Who needs TV?

With skies like this? Who needs TV?

Dark clouds and rain
Water from sky to earth and back. No tornadic activity, just scuds in the center and mist sweeping upward at the right of the frame.
Cloud convecting.
Storm brewing to the west and south. With a little of everything. Rain, crepuscular rays, convection and dissipation.

Rising to meet the sky

After the rain, mist rises from the mountains to meet the sky. At times the mist rises in columns that bend gently like grass in a breeze, shifting east and then west at the whim of the winds. The movement is hypnotic and in its silence, mysterious.

Mountain mist.
Post-rain mists rising to meet the sky.

Winter vs. Spring. Round 3

And the winner is … Spring!

Arkansas did have one more round of snow on St. Patrick’s Day, with enough ice and snow to cause a 10- to 15-car pileup that shut down I-630 during the morning commute. However, Spring has gotten down to business and has taken the state in its firm grip.

Violets grow on a rocky Ouachita mountain slope.
White tree blossoms.
Beautiful blossoms, but the tree is a mystery.
Robin in nest.
Mama robin minds her nest in a tulip tree at the office.


Winter vs. Spring: Round 2 continued

Winter has its moments of beauty.

Winter landscape.
STORYBOOK ENDING — Winter has its beauty. When the sun finally broke through, it lit a scene that looked like a storybook illustration.
Snow covered road.
UP THE ROAD — Ice, sleet, snow make for a beautiful view but a treacherous drive up 30- and 40 degree curving mountain roads.
individual flakes on an iron railing.
SNOWFLAKES — individual flakes on an iron railing.

Winter vs. Spring: Round 2

After a few springlike days, winter came roaring back, taking Round 2. The system dropped freezing rain, several inches of sleet and topped it all off with snow. Schools were shut down for days and traffic stopped on I-40 and I-55 in northeastern Arkansas.

The heavy winter layer took all the joy out of the daffodils in back of the office.  So sad.

LOST HIS CROWN — Daffodil loses its rill in the sleet, rain and snow.
Frozen daffodils.
DOWN — A storm system that brought freezing rain, a few inches of sleet and snow stomped these daffodils.

Ouachita falls

The same storm system that coated parts north with ice and snow left most of Arkansas with an abundance of rain. Ponds and lakes shrunken by up to three years of drought found themselves overflowing. The National Weather Service painted the state with flood and severe thunderstorm warnings and a couple of twisters were reported.

Here in the steep valleys of the eastern Ouachita Mountains water ran off fast, creating impromptu falls and rapids. (After spending about an hour in the rain shooting, little rivulets were falling off me too!)

Falls created by heavy rain.
Impromptu and temporary falls created by heavy rain.
Little rapids

Sometimes, it pays to look back

Advent is a time of looking forward — preparing one’s self for the feast of Christmas. However, after last night’s vigil Mass for the final Sunday of Advent, looking back paid off too.

For almost 24 hours, nature had soaked the state in a deluge that saw nearly 8 inches of rain fall in parts of the Arkansas Delta. The same system also spawned tornadoes in other parts of the state. When the heavy rain finally stopped, those leaving church were welcomed by a fiery orange sunset. En route to the parking lot,  paused on the steps to take a shot or two of the sunset with my iPhone (bottom photo). But something made me look back. And there over the church, the sky glowed with a luminous double rainbow.

The iPhone’s ‘pano’ setting sure  came in handy in trying to capture such a wide view. 
Fiery sunset
Fiery sunset with the old bell tower in silhouette. 

Great balls of … water?

(Apologies to Jerry Lee Lewis, of course.) Winter likes to make water do interesting things: create stalactites, delicate snowflakes and spheres of ice. Here, a couple of samples of what water can do.

(Catching that little drop of water falling from an icicle took many, many frames.)

sleet balls
CRYSTAL BALLS — Tiny spheres of sleet that accompanied a winter storm.
Sphere of water falls from a bank of icicles.
THE BIG DRIP — Sphere of water falls from a bank of icicles.

Posts from winters past: