Napoleon is mad …

And who wouldn’t be? When was the last time we had a dry weekend? (well, OK, last weekend WAS an exception!)  More than 4 inches of rain has fallen since noon Friday and Sunday arrived complete with another barrage of lightning, thunder and a few chunks of hail for good measure.

Ruby throated hummingbird
Napoleon, the only ruby-throated hummingbird on the deck, takes command of the high ground on between heavy rain. He and the rufous hummingbirds constantly battle for control of the feeders.
rain gage
Four inches and counting ...


Decided to try something different for the weekend brunch. Pancakes are pleasant, biscuits bountiful and waffles wonderful, but we were ready to have something else. Popovers were the perfect quick start.

Popovers right out of the oven.
Popover tops take rakish angles right out of the oven. Left leaning or right, they all tasted wonderful with butter and marmalade.


The possum grapes are preparing for another year’s crop.  The flowers are out and ready to make baby grapes. Let’s hope the pollinators return with a week of dry weather.

Grape flowers
Future grapes bask in a long-awaited sunny day.

May flowers – Update

Spring’s flowers’  shining faces turn toward the sun.

Pink flower
These beautiful spires of pink flowers with large oval leaves seem to have suddenly appeared in the woods. Hope to find out what these foot-tall plants are.

We have since learned that the mystery pink flower is Streptanthus maculatus, a clasping jewelflower. This member of the mustard family grows in the Arkansas Ouachitas. According to USDA, it also grows one county in eastern Texas, but that’s disputed here: It also grows in parts of Oklahoma. (its Arkansas range is pictured here:

Coreopsis flower
Last year, we planted coreopsis and other annual wildflowers. The leaves came up, but no blooms. This year, the plants came back, thriving. Today, the buds burst open.

End of rain

After days of  heavy rain, high winds and tornadoes, we awoke to something unusual: a sunrise.

This sunrise also illuminated the back edge of the rainy front moving east and away from Arkansas.

Front moves east
The ragged back edge of a clipper moves east and away from Arkansas, in this shot looking north.

Wind, water, tornado sirens

Springtime means rough weather for the middle of the United States. The jet stream changes allowing warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico to meet cold air from the north and west. The resulting weather is at least turbulent. At worst, deadly.

Since April 14, the South has seen the worst, including one of the largest tornado outbreaks in history that left hundreds of people dead.

Here in Ferndale, we had our share of adrenaline and fear, but thank God, no more damage than the shattering of a drier vent cover. On April 15 and April 25, we thought the wailing tornado sirens would never stop. On April 25, we spent much of the evening hunkered safely away from windows, with battery powered lights and other essentials close at hand. We never lost power and were able to listen to the local television meteorologists, some of whom had been working for more than 12 hours, warn people into their tornado safe rooms

funnel cloud dipping
A funnel cloud, partially obscured by the tree silhouette, had been bobbing up and down for some minutes. It went west of us, and may have been the killer tornado that hit Vilonia, Ark.
radar image
A screen shot of the National Weather Service radar map shows the line of storms. Each red polygon indicates a tornado warning. Green indicates a flood warning.

Today, May Day, the storms continue. With this round, wind is not as much of a threat (so far) as water has become.

No fishing
Normally, the tree holding the "no fishing" sign is on a dry bank.
An inch of water in a short time cascading down a steep and saturated slope, created a 4-foot pile of debris, that included logs up to 6 inches in diameter.