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INTO THE WOODS … A TALE OF TWO SEASONS IN TWO DAYS!

There’s a saying in West Walnut Manor … if you don’t like the weather today, just come back tomorrow! And that’s the way the weekend started on Saturday morning. The sun was out, and it was a picture of FALL all over the place.

GoldenrodThe GOLDENROD was in full bloom!

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And the leaves were still falling …IntoTheWoods2

Or totally fallen!

As the morning dwindled, so did the sun. And by afternoon the sky filled with dooming, gloomy clouds. As the afternoon gave way to evening, little balls of sleet began to fall covering the ground with a blanket of white. By Sunday morning it had all melted.

By noon today Winter arrived, and it started snowing! WinterWoods

First covering the branches and never-say-die leaves that remained on them …WinterWoods2

And then moving on to cover the ground and the leaves I didn’t get raked up because it was too cold to go outside.

Right now in mid-afternoon we only have a little over an inch of snow on the ground. But it is expected to continue falling through the evening and night.

So, what’s left to do …SnoDazeStickyBuns

… Other than baking SNO-DAZE STICKY-BUNS! A wonderful combination of butter, brown sugar, chopped pecans, cinnamon and white chocolate chips — just the treats needed to go with a cup of hot cocoa.

SUMER IS ICUMEN IN, or the not so sunny side up of yesterday’s summer solstice.

And to borrow a phrase from an old Scotsman … the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley!  In other words, while our summer solstice was supposed to be the longest day of sunlight, we had no way of knowing it.DSC00021

Because at 6:54 these huge black thunder clouds began blocking out all traces of sunlight in West Walnut Manor. And when it was pitch black at 7:00, a booming crash of lightning started one hell of a thunderstorm.DSC00022

Add a lot of wind to the mix that made the rain look like it was falling horizontally.

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The local weather wizards noted that in an hour period anywhere from three to four inches of rain fell around the local area which caused flash flooding in a number of areas around town.DSC00024

I like to think that the camera flash illuminated a couple of drops of falling rain in the above picture. Or maybe it was just a flight of fancy to make up for the fact that the longest day of our summer was cut short by an hour and 29 minutes.

Mlle. Renee was no fool, she  headed for her basement storm shelter with the first rumble of thunder.DSC00020

And she didn’t come back upstairs until a little after ten when it was all over.  Renee is no dumb puppy — you don’t see her running around taking pictures of a thunderstorm.

 

SPRING’S TULIPS … ENJOY THEM WHILE YOU CAN!

Well, the weather forecasts for Sunday through Thursday are really rather dire!  Locally, they say we can expect strong thunder storms with anywhere from one to three inches of rain over the five-day time period. There’s also the potential for hail, high winds and potential tornadoes. And the storm potential runs from the mid-west to the east coast. So does anyone want to dispute the fact that are weather patterns are rapidly and repeatedly changing?

So, knowing that a five-day period of severe storms can cause a lot of damage, I decided to go an take this picture …TULIPS

SPRING TULIPS — ENJOY THEM!

I couldn’t take any pictures of my daffodils because they haven’t started blooming yet. Well, one blossom did open up but Mlle. Renee smooshed it chasing a pair of grackles out of the yard. She can not abide the grackles ever since the started dive bombing her a couple of years back every time she came out into the yard to do her business. She has no complaint about sparrows, robins, cardinals or squirrels, and they share the yard peacefully. She’s not too fond of rabbits either because they hop … or cats  and snakes because they slink around in the shadows. The only beasties she has ever hunted are the snakes. I’m not so fond of them either. The only place I never visit at the zoo is the reptile house.DSC05500

Alright, so she doesn’t like dragons either. Guess she thought it was some kind of a snake. Do you think she might be St. George in canine form?

