Waiting, Impatiently

Waiting, Impatiently

Will a wet summer mean a burst of color
for Ozark hills familiar with drab autumns?

Clouds more frequent, but blue skies,
still, in these shorter days of lower sun.

The sycamores seem to measure
the light, their yellow the first to show.

Without a frost to say otherwise, green
clings to maple, oak, and hickory.

No monarchs in sight as the milkweed
goes to seed, but the season will not be rushed.

Back in Buffalo, I’d be taking photos of peak fall foliage around Columbus Day. A week later could be too late, with colors fading. There’s nothing here yet, in Missouri, but our first frost of the season is in this weekend’s forecast. Fingers crossed.

Images (top to bottom)
Sycamore starting to change on Moreau River (04 Oct 2019)
Milkweed, bank-side of pond in Runge Conservation Center (09 Oct 2019)
Common buckeye feeding on aster at Runge (09 Oct 2019)
(click each for larger view in new tab)

where she will ~ magnetic poetry

where she will

rain falls
water rises
a river flows where she will
with no regard for man
or his needs
a course never by choice
ever by circumstance


If you want to try magnetic poetry, you can do it online, here.

Background image: Missouri River at Jefferson City, Missouri – 06 June 2019
(click image for larger view in new tab)

Unfortunate Turn of Events

Unfortunate Turn of Events

No one saw it coming.
Hills. Valleys. Bluffs.
They’re not conducive to tornadoes.

Technology changes everything,
showed this one developing.
And so it came.

Middle of the night.
Sirens wailing.
Cars and houses sailing.

Walls in pieces.
Roofs gone.
Ours still over our head.

Close enough to go down
to the corner and see
the damage. Feel lucky.

It’s said they turn
counterclockwise.
This one twisted right past us.

A tornado passed within a mile of our home last night, causing extensive damage in Jefferson City, Missouri. Several homes and businesses were destroyed. There were injuries, but no fatalities.

Image source: fox2now.com – aerial photos of damage
& screenshot of local news

Contemplating Ice on a River That Doesn’t Freeze ~ prose poem

Contemplating Ice on a River that Doesn’t Freeze

The winter water here is cold, but I’ve seen colder. Felt colder. I’ve seen ice float down the Niagara River, filling it shore-to-shore. But that was a fluke. No, there are no whales there, but normally the ice boom keeps the Lake Erie ice from flowing downriver and damaging docks along the shore. Actually, ice is more common on the Missouri River. Winter temperatures always are in flux, and hundreds of tributaries send their broken ice downstream. I’ll think about that today, when I’m kayaking in a t-shirt. Make that a kayak. I’ll be wearing the t-shirt – in 60-degree weather – thinking about last week’s river ice. And I’ll be on the water, not in it. It’s still cold, and I’ll be thinking about that tomorrow morning, when the temperature will be back down to 20 and the ice will form again on the creeks and streams. I think I’ll head back to the river next week and take some pictures of the ice flow – from shore.

Image: Osage River, Missouri – ice free (noon, 14 Feb 2019)
~~ click image for larger view in new tab ~~

Snow Reason to Stay in the House

Snow Reason to Stay in the House
(clicking any photo will open a larger image in a new tab)

I’ve been told that winters here in mid-Missouri are nothing like in the past. Twenty years ago snowfall was more common, often leaving snow on the ground between snowfalls. My experience in seven winters here in mid-Missouri is to see a couple of inches once or twice a month, with at least a week with temps in the mid-40s for a week, each month. Four inches of snow will be gone within a couple of days, and six to ten inches will be gone in a week. I was expecting something similar to happen with the snowfall we just had, but another system is developing, and the mid-West has the potential for another storm this weekend.

We had about a foot of snowfall from Friday afternoon into Saturday evening, with a light powder/mist on and off for the next twenty-four hours. Temperatures have been in the low 30s (F), so it was a wet, heavy snow, weighing down tree branches and providing a good workout for shoveling. That took a couple of hours over Saturday and Sunday, including clearing the street and digging out the mailbox. Our house is on a cul de sac, and by the time the plow gets to my driveway, ¾ of the way around the circle, it has to back up before hitting my neighbor’s mailbox. As it straightens out, it leaves a ten foot gap of snow across my driveway. If I want to get out of the driveway – or receive my mail – I need to clear that.

We still have gray skies today, but I decided to head to the local conservation area for photos this afternoon. A dozen or so people had been in ahead of me, which made the hike easier than it could have been, but there still was a bit of leg lifting in each step. Sunny and 46º is forecast for tomorrow. If that materializes, I may head back for photos in better lighting. Here’s what I have, for now.

The heavy snow has the cedars looking more like pine trees, and some of them didn’t survive that added weight.

There’s not much use for it in this weather, but there’s a fire tower in the park.

Meanwhile back home, our large lilac bush has lost two of its limbs.

And maybe we’ll get our TV reception back, if tomorrow’s warmer weather allows the snow to slide off our dish antenna.

Ken G

Falling for Winter

Falling for Winter
(clicking any photo will open a larger image in a new tab)

The inch of snow we had last night never accumulated on our “warm” pavement and was mostly gone by this morning, with an overnight low of 30ºF. The weather forecast for the next week is for daytime highs bouncing between mid-30s and high-40s and nighttime lows back and forth between high teens and mid-30s. If nothing else, the weather fluctuations here can be entertaining. Here are a couple of views from my house.

From my back deck…

Falling for Winter_1Falling for Winter_2

From my front porch…

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And the same view three days ago…

Falling for Winter_5

Ken G

Fall Color, Finally

Fall Color, Finally
(clicking any photo will open a larger image in a new tab)

In late October or early November, I make a point of going to Ha Ha Tonka State Park, sixty miles south of my home in mid-Missouri. I’m seldom disappointed by the fall colors the landscape has to offer. I made the trip on Monday, with temperatures in the sixties and partially cloudy (wispy) skies.

Fall Color, Finally_1

The patches of red that are visible are dogwood.

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There may be few maples in our area, but they draw my camera like a magnet.

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This view is one that I never fail to photograph. It’s the outflow from a natural spring found at the base of one of the bluffs. The water (56,000,000 gallons, daily) can have an amazing blue hue on a cloudless day.

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I spent several hours walking 4.5 miles of trails within the park, with an elevation change of a couple hundred feet, from the Castle down to the water, and then up again along the bluffs.

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This tree, now bare, sits on the ledge visible in the photo above it.

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The area has numerous karst formations, including this natural bridge.

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Designed to be a home, later a hotel, The Castle at Ha Ha Tonka is bare stone walls, the result of a devastating fire in 1942.

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A great photo of The Castle in its prime can be seen here.
Meanwhile, within five miles of my home, this bluff always offers a spectacular autumn view.

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And in my back yard, this hickory.

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Sadly, the colors don’t stay forever. This is the same tree, three days later, after rain and a couple of cool nights. I’m sure the other trees are soon to follow. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Fall Color, Finally_14

Ha Ha Tonka fall photos from the last two years can be found here and here.

Ken G