Should we be worried?

The nearest cell tower has been the roost for a small band of vultures for years. In the last weeks, however, some of the vultures have ventured closer to the house for a rest, lighting on trees just past the yard. When you glance out the kitchen window and see the large, moribund-looking birds staring back, part of you wonders if it’s an omen.

A few days later, a lightning bolt crashed near the house, knocking out the power, water, air conditioners and other and  sundry electrics, as temperatures outside soared past 100. Inside, temps in the living room hit 107. Thanks to all the repairmen who have come and gone in the last two weeks, the house is livable again.

Neither of these fellows has come to roost near the house lately. At least none that we’ve seen.

Black vulture in tree
MORBID THE YOUNGER — Young black vulture hangs out on a tree that usually serves as a roost for collared doves and indigo buntings. He’s rather a dashing bird with a sharp look about him. 
Black vulture and hummingbird.
PHOTO BOMB — Fast-moving hummingbird gets a look from one of the local black vultures. (Can’t look at this one and not think of Beaky Buzzard from the Warner Bros. cartoons as he’s bringing home a baby bumblebee. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=na7WqSb6sY0 )

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

This week’s photo challenge is “fray.” It’s a great word that can go more than one place, meaning-wise. This photo, taken back in May, has both meanings — the ragged, falling-apartness of the rainstorm and the battle between water, heat and air fought over the Ouachita Mountains.

Rain clouds sweeping low.
Frayed clouds bring drama to a sunset shower.

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.

Weekly photo challenge: Infinite

Day or night, the sky offers infinite possibilities.

Milky Way against dark sky.
MILKY WAY — A seeming infinity of stars as seen from our patch of Arkansas. (Oh, that thing in the lower right is the satellite dish of infinite channels.)

SHELFISH --Shelf cloud sweeps across the Ouachitas ahead of an Oct. 12 cold front.

SHELFISH — Eerily smooth and pink-lit shelf cloud sweeps across the Ouachitas ahead of an Oct. 12 cold front.
Dual lightning bolts.
BOLT — Storm casts two bolts. This is what followed the shelf cloud above.
And some other delightful entries:

Zzzzzap! Pow!

Cold air from the north and west met up with our 80-degree spring day, producing powerful storms. Here’s what we saw this evening.

Giving thanks and seeking hope UPDATE

More reason to give thanks today, Nov. 4. It seems all of our relatives have been accounted for. Thanks for your prayers and please keep in mind those families not so fortunate.

– – –

We felt great relief and gave thanks this morning on learning that many of our relatives on the New Jersey shore are in the dark, but OK, with roofs and walls intact.  Like many others who have their family, friends, hearts and homes in places hit by Hurricane Sandy, we worry for the ones we aren’t able to contact. Please keep them all in your prayers. It’s going to be a long recovery.

Blog posts from those in the area:

Perspective on Sandy from posted at Wired:

SANDY — Sandy’s size gets some perspective on this “blue marble” photo.

Weekly photo challenge: Big 1

Mother Nature can really throw some heat — and light.  For this week’s big challenge, we offer big examples of what she can do with her electric pitching arm.

TWIN CHANNELS — Big lightning strike to the south.
BIGGER LIGHTNING — This lightning bolt and the expanding column of super-heated air and water all aglow. Don’t mess with Mother Nature when she’s in that mood.

More Big:
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/weekly-photo-challenge-big/

Late summer storm

We’ve been blessed with a handful of drought-breaking rains. In the last few days, we’ve received close to 4 inches of rain. The foliage almost glowed with the moisture.

shelf cloud
CURVED -- This shelf cloud's front seems carved by the wind, like a water vapor version of wind-carved canyons in the SW United States.
Storm front with scud
PUTTING ITS FOOT DOWN -- The storm front, moving from left to right (east to west) drops a scud.
storm waves
WAVES -- The front of this storm seemed to have flat clouds that lapped like small waves on a shoreline.

Dark and stormy night

Mother Nature is making up for lost time, after months of dry weather, sending wave after wave of storms on Oct. 24.

The following day, the National Weather Service confirmed a weak tornado:

000
NOUS44 KLZK 252012
PNSLZK
ARZ003>007-012>016-021>025-030>034-037>047-052>057-062>069-260600-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK AR
315 PM CDT MON OCT 25 2010

...EF0 TORNADO CONFIRMED IN SOUTHWEST PULASKI COUNTY...

TODAY...A SURVEY TEAM FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LITTLE
ROCK CONFIRMED THAT AN EF0 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN SOUTHWEST PULASKI
COUNTY LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. EF0 TORNADOES ARE THE WEAKEST
TORNADOES ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE...AND HAVE WINDS BETWEEN 65
AND 85 MPH.

THE TORNADO WAS ON THE GROUND FOR 0.77 MILE...FROM 3 MILES
WEST-NORTHWEST OF CRYSTAL VALLEY TO 2.7 MILES NORTHWEST OF CRYSTAL
VALLEY. THE MAJORITY OF THE DAMAGE WAS ON CRYSTAL VALLEY RD. ABOUT
1/2 MILE SOUTH OF LAWSON RD.

A FEW TREES WERE BLOWN DOWN...A NUMBER OF LARGE LIMBS WERE BLOWN
DOWN...AND PART OF A BARN ROOF WAS BLOWN OFF.

STORM DAMAGE AT E. ROOSEVELT AND DUGAN IN EAST LITTLE ROCK WAS ALSO
SURVEYED. HERE...A ROOF WAS BLOWN OFF AN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING...
KNOCKING DOWN POWER LINES AND POWER POLES. THIS DAMAGE WAS CAUSED BY
THUNDERSTORM WINDS...NOT A TORNADO.

DAMAGE AROUND THE 4000 BLOCK OF BASELINE RD. AND ON BRUNO RD. IN
SOUTHWEST LITTLE ROCK WAS ALSO SURVEYED. HERE...A NUMBER OF LARGE
LIMBS WERE BLOWN DOWN...A TREE FELL ON A HOUSE...AND SOME SHINGLES
WERE BLOWN OFF THE ROOFS OF HOUSES. THIS DAMAGE WAS CAUSED BY
THUNDERSTORM WINDS...NOT A TORNADO.

$$

 

 

Lightning
Lightning streaks across the sky as another wave of storms rakes across Arkansas.