I tried to get my yew hedges in shape yesterday afternoon, but the invasive honeysuckle vines that are trying to claim them as their own were too much for me. So I got my Kindle and sat in the shade of the cedar trees in the back yard and enjoyed the lawn I wore myself out mowing on Thursday. I guess you just have to enjoy sunny skies and warm breezes while you can.

WELL, IT IS THE 15TH DAY OF SPRING!

And it was a day filled with thunder, lightning, rain, hail and tornadoes … from midnight to midnight. Two tornadoes one in early warning and the other in the dark of night, and they both followed the same basic path right through the center of the metropolitan area. The morning one hit University City at five in the morning.  A lot of big old trees were downed and a dozen or so homes damaged. Thankfully, no one was injured.

The second one showed up at nine tonight in Webster Groves. No reported damages or injuries.

The rest of the day was the storms moving up and over the city. One would move in … drop rain or hail … and move out. An hour or so later the next one would repeat  the same weather act. This went on all day and into the night. Naturally, this meant wall-to-wall weather coverage with WEATHER WIZARDS with each local station breaking in to network broadcasting with the endless updates and remotes and analysis and prognostication.

In other words, Mlle. Renee and I had a lot of time on our hands.  She slept and I read and did origami. Actually I folded the last of the spring birds in the bird book.

THE FIRST ONE WAS ANOTHER MYTHICAL BIRD  … THE NATIVE AMERICAN THUNDERBIRD:DSC09550

THE OTHER WAS A HUMMING BIRD:DSC09544

And I think this one turn out best of all!  I also folded the flower for the little bird.DSC09541

I also rephotographed yesterday’s parrot in an alert position.

Now that I’ve used up all the birds and photos of orchids, I’m going to have to come up some new ideas for my daily posts.

Weather or not, I’m still here!

The storms with the thunder, lightning, hail and high winds apparently decided to bypass the local area. And all we were given were some light showers. That’s the way it goes with weather.

ORCHIDS FOR THE EIGHTH DAY OF SPRING:

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TODAY’S ORIGAMI SPRING BIRD:  A GIANT PENGUINGiantPenguin

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS FROM STAN DEMON:Stan'sObservation

First a big yellow bird took over Sesame Street,

Now another big bird wants to become the Flying Nun!

SPRING HAS SPRUNG A LEAK, AND WINTER IS LEAKING BACK IN!

ORCHID FOR THE FOURTH DAY OF SPRING:DSC09311

Yes, the temps dropped back into the 20s overnight, and the predictions for the next week range from dismal to bleak. For history geeks the latest date for a snowfall with accumulation (5″) was May 2, 1929. Now, there might have been later snowfalls prior than that, but that was the latest date my mother would ever confirm personally. Mothers you believe and trust (most of the time), but no one ever believes the weather bureau. Easter is April 20 this year and since I’ve seen snowfall on several Easters, I’m predicting that will be our last snow fall this year. So don’t put your snow shoes away yet.

Mlle. Renee says HUMBUG about the weather, and her perfect way for spending this Sunday is …

SundayNap

 

TAKING A NAP!

Renee received several pillows and a pink blanket from a friend of hers several weeks ago, and she is very possessive about them. She makes it a point to sleep on them every night and nap on them every afternoon. I’d probably be doing that, but I decided to write this and fix dinner.  OVEN BAKED PORK CHOPS!  

Unfortunately, she keeps getting wakened by the neighborhood dogs barking. Someone has apparently abandoned two collarless young bull terrier pups and they have been running around since Friday. They won’t let anyone get near them though.  I called animal rescue, but they weren’t able to rescue them. They did have a merry chase running up and down the block after them though. I remember seeing someone walking them a month or so ago, but I have no idea who he was or where he lives.

NEW ADDITIONS: I’ve added a pair of battery-powered mini-lamps to my office work area. Each has 12 super bright LED bulbs. They were quite inexpensive, and they’re perfect for desktop photography.

MiniSpotsHmm, shades of Pixar!

