Monday, June 30, 2014

Amazing cloud formations

Late Saturday afternoon as I was mowing, I noticed a huge line of clouds that stretched clear across the horizon from north to south, heading our way. The first view was pretty amazing, but I didn't dare stop mowing to grab the camera for fear I wouldn't get done before the rain arrived. So I finished mowing and then went for the camera. I wish I'd thought to take panoramic shots so you could see the whole line of clouds at once, but... too late now. It was also hard to narrow down the shots, because they all seemed incredible. So here are a few, the first four being somewhat of a scan across the sky. The rest are zoomed in shots of the various formations. Click any image to enlarge. 

I was impressed with the streaks of light, wispy clouds in front of the huge thunderheads.

It sure seemed like we'd be getting a pretty good storm out of those clouds, and it even looked like it on the radar. But they dissipated enough by the time they got here that all we got was a little bit of rain! Prayers were answered.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Weigela and....

I couldn't help taking pics of these weigela buds. The buds are actually prettier than the flowers themselves which are kind of pale. 

The bush is a favorite place to... er... "hang out".....

Okay... no weigela in that last one, but it was fun! :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Rainbow's kittens discovered the joy of tree climbing a few nights ago. Bert was the first.

Going up was easy. Getting down was a bit of another story.

But he made it safely, even if he did drop the last 3 feet and land on his sister.

Mama Rainbow looks concerned, doesn't she?

But Purrl looks like she's ready for the challenge!

"C'mon, Sammie... we can do it!"

Up she went, followed closely by Georgie!

What great fun, peeking down from way up there!

Everybody had to have a go at it. Betty...


Little Sammie did, too, although I guess I failed to get a pic of him at it. But it was up and down and up and down. Two trees' worth. Grand fun!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Just pretty

Monday's sunset... west view:

East view:

And Blogger apparently didn't like such pink clouds as were actually in the bottom photo. The original was so much prettier than that. Boo, Blogger!!! :-(((((

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Never a dull moment

It's getting harder and harder to get good photos of Rainbow's kittens, because they zoom and bounce around so fast! About the only time they're still is when they're sleeping or nursing (and the nursing only lasts for a couple minutes and they're gone). I shot this picture through the window in the garage door, unbeknownst to them. Even so, there were a couple that weren't cooperating very well (note the black ears peeking out from under the orange one by Rainbow's head). :)

They're all doing wonderfully, and aren't they beautiful?!

I did take some other pics of them (275, to be exact, which I culled down to 90+ the first time through!), but until I get a few of them sorted and edited, I'll show you 3 videos of them in action, so you'll know what a "photographer's challenge" they are. Enjoy!

(The wire around the flowers is to keep cats/kittens out - it helps!)

I got a chuckle out of Rainbow reaching out to Purrl for an affectionate hug when she came bouncing over, only to have Purrl evade her grasp. Typical kid. ;)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Oh, deer...

I was outside a few evenings ago and happened to see a deer walk into our evergreen trees. Of course I wanted to try and get a photo, so I ran in for the camera, switched lenses, and headed back outside. He'd gotten a long way by the time I got out there, though, so the pics aren't the greatest, not to mention that there wasn't a lot of daylight left. Here he is in our soybean field, and obviously he'd seen me coming.

Yes, it's a buck. If you click on the pics to enlarge a bit, you can see his small antlers.

(Incidentally, did you notice all the cornstalks on the ground from last year's corn? That's what all those flooded fields looked like before the rushing waters washed the cornstalks into those piles.)

He didn't stand around long before he took off...

... and leapt up onto the road...

... where he carefully looked both ways...

... and trotted off with his tail in the air.

The end. Literally. Ahem. :)

My favorite deer story is still the little fawn I found a few years ago. If you haven't seen the videos, check them out here. The followup story with more photos is here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Water pics... what it left behind

Yesterday I showed you the water. Today I have pics of where some of the water had been, and what it left behind. This first photo shows an amazing path through a soybean field. The water had apparently rushed down from higher ground, come through that grove of trees and left a wide path of washed-out beans and a lot of debris. This photo, in particular, is more impressive when it's bigger, so just click on it (or any photo) to enlarge it.

You can see how it washed cornstalks and a lot of junk right up to the edge of the road.

There was quite a bit of dead wood that came from that grove of trees. The water was rushing awfully fast to have the power to bring all that along with it.

Below is what is normally just a small creek. It got incredibly wide as it flooded the low part of that pasture.

The water again brought old cornstalks from the fields and washed it up in thick layers on the sides of the hills... on one side.....

..... and the other.

Here's another field that got washed out a lot:

You can see below where it washed over the edge of the field and into the ditch, flattening out the long grasses.

There's a tile outlet going into the ditch, and when we were there, the water was still gushing out of it.

Below is an example of how the water cut a gorge as it rushed through.

We've never seen flooding like this around here before. Lots of crops have been drowned out, but we still were luckier than some other areas to our south that also got hail that wiped out what crops the water didn't drown.

Fortunately we haven't gotten any more rain, and the forecast is looking a little calmer now.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Water pics

We've gotten 8+ inches of rain in less than a week! Yesterday morning I took these pics from our driveway of the standing water in our neighbors' fields.

Continuing to the right of the above photo:

There has been a lot of flooding in areas that Grandpa and I have never seen flooding before. We took a drive last night so I could get some more photos. Here are some of them. Click on any to enlarge.

These first two are where there is normally just a small stock pond, but it's completely disappeared.

I tried to back away a bit to get a better view of the whole picture, but it doesn't do it justice.

Next is a road Grandpa travels to work every day. You can see where they've added new gravel because the water had washed out the road.

And on the other side:

The water rushed so fast that it washed tons of old cornstalks off fields and into huge piles in the ditches.

Below is one of Courtney's daddy's soybean fields.

Here's some more of it. Lotsa drowned beans under there.

Grandpa usually turns off that road onto this one on his way to work, but it was still under water last night. That bean field is on the right.

I'll post more photos tomorrow. As of this writing (Wednesday night), we're under a tornado watch for during the night. Hopefully I won't have anything worse to report to you!

Update: Thankfully, we didn't have any storms last night, and just some sprinkles of rain. There's still a pretty good chance of thunderstorms this afternoon, but hopefully they'll miss us and the water will get a chance to soak away.