Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wait a Minute and It'll Change

Yep, I'm referring to Kansas weather. I got back from a week's trip to Mobile, Alabama, last Wednesday evening. The next morning the temperature was 8 degrees (F) on our breezeway. Yesterday it got up to 65. This morning it is 23, with an hour's worth of snow and winds up to 30 mph (gusts to 35).

Weather like this, with big swings in temperature and unrelenting wind, is one of the factors that makes living on the prairie so challenging for plants, animals and people alike. I'm sure thankful for a warm, modern house. Huddling around a fireplace with freezing cold air leaking in every crack, as the pioneers would have been doing, just doesn't sound appealing to me.

As I look out over the landscape this morning, it's a study in tan and gray brown and white and dusty olive drab. I think that's what struck me most about being back in Mobile - everything was so incredibly green. And the folks down there were lamenting about the hard freeze they'd had the prior week. Apparently if I'd gone a week earlier, there would still have been salvia and many other flowers in bloom. Oh, well, even the deep rich green of the live oaks, azaleas, yaupon and camellias was refreshing to my more northern eyes.

Oh, one last observation.... On Sunday, when the temperatures got into the low 60's, I saw both a wood roach and a honey bee out and about. Living, active insects. Somehow that seems amazing for January 27th.

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