ORIGAMI BIRD FOR THE FOURTH DAY OF SPRING:PHOENIX

THE PHOENIX

I don’t know what the imaginary phoenix was supposed to look like, but this was a rather impressive fold. I used red folding paper because I wanted him to look like he was about to burst into flames. Gee, I wish I would have had some red/yellow two-sided folding paper left.

THE NIGHT I TOOK FLIGHT!

Well, here we are in the last hours of the last day in January. Yesterday we had a bright and sunny day where the afternoon temps reached 47F. Today the weather took a turn for the worse with the temps dropping and the sun fading from sight. A little while ago I let Mlle. Renee out for her last call before bedtime. When she didn’t return after a reasonable time, I went out onto the back deck and call again. When she didn’t respond, I decided to go into the yard and see what she was doing. Now the deck doesn’t have steps into the yard.  Instead of two steps into the yard, it has a ramp that was put in when my Mom was in a wheelchair. I never had the ramp removed because it was easy to wheel things out of the house and dispose of them. DSCF1246Anyway, I started down the ramp … and have you ever heard of BLACK ICE? You don’t see it, but it’s still there lurking for you to walk on it. Well, have you ever heard of the ballet term Grand Jeté? balletThat’s when the head guy in tights goes leaping across the stage with his legs high in the air. Well, I might not have been wearing tights, but I quickly discovered that my legs were up in the air in front of me.  Unfortunately, my butt was soon on the ramp and I was doing an graceless impression of a “bob” sled taking out several of the railing posts with my feet as I slid down the ramp. Mlle. Renee was on the asphalt drive sliding around trying to get to me. Well, I stood up on the rubber mat at the bottom of the ramp and checked to see if any thing was broken besides my pride. I happy to report everything was in place. That’s when I realized that I couldn’t walk back up the ramp without sliding backwards. Rubber soled sneakers were not made for walking on ice. I finally resorted to taking my shoes off and climbed up the ramp in my stocking feet while holding onto the side railing. That’s where I sustained my only injury … a skin scrap on my left hand. I got to the top only to realize that Renee couldn’t walk up the ramp either. I went into the basement and got the rock salt out and sprinkled it on the ramp. Then I had to coax her into walking up the ramp without licking up the salt. Then I had to wash the salt off of her feet before she came into the house. That was when I realized that I left my sneakers at the bottom of the ramp. And that’s where they’ll stay until tomorrow!

TODAY’S ORIGAMI CHALLENGE: In recognition to my ballet-like flight in the air I decided to fold the BLACK SWAN from the Swan Lake Ballet.DSCF1257

A pretty good swan folding job, too.

I just realized I forgot to do a mug tribute on Thursday. Actually, I forgot to post at all yesterday. So here’s the mug I used on Thursday.Mug4

This is my dapper Alleycat Mug and I had it filled with a bracing hot cup of pomegranate green tea.

Today, I opted for my oversize MEET ME IN SAINT LOUIS MUG.Mug5It was filled with hot cocoa to ward off the chilling temps.

YET ANOTHER ARCTIC MONDAY! NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE ARCTIC MONKEYS!

DSC09006  Well, today’s high temp of 27F was recorded at 12:ooAM and we didn’t reach the predicted morning low of 6F.  But never say never, because who knows what will happen  before the day ends. Don’t know what the wind chill is, because I haven’t even been tempted to stick my head outside today. I will have to brave that external excursion sooner or later because I have an empty trash cart waiting to be pulled back into the yard. Mlle. Renee did the Gunga Din routine showing that she was a better man than I, by making on one or two, but THREE brief sorties into the frigid wastes.  More out of necessity than exercise. I actually got up rather early this morning and get my butt out of the refrigerator. Ok, it was a pork butt and I had to put it in the crock pot for a day of slow cooking.CrockPot

Can show you what it looks like until I take the lid off at 6:00 tonight. Also haven’t decided on pulling it or slicing it yet.

