Last summer the heartland of the country suffered from a drought. This year we are becoming totally waterlogged. Locally we are in the midst of a week or two of wet and rainy weather. Actually it has been raining non-stop for the past twelve hours. My home is West Walnut Manor is halfway up a block on a hill and the cross street at the foot of the hill is currently under standing water. No flooding problem … just too much water for the storm sewer system to more.
Notice the water flowing across the slope of my back yard. The soil is fully saturated from our spring snowstorms and all the rain in recent weeks. My lawn is zoysia grass and what you see now is the brown winter thatch. I won’t start greening up until the temp rise in May.
The grass in the back of the yard really suffered from the drought and basically dried up by summer’s end welcoming all sorts of nasty ground covers to take root. And they are currently growing like … weeds … which they are. The area is in dire need of a quick trim, which I can’t do until the rain stops and the ground becomes solid again. Which means Mlle. Renee had better get ready for a foot bath every time she comes in from a yard visit. Does anyone have a spare ARK?
Thursday’s WINTER STORM actually arrived ahead of schedule with sleet beginning to fall a little before nine in the morning. That was followed by a heavy snow fall coupled with strong winds that reduced visibility to practically zero. And it continued through the entire morning and afternoon and into the late evening. Thankfully the temps stayed below 30 all day until evening. So a good snow base was on the ground before the freezing rain began. The result was just a hard crust on top of the snow.
Electrical outage was minimal in the area. (I had recharged my cell phone and my Kindle reader on Wednesday so I had planned ahead for all eventualities.) OK, I’ll be honest! Mlle. Renee got up around six for her morning yard visit. Then she came in and we made like slugabeds until almost noon. Then she wanted to go out and see what was pinging on the windows. She told me she did not like sleet at all. So I made us a hearty brunchfast and we spent the rest of the day loafing around the house and never did change out of my PJs, robe and faux-fur lined slippers. It was like a snow-day we never had when I was a kid because the schools never closed because of the weather back then.
Anyway the total damage for the storm in my area was a little over six inches of sleet, snow and ice with the emphasis on the middle layer. Friday I limited my snow removal to the back deck and ramp and my front steps. Trust me, it was VERY HEAVY snow weight-wise.
And guess what? The long-range forecast has yet another snow storm coming in right after Monday’s rain storm.
You could say Thursday was a King Lear kind of day! It started with thunderstorms at midnight. That was followed by a rapping and a tapping at my chamber door. No Raven, it was Mlle. Renee seeking sanctuary in my bedroom. [ ASIDE -- since I live alone, I never close my bedroom door. But Renee, being a stickler for common courtesy and protocol, never enters a room without asking for permission to do so by tapping on the door frame. Either that, or she's a canine vampire .] So she ended up staying the night and sharing my bed. Yes, she allows me a small portion of the bed.
During the night the winds started blowing and rattling the windows. The Weather Bureau recorded winds as high as 67 MPH. Then the temps started dropping and the rainfall durning the day turned to snow. It looked like we were having a blizzard at times with the snow flakes falling parallel to the ground. Fortunately the flakes melted before they touched the ground. I spent the entire day inside the house, and Renee didn’t go out until nature’s calls started getting insistent.
So yesterday, I went outside to check for and wind damage. Fortunately, my roof survived … again! Which was, most probably, the third and final time for it this year. Unfortunately, I did receive a lot of unwanted leaves and branches from neighboring yards and lawns. I also got this …
The wind was blowing so hard that it drove the seed pods from the Catalpa trees right into the ground. [ANOTHER ASIDE -- back when my uncles were kids they called the pods "lady cigars" and they actually used to smoke them out behind the outhouse. I know; sounds like something lifted out of Tom Sawyer, but then that's how kids were here in Missouri. Besides, it was hard times and they didn't have money to buy cigarettes. Yes, and they all got sick just like their mother told them they would!]
I also noticed that a couple of the lower branches have dried up because of the drought this year. Now, I’ll have to find someone with a chainsaw as soon as I find out if you prune a spruce in fall, winter or spring. Even though it is now officially winter, the yard work never ends.
It’s my life …
And welcome to it!
Well, I had planned on going to the Zoo today to take a walk with the penguins. It’s something they do every Sunday at 2:00 from December 2 until February 3. Unfortunately, the walk today was cancelled because of the weather. The temperature skyrocketed to 75F! Since the penguins are native to Antarctica, they can only leave their air-conditioned 24/365 home when the temperature is less than 50F. Surely this almost winter heat wave has to let up some time before February 3.
Penguins on ice!
Look at that dumb bozo over there! Where?
Here’s a video-clip from a Penguin Parade a couple of years ago …
Well, maybe next week?