Fall color forecast

Fall color forecast
The fall colors are here, in the aisles of Halloween stuff. The candy, bright yellows and oranges and bloody shades of red. The masks this year are even more elaborate, sequins and glitter, lace and feathers! If you’re going to wear a mask, it might as well be wonderful. Sweatshirts and hoodies have been out... 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 »
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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 »

Humidity, dew points, fires and rain

Humidity, dew points, fires and rain
The moon is almost the color of a grapefruit in the sky. Smoke from the wildfires in the West has spread clear across the country, all the way to the East coast, and making the midwestern skies hazy. Hazy days of summer, the dog days are here, and more heat and humidity on the way.... Read more »
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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 »

Severe Weather Sunday

Tornado Warning including Bolingbrook IL, Orland Park IL, Tinley Park IL until 11:45 PM CDT pic.twitter.com/cKzplWj7Cp— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) June 21, 2021 Overcast Sunday, and the Storm Prediction Center issued warnings of severe weather Sunday night—thunderstorms, damaging winds, possible tornadoes for Illinois, including Dekalb County and Cook County. A wall cloud was spotted in DeKalb... Read more »

Saturday Thunderstorm

Saturday Thunderstorm
There was a chance of rain on Saturday, but people were watering their tomatoes anyway. The sign on the bank on my way to the grocery store read 90 degrees at 9:15. The sky was hot and blue. When I got home, I washed my yard work pants, and hung them outside to dry. There... Read more »
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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 »