Category: seasons

Full Moon and Equinox

Full Moon and Equinox
Mark your calendars– the vernal equinox  is coming on March 20, and the start of astronomical spring in the Northern hemisphere.  Lighter days are here again. And there will be a full moon on the night of the equinox! This full moon of March is called the worm moon, or the rising sap moon,  associations of spring... Read more »

first signs of spring

first signs of spring
Welcome to March and Meteorological Spring!    And we’re off to a roaring start with record cold high temperatures in Chicago, big snow  in Boston  and deadly tornadoes in Alabama. Still, the snow is almost gone here, and most of the ice has melted on the sidewalks. The streets  are blooming with potholes–one of the first signs of spring.... Read more »

Big Snow Moon

Big Snow Moon
Monday morning started with lake-effect snow, softly falling, covering streets and sidewalks.  There was shoveling and snow-blowing, and the feeling of accomplishment  of clearing a pathway or a parking space. By the afternoon,  the snow had melted on the darker surfaces of streets and sidewalks.  Such is the changing weather, here. If you think it’s been... Read more »
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Sparrows in Winter

Sparrows in Winter
They are the birds of winter, the survivors, the sparrows chirping  on the rooftops. Even in winter, puffed up against the cold, perching on the stems of the sunflowers and autumn grasses. They are bold in their audacity, earth-colored in brown and grey.  They are with us all winter, cheerful company,  even in the cold and snow... Read more »

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 »

Weathering Winter Storm Harper

Snow will spread eastward across parts of north central and northeast Illinois late in the day Friday into the early Friday evening. This snow will then expand area wide later in the evening. Impacts to the evening commute are possible, mainly along and north of I-88. #ILwx #INwx pic.twitter.com/JMCgeQnRSQ — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) January 17,... Read more »
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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 »

December Lights

December Lights
Approaching the winter solstice, these are the shortest days. In fact, the earliest sunsets of the year occur before the winter solstice! In Chicago, the earliest sunsets are happening now. From December 3 to December 13, the sun sets at 4:19 pm. This is our season of lights– holiday lights, streetlights, the lights of peoples’ phones.  In... 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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Now in November

November is here. Skies are mostly gray. The World Series is over. Now comes wind and cold and rain. Snow is not unusual. We are already past the halfway mark between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. Days grow shorter, now, and it will be dark even earlier in the evening after  we  set... Read more »