Glory of the Grass

photo of wild grass in Sacramento, California

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April 12, 2015 · 9:11 pm

Shadow Show

clouds and shadows over the Mediterranean

CloudsShadow.jpg
By Etan J. Tal (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
clouds and shadows over the Mediterranean
22 February 2003

 

Sometimes heaven’s light
Seems so far away
And my life
Rushes by
Like a stormy illusion
In moments of darkness
I feel
Pride and ego
Slip away
And see
There is more to life
Than me
I am not a flame
But a drifting shadow
Cast by
The bright dream
Of the universe.

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Shelf Clouds

Just when I thought about putting away my winter coats, the weather turned again. On Tuesday, I was driving home from work when a large mass of storm clouds loomed into view. Within a few minutes, thunder boomed and multiple lightning strikes flashed before me. I was actually enjoying the light show until the heavy downpour of rain came. Even though I had the windshield wipers going full blast, I could barely see the painted lines on the road. I never drove in rain as heavy as this before, and I slowed down along with other drivers on the road in the hope of avoiding an accident. Water swelled and flooded the streets. Suddenly, the storm disappeared as fast as it came, and the sun shone again . . .

Besides giving me a free car wash, Tuesday’s rain inspired me to do a post about storm clouds. This week’s post features storm clouds called shelf clouds. Here is a brief description of them from the Mother Nature Network website:

Shelf clouds are a type of arcus cloud, formed by colliding updrafts and downdrafts. As a storm vacuums up warm air from below, it also pumps out cooler air at the top, which can spill forward, slip below the warm updrafts and condense into a horizontal “shelf” . . . .

 

Thunderstorm with lightning (panorama photomontage)

Gewitter Thunderstorm.jpg
By sys-one (Franz Mattuschka) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Thunderstorm with lightning (panorama photomontage)
19 June 2009

 

This is a shelfcloud in front of a Squall Line (line of severe thunderstorms).

Shelfcloudsquall.jpg
By Jumbo0 (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
This is a shelfcloud in front of a Squall Line (line of severe thunderstorms). This cloud brought damaging winds and caused a lot of damage.
14 July 2010

 

Cumulonimbus shelf cloud over Varangerfjord

Varangerfjord.jpg
By Ricksulman (Self-published work by Ricksulman) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Cumulonimbus shelf cloud over Varangerfjord
17 July 2006

 

Some shelf clouds have a blue glow to them. The Mother Nature Network website describes this as a “’glow discharge,’” which “can occur when a thunderstorm is close to the ground, creating a large ‘surface charge density’ for a long, slow-burning lightning strike — similar to how an electrical charge illuminates suspended particles in a fluorescent light bulb.”

 

Storm, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Almatyspeedstorm.jpg
By Sarik real [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Storm, Almaty, Kazakhstan
2009
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/16771990@N07/5169005619/

 

Rolling thunderstorm (Cumulonimbus arcus)

Rolling-thunder-cloud.jpg
By Photo by John Kerstholt.original upload by Solitude (From English Wikipedia) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Rolling thunderstorm (Cumulonimbus arcus)
photographed on July 17, 2004 in Enschede, The Netherlands

 

Furthermore, shelf clouds are not always as menacing as they appear to be. They “mainly serve as harbingers of more severe weather on the way — and even then, they’ve been known to exaggerate the threat. ”

 

Cumulonimbus cloud at the Baltic Sea near island of Öland, Sweden.

Cloud cumulonimbus at baltic sea(1).jpg
By Arnold Paul (Deutsch: Selbst erstelltes Foto) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
Cumulonimbus cloud at the Baltic Sea near island of Öland, Sweden.
18 July 2005

 

Shelf cloud in Warsaw

Chmura szelfowa nadciągająca nad Warszawę.jpg
By Dariusz Wierzbicki (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Shelf cloud in Warsaw
5 July 2009

 

Source for all quotes in this post: “9 scary images of shelf clouds” (a photo gallery with text by Russell McLendon) – Mother Nature Network

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The Downward Spiral of Gift Giving

furry orange bag with googly eyes

furry pink bag with googly eyes

 

Imperfect expression

Of affection

How long will you remain

A googly-eyed delight?

When your mop mane

No longer thrills

What will be your fate?

Closet dweller

Trash bag

Or thrift store heaven?

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Happy April Fool’s Day

An April fool in Denmark, regarding Copenhagen's new subway. It looks as if one of its cars had an accident, and had broken through and surfaced on the square in front of the town hall. In reality, it was a retired subway car from the subway of Stockholm cut obliquely, with the front end placed onto the tiling and loose tiles scattered around it. Note the sign "Gevalia" and the accident site tape with the words "Uventede gæster?" (unexpected guests?). Gevalia coffee's advertising featured various vehicles popping up with unexpected guests.

Aprilsnar 2001.png
By Lars Andersen
Public Domain Image
2001-04-01
An April fool in Denmark, regarding Copenhagen’s new subway. It looks as if one of its cars had an accident, and had broken through and surfaced on the square in front of the town hall. In reality, it was a retired subway car from the subway of Stockholm cut obliquely, with the front end placed onto the tiling and loose tiles scattered around it. Note the sign “Gevalia” and the accident site tape with the words “Uventede gæster?” (unexpected guests?). Gevalia coffee’s advertising featured various vehicles popping up with unexpected guests.