Last night I watched the Grammy Awards Show which was much too long. I also think Yoko Ono put at least three hex signs directly on me. My major question is why do the producers insist on doing musical production numbers combining the musical talents of two individuals or groups who share no common musical talent or abilities. The one with the least talent always drowns out the other one. I mean when you combine a Wagnerian soprano with a tongue twisting rapper, you’re not going to please fans of either one. And why did Madonna show up dressed like the chorus line of Chorus Line. I’m not even going to comment on Taylor Swift’s spastic hair tossing. Taylor’s Swift Hair   Enough said.

WHERE, OH WHERE, HAS MY ORIGAMI KANGAROO GONE? I haven’t given up on the origami kangaroo yet. I also haven’t made an acceptable version yet either. And I haven’t given up on origami either. Why just this morning I was wondering, what if Peter Parker had been bitten by an atomic ant instead of a spider? That inspired me to fold …  THE ATOMIC ANTMAN!

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Hopefully, he doesn’t have a taste for BOOKWORMS!

DSC08966  In yesterday’s post I featured my Sherlock Holmes’ mug I used at breakfast. Not wanting to slight any of my other breakfast mugs, I decided to give them a daily appearance of their own.  So today, I had a hot mug of EARL GREY TEA in my Saint Louis Art Museum Mug.

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The imprint on the mug was so wide, I had to show it in two shots.   Mug2

And the pork butt I’ve been slow cooking all day … it was tenderlicious and I forgot to take a picture of it before I started eating it. So now, who takes pictures of leftovers.

And in case you were wondering, THE ARCTIC MONKEYS  were a British rock group.

NINE DAYS INTO THE NEW YEAR … AND MY MIND’S A BLANK!

Surely, it’s not a return of the brain freeze earlier in the week. No, I just realized that I no longer had a calendar on the desk to prod me into doing something each and every day on this blog.  Then a heard a small voice from the corner of my desk. “Psst!”

There in a dusty corner I saw two old friends.  DSC08858  “Why don’t you read the button.”

“Be creative, I asked?”  “Just because you ran out of calendar doesn’t mean you’ve run out of ideas. There must be a gazillion  origami things they never even thought about putting in the calendar. 

“You’re right, I said!”  And I reached in my origami box for a piece of folding paper. Within two minutes I had created …

DSC08862

A BOLDLY BOVINE BULL HEAD!

“Nice work! And if you ever need more ideas, we’ll be around with more buttons.”

And in a flash, they had disappeared.

Boy, that NyQuil can really mess up your head.  We’ll, after I got my chili cooking yesterday I went out and shoveled a mini-path from the edge of my lawn to the middle of the street where a single car-width path had been plowed down the right lane of the street. (Which was unfortunately the wrong side of the street to provide access to the cleared walk on my property.)   It seems like the USPS mail carriers were refusing to deliver mail to occupants who failed to provide such a path this snow storm. So, I didn’t receive mail delivery Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s why I had been looking for snow shoveling boys on snow days breaks. Anyway, It snowed yet another inch of snow last night, which recovered the mini-path I had made yesterday. Also the temps stayed above freezing all day and the melting returned my pathway around dark. I don’t know when the mail carrier arrived, but when I looked outside around five … I found a four-day collection of mail filling my box.

Current weather reports tell us to expect heavy rain on tomorrow and Saturday that should wash away most of the foot of snow covering the landscape. Now all we have to worry about it the water that will be leaking into our basements because the storm sewer system is frozen solid with snow. Some times you just can’t win!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

IN A NEW POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO THAT MEANS UNEXPECTED TO YOU.UnexpectedUNEXPECTED to me is walking outside in the middle of the afternoon to discover that everything more than twelve feet in front of you has disappeared … suddenly been swallowed up in a vast creeping blanket of fog. If you look closely at the stoplight and one of the car’s taillights, you realize that this is a color photograph

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