Category: history

A rain of May flowers

Snow in April and rain in May, maybe the wettest spring on record, but now here come the May flowers– There are tulips in a profusion of colors, from white to striped and purple-black.  You can find them in front yards and back yards and planted in the medians along Michigan Avenue.  A native of Central... Read more »

Earth Day is Every Day

Earth Day is Every Day
Happy Earth Day!  A week ago today, the 5 inches of heavy wet snow that fell on Sunday was melting around the daffodils. The sky was cloudless blue, and the magnolias were blooming. This Sunday, too, was a beautiful day to be outside, with temperatures in the 70’s and crowds of people out enjoying the... Read more »

Sun today, rain tomorrow

Sun today, rain tomorrow
Welcome to April!  It was a beautiful weekend to be outside.  The robins are back and baseball, too.  The alleys are blooming with broken dressers  and discarded chairs. And people were out in the warmer weather. Now, it feels like Spring–Oh, sweet 60 degrees!  Yes, cooler with the lake breeze, but still a delight after a winter... Read more »
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Chiberian Survival Tips

Chiberian Survival Tips
It’s  cold out there!  Colder than Alaska, colder than Antarctica.  And it’s going to get even colder. And there will be snow.  Chiberia is back. Remember? Yes, warmer days are coming, but in the meantime,  how do we survive this deep freeze? Drinking and brooding were  Mike Royko’s favorite ways of getting through a Chicago winter. But there... Read more »

New year, new moon

New year, new moon
Happy New year!  2019  on the calendar, a new page, unmarked as fresh-fallen snow. And the new moon on January 5 is the first new moon after the winter solstice. It is the first new moon of the new year on the Western (Gregorian) calendar. Chinese new year will be on February 5, 2019. This year will... Read more »

The ginkgo and its leaves

The ginkgo and its leaves
The ginkgo is a very old tree–you might even call it prehistoric. Fossils of ginkgo leaves have been found dating back 270 million years. The ginkgo tree was alive during the time of the dinosaurs. It survived the bombing of Hiroshima. It will survive us, still. I think of the ginkgo as  the survivors’ tree, and you... Read more »
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U.N. climate report shows civilization is at stake if we don’t act now

U.N. climate report shows civilization is at stake if we don’t act now
Monday, October 15– It’s a chilly October day in Chicago. Friday, the sky looked like November, and the first traces of snow fell in LaSalle County. Saturday was bright and sunny for the Women’s March downtown to get out the vote in November. The sky was glorious blue. Last week, the United Nations issued a... Read more »

Survivors

Survivors
Hurricane Florence made landfall on  Friday morning near Wilmington, N.C., as a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of about 90 miles an hour.  On Saturday, the storm  had crossed into South Carolina about 25 miles west of Myrtle Beach. Even though Florence  has  been downgraded to a tropical storm, the torrential rains, flooding and power outages will continue for days.  Here... Read more »

Storms of August 28

August 28, 2018–Thunderstorms are moving through the Chicago area this afternoon and evening. Still, the cicadas are singing in the rain. Here’s what was happening on this day in weather history– August 28, 2017–Hurricane Harvey Hurricane Harvey is the second most damaging storm, after Hurricane Katrina, to hit the mainland United States.  Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, 2017 as... Read more »
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Hurricane Season---August 2018

It should be a quiet 5-day period in the Atlantic basin with no tropical cyclones expected. You can always catch the latest outlook at https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb pic.twitter.com/mN1HqBPeYs — NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) August 20, 2018 What a difference a year makes! In June, NOAA had forecast an active hurricane season for 2018. This was not good... Read more »