Category: history

Winter Solstice 2021

In spite of the Omicron variant, December solstice will happen as it has for as long as the earth has traveled around the sun. This year, it happens today, December 21, at 9:59 am. Chicago time. This is the moment when the sun appears to be above the Tropic of Capricorn, marking the beginning of... Read more »

Severe Weather 12-10-21

Wild weather was in the forecast for Friday, but no one predicted how bad the tornado outbreak would turn out to be. They are still assessing the damage of the tornado outbreak across 5 states late on Friday night and early Saturday morning. The severity of the outbreak and the duration of the tornadoes is... Read more »

A change of seasons

A change of seasons
December 1 marks the start of meteorological winter. December 21 is the winter solstice. From now until the winter solstice, there is less daylight every day. The sunsets are glorious, pink and gold. The earliest sunsets of the year are happening right now. Now, the roses are gone; the thorns and rose hips remain. Milkweed... Read more »
Advertisement:

Ghost Season

Now comes ghost season, the Halloween decorations and spider webs are everywhere, these days. There are ghosts and witches, zombies, skeletons, mummies, vampires, and Frankenstein monsters. In the half-light of twilight, cats disappear in the shadows. A possum in the alley is mistaken for a rat. A plastic bag becomes a ghost. It is easy... Read more »

Do you know pokeweed?

Do you know pokeweed?
This is a picture of pokeweed. It is a native plant, with dripping purple-black berries in the fall. Birds are quite fond of the berries, but according to the USDA–the berries are toxic for people! The berries can be used as a fabric dye, or even ink. It is an intense, red-purple color. Here is... Read more »

The sky was clear and blue that day

The sky was clear and blue that day
Do you remember where you were, and what you were doing that September morning? It was a Tuesday. It was a work day in Chicago. People waited for buses and trains. Kids were going to school. Women were having babies. Those babies born that day will be twenty years old, now. They could, and hopefully... Read more »
Advertisement:

Summer chairs

Summer chairs
These last days of August, it is such a gift to sit outside, under a tree, in a folding summer chair! There are all kinds of summer chairs–the Adirondack chair with canvas cushions printed with sailboats, that makes one think of a lake house; a lounging chair with woven fabric or plastic strips that would... Read more »

These are the dog days

These are the dog days
Now come  the dog days of August, days of  heat and humidity, sweat and thunder. Days of ripening tomatoes and milkweed pods. Days of monarch butterflies, evenings of fireflies and dog day cicadas.  The term dog days comes from the dog star Sirius,  which is visible in the night sky at this time.  You can... Read more »

It's not just the heat

It's not just the heat
Summers are getting hotter. From Siberia to Seattle, people are dealing with intense heat they are not prepared for. In the Pacific Northwest, hot and dry conditions are causing pavement to buckle and fueling wildfires. Along the coastline, clams and oysters cooked in their shells on the beaches. In New York and California, people are... Read more »
Advertisement:

Feels Like Midsummer

Feels Like Midsummer
Meteorological summer begins on June 1, and the calendar is just past the first week of June. In the old Celtic calendar, which was based on solstices and equinoxes, summer season begins on May 1 –about halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. August 1, halfway between the summer solstice and the fall... Read more »