid smashing into the semi to my left and to find a hotel where I could spend yet another night away from my own bed. The next day, I found the roads in Illinois confounding. One minute they were perfectly clear. The next minute they were slick with ice. And then they became an odd washboard of ice and pavement, all the while leading past the carnage of torn, mangled, and wrecked vehicles. I cannot pick one photo of said vortex-influenced weather. I’m just so glad I made it home… finally.
Thursday, I went to my mailbox and took a deep, springtime breath of fresh air. It smelled so good and I wondered what it was? Pear tree? Flowers? Two hours later my throat felt like it was made of broken glass. Swallowing was painful and I knew I was in the clutches of an allergy attack. This attack has throttled and beaten me down the past few days. I’ve been ingesting vitamins and herbs in a desperate attempt to unclog my head and lungs as fast as possible. Nutriferon, alfalfa, licorice, echinacea– you name it, I’m trying it. Today, I left my home to go into town– a brave venture that I was sure was going to lead to heavy sweating and fever-breaking. As soon as I opened my door I saw the signs of spring, the lovely signs. I’m excited to see more and more flowers along my congestion-free path in the months ahead. These pansies were a lovely start.
It’s April 1st and four peony plants are already coming up through the ground. I can’t remember a time when they were so tall so early– even for early season peonies.
I’m grateful this Monday for the spring sounds of birds chirping; for the sight of buds filling tree branches; for the gorgeous smell of green and reborn nature.
Thank goodness it’s spring.
When, when, when will we acknowledge that Mother Earth is hurting? Never, in January, in the Midwest, should it be 70 degrees on a Monday and 27 on a Thursday. That’s exactly what my ‘weather widget’ is telling me to expect this week.
Mother Earth, I’m sorry we’ve not been listening to you. I hope we still have a chance to show you how much we love you.
I know it’s not a photograph, but Hurricane Sandy is the image/natural phenomena everyone is talking about this weekend. And speculation about her damage and wreckage is even bleeding into the Presidential election. Will Sandy wreak such havoc that people are unable to vote November 6th? We shall see.
Of all the things I’ve done in my life, I don’t think I’m all that excited about having lived through the hottest year ever. That was 2011. After 110 and 108 degree high temperatures three and four days ago, respectively, I’m thinking 2012 will give it a run for its money. So uncool, literally and figuratively. But of course, this climate change thing is all make believe. Ugh. Read the NOAA report and decide for yourself.
This past Friday, a derecho hit the midwest. Three million people were without power as of Saturday morning in addition to being in the middle of oppressive heat. Three years ago, the day after graduating with my Ph.D., a super derecho hit Carbondale, Illinois. In essence, an inland hurricane hit Southern Illinois University. Trees were upended, cars and buildings were destroyed, and power went out across town, all as I sat in a restaurant hoping my car would still be okay when and if I got outside. Graduation 2009 was suspended as the University didn’t have the means to power all of the locations needed for the multiple graduation ceremonies. Ph.D.’s like me, were some of the lucky few to walk across the stage for that all important diploma the day before. This is the radar of what a 106 m.p.h. Carbondale wind gust looks. Kind of.
Yes, yes, yes. We all know that the weather this spring was above normal in all regards– rainfall, heat, you name it practically. I realized just how out of wack it all was when I went to my mailbox today and realized that my peonies were all bloomed out. Two years ago, this was the state of the first bloom of the year. If everything’s on the fast track, I guess we’ll have school cancellations in October?
[Image credit: Amy L. Darnell]