Ghost leaf

Arkansas summer mornings give rise to interesting conditions, thanks to the high humidity and the difference in temperature between inside and outside. Condensation on the windows can be especially telling — as if Nature was deploying her own forensic technique to seek the whereabouts of creatures and things. On this July morning, this ghostly outline appeared on the glass — retracing the landing spot of some storm tossed leaf.

7-17-2016 Leaf Impression Window

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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 )

Mother Goose

Goose and pair of goslings on a family outing in the rain in Goshen, Arkansas. There were two families of geese with goslings close in age. The group seemed to move together always in the two days we saw them.

Goose and two goslings.
Goose and goslings on a family outing in Goshen, Arkansas.
Two goose families
Two families of Canada geese stick together in a subdivision pond in Goshen, Arkansas.

Mountain wave

Arkansas is a landlocked state, but it doesn’t mean we don’t see mountainous waves on occasion. Back in July, this thick bank of fog rolled in from the west, breaking over a long fold ridge and spilling down its southern flank. The second shot is the wave just a moment or two earlier as it was cresting.

Mist over mountains 7-12 MistyValley1

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.

Almost bookends

We’ve seen a bit of unsettled weather in Arkansas over the last two days. Not ideal for meteor or Super Moon watching, but the sunrises and sunsets have been spectacular. These two are bookends for the last 48 hours.

Black silhouetted trees against cobalt and orange sky.
Sunrise on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014.
Black silhouetted trees against cobalt and orange sky.
Sunset on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.

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.

Oh, hail!

When it comes to hail, what we saw 10 days ago certainly had less volume and smaller pieces than what Colorado and the Midlantic states saw within the last few days. The hail was unusual in the candy corn-shaped  pieces left when the marble-sized ice balls shattered on the deck and sidewalk.

5-15-CandyCorn

5-15-Large-hail