Chickweed under glass

Seems every time I write a news story about Arkansas’ droughted conditions, it rains. Not that I’m complaining, we need the water, even if the text loses its news value.

This afternoon, following some errands in town, I wondered where “our” violets were. Last year, we had some that bloomed as early as January. Nose to the ground, I finally spotted three of them in the green that passes for a lawn — pale violet, some more white than violet.

The chickweed was also eye-catching. The tiny flowers and water’s powerful surface tension seemed to make little snow globes with the flowers embedded in the bottom.

Chickweed flowers.
Chickweed flower wrapped in a drop of rainwater. Note the tiny black cricket on the underside of a leaf in the lower right hand corner.
chickweed flowers
Three chickweed flowers under glass.

DYI Stalactites

Snow melt dripping  off  the deck and through the cement under the tiles is creating soda straw stalactites. Past stalactites have reached up to 3-4 inches before breaking off and shattering on the sidewalk. Below, flowstone builds up on the sidewalk. The question is how many years of rain and snow can the deck withstand?

Do it yourself stalactites
Soda straws form as snow melt percolates through the deck.
How flow stone starts
How flowstone starts -- on the sidewalk.
snow melt drops
Snow melt drops fall from the deck.

Shadows of former lives.

Despite being home for a week, our thoughts are still on the road somewhere along the vast flatness that is the prairie land of the Dakotas, the vibrance of “The Cities,” and the cornfields of Iowa.

View of road with headlights.
Evening lit by headlights heading south on I-29 in South Dakota.
Windshield splotches cast shadows on dashboard
Shadows of former insects fall across the dash.
Concrete tepee at a rest stop in southern South Dakota.
Looking up through the top of a concrete tepee at an interstate rest stop in southern South Dakota. Someone's now-deflated football joins a bird's nest as addenda to the structure.
Big white booty
Polar bear at the Como Park zoo in St. Paul cools his booty on a hot summer day.
Shadows on stone
Shadows sweep the stone at Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota.
abandoned farmhouse
Abandoned house sits alone near Stack Slough WMA in North Dakota.
Lone tree in Iowa
Lone tree breaks up the horizon, along with wind turbines, in northern Iowa.