 

April Fool's magazine with the caption: "Ball houses, new practical and healthy construction - The first ball home street in Dresden, opened to traffic on April 1..

Kugelhäuser.jpg
Unknown author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Deutsch: Aprilscherz der Zeitschrift mit der Bildunterschrift: “Kugelhäuser, die neue praktische und gesunde Bauweise. – Die erste Kugelhausstrasse in Dresden, am 1. April dem Verkehr übergeben.
English Translation: April Fool’s magazine with the caption: “Ball houses, new practical and healthy construction – The first ball home street in Dresden, opened to traffic on April 1..
1929
Source: Bilderwoche 1929

Washing The Lions

This prank is best known as an April Fool’s Day joke. In fact, a report of it being perpetrated in 1698 is the earliest recorded example of an April Fool’s Day prank. The April 2, 1698 edition of Dawks’s News-Letter reported that “Yesterday being the first of April, several persons were sent to the Tower Ditch to see the Lions washed” (Notes and Queries, 1913, 357). . . .

The washing-the-lions prank falls into the broad category of “sleeveless errand” pranks—more commonly referred to today as “wild-goose chases.” A sleeveless errand involves sending a victim on a fruitless quest in search of an item, or event, that does not exist.

Source: “Washing The Lions” – Hoaxipedia

A ticket to "Washing the Lions" in London from 1857. This traditional April Fools prank is first recorded in 1698

Washing of the Lions.jpg
Unknown author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
A ticket to “Washing the Lions” in London from 1857. This traditional April Fools prank is first recorded in 1698.
Source: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/Hoaxipedia/Washing_The_Lions/

Saint Stupid’s Day Parade

The Saint Stupid’s Day Parade is an annual parade in San Francisco on April 1. It was founded by Ed Holmes in the late 1970s. If April 1 falls on a weekday, the parade starts at the foot of Market Street and follows a route through the financial district. If April 1 falls on a weekend, the parade starts at the Transamerica Pyramid, proceeds up Columbus Street and ends at Washington Square. The parade begins at noon.

Source: “Saint Stupid’s Day Parade” – Wikipedia

Saint Stupid's Day Parade in San Francisco.

Marching.jpg
By Hellers1155 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Saint Stupid’s Day Parade in San Francisco. The Saint Stupid’s Day Parade is an annual San Francisco guerrilla celebration of all things stupid. It is a reminder that no matter how seriously we take ourselves, we are still basically smart monkeys.
4/1/2009

 

 

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Spring Equinox

Vernal equinox dawn, with Venus in attendance...

Vernal Equinox Dawn (13315493863).jpg
By Bob Peterson from North Palm Beach, Florida, Planet Earth! (Vernal Equinox Dawn) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Vernal equinox dawn, with Venus in attendance…
20 March 2014, 06:55
Source: Vernal Equinox Dawn

 

Earth shifts

Dawn breaks

Winter’s spell dispelled

Equal parts of day and night

A mesmerizing astronomical delight

As budding life grows

My sense of time

Momentarily slows

Past and present fuse

And my half-forgotten

Childhood wonder

Of vernal splendor

Returns to me again.

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Hello Spring!

Spring is back in my part of the world, and I am enjoying it as much as I can.  :) I hope you enjoy this week’s post featuring spring landscapes from around the world.

Before I go, I would like to leave you with some fun facts about the vernal equinox from EarthSky.org:

  • At the equinox, Earth’s two hemispheres are receiving the sun’s rays equally. Night and day are approximately equal in length. The word equinox comes from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night). But since Earth never stops moving around the sun, these days of equal sunlight and night will change quickly.
  • Is the equinox always on March 20? No. It can come on March 19, 20 or 21. But the equinox will be on March 20 for the coming four decades.
  • For the remainder of the 21st century (2001-2100), the March equinox will fall on March 20 or 19. The next March 19 equinox will be in the year 2044.
  • The equinox won’t happen on March 21 until the year 2102. The March equinox last took place on March 21 in 2007.

Source: “Everything you need to know: Vernal equinox 2015″ by Deborah Byrd – EarthSky.org

 

Chital (Axis axis) stag attempting to browse on a misty morning in Nagarhole National Park

Axis axis (Nagarhole, 2010).jpg
By Yathin S Krishnappa (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Chital (Axis axis) stag attempting to browse on a misty morning in Nagarhole National Park
15 March 2010, 07:08:16

 

Forest in Shiratani Unsui Gorge, Yakushima, Kagoshima Pref., Japan.

Shiratani Unsui Gorge 18.jpg
By Σ64 (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Forest in Shiratani Unsui Gorge, Yakushima, Kagoshima Pref., Japan.
6 March 2012

 

 Drimmie evening Just after the Spring Equinox.

Drimmie evening – geograph.org.uk – 1116519.jpg
Laurence Davies [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Drimmie evening Just after the Spring Equinox.
25 March 2007
Source: From geograph.org.uk

 

The Atacama Dry lake, in Chile. At the horizon, the Licancabur volcano.

Salar de Atacama.jpg
By Francesco Mocellin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Atacama Dry lake, in Chile. At the horizon, the Licancabur volcano.
13 April 2009

 

California Wildflowers

California Wildflowers (3386132276).jpg
By Rennett Stowe from USA (California WildflowersUploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
California Wildflowers
24 March 2009, 13:23
Source: California Wildflowers

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