First Spring Walk, FOTD

Many of you who read my blog, know that we were hit with a devasting storm the first week of April. We are still cleaning up downed tree from the 90 MPH straight line wind. I was reminded today, on my first official walk and photo fun of spring 2023, that God is always in charge. While some homes were damaged(including mine), there were no deaths from this straight line beast. The small tornado that touched down at the same time about 1/2 mile from us, did however take a life. Spring storms can not be taken lightly here in the US. Last week, I noticed my neighbor had lost an lovely ornamental fruit tree. It was super sad to me as it was in full bud. But today as I walked by the pile of debris ready for the tree service people to pick up I saw the buds had opened, still showing their beauty, even though torn from the tree and laying on the ground. Spring still came.

Mother Nature has powerful storms and a beauty she shares in all of the nature that surrounds us. Below are some of the pictures I took today on for first walk of spring. I hope you enjoy them and are enjoying the spring in your area.

My neighbors pear tree is beautiful but while I was at the stoplight by the park, I got rained on by magnolia flower petals and had to go takes some pictures.

The flowers in my yard are just opening up and I wanted to share their happy faces as Cee reminds us with her FOTD challenge.

As we begin the warmer weather, where the beauty of flowers begins to make us smile, let us not forget the kindness they are reflecting with their beauty and always be kind.

The Lion Continues

Our area of the midwest is under sever weather warning…again. The first band that came through at 9 a.m. had to have had 60-80 mph winds, trees were broken like twigs. Mother Nature can have a really ugly side and I hope all are safe from this latest storm front. I am enclosing a few shots of the trees down at my house – proving that I am glad I have no trees of my own.

This was a huge fir tree that snapped about 20′ high. It came completely across the alleyway and I had to move some branches out of the way to get my car in the safety of the garage in case the storms this afternoon and evening are worse. Fortunately, there was no hail in this wind or there would have been broken windows in my sunroom. My neighbor totally lost their prefab sunroom in their backyard.

This picture looks toward the other direction of the ally. A total of three trees were knocked down crossing it.

The houses across the street are on a rise and they were hit harder by the wind. This tree seemed to have twisted before it gave way and it was a sizable tree.

I always close with a reminder that even in chaos we can always be kind. I got the chance to interact with a neighbor who has never liked me, and we had a nice conversation. Sometimes tragedy brings people together to find a peaceful ground.

So always be kind even when others are not kind to you.

It messes with their head.

In Like a Lamb…Out like a Lion

But for us, it is flipped. March came in super easy, almost unseasonably warm. The entire month was a weird roller coaster from warm to very cold. Now the entire midwest and south is in for a severe ride.

For the first time in more than 2 years, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a 5 out 5 threat for severe weather in parts of the middle of the country. The Weather Channel

Line 1 just slipped past us with small hail that sounded like pebbles slamming against the windows. Currently a large tornado with 3 inch hail is headed to Iowa City. Mother nature can be a beast in the spring and her format is changing, or rather moving, with global warming.

Line 2 is due through here around 6 with possible tornados and heavy hail. Hang on to your hats folks – it is moving east. The deep south and east coast could have severe weather tonight through tomorrow. The problem with these current sets of lines is they are loaded with supercells. These are some shots taken of supercells last year in our area. Wicked looking monsters.

According to the forecasters’, that is the worse scenario as each supercell can generate severe weather and/or tornadoes. Mississippi was hit last week with tornados and this storm front is split into two section – one in the middle of the country and one in the south.

Everyone needs to pay attention to what the weather is doing. You never know when she may unleash her fury on your area. So be careful, be mindful and most of all be kind. Especially if your area gets imploded. Disaster needs kindness from everyone so that we can survive the madness of our own storms.

Only 1-2…Really??!?

God bless our weathermen. They really try but no one can 100% predict what Mother Nature will do. At bedtime is was 1-2 inches but the roads are warm so it won’t last long, right? And 8 hours later…we had 7 inches…and it’s still snowing. Look at the size of those flakes.

It is rather graceful how this very wet snow clings to the trees. It gives them a covering of graceful lace on the bare branches of winter, although it’s weight plays havoc on the evergreens.

But the beauty it creates on the hardwoods is almost magical as it enhances all the twisted and curvy limbs.

Mother Nature, can be beautiful in most every way, but dangerously violent at times. I pray that the spring and summer storms treat you kindly this year. May the only thing we see is its beauty…or maybe it’s humor.

I am not sure the birds find the snow humorous…but a birds gotta eat and with everything covered in snow, the feeder is the easiest meal.

Since I actually have little to do this weekend, I was going to get some good shots of the sky for Hammad Rais prompt for weekend sky. Go check out his superman in the sky this week. Alas, mine is all gray, so maybe next weekend.

Remember as always, that kindness has a power that can melt a cold heart. Kindness covers like a soft blanket of snow and not matter how small an act of kindness you share, it creates ripples of love that fanout like the roots of a tree.

Always Be Kind

And So It Begins…

The change of the season is upon us. The cool evenings have seeped into the leaves of the red maples making them the first to change and my favorite fall trees.

Unfortunately some of the best trees with the widest spreads are in our cemetery. So that is usually my first stop for pictures.

Once the reds are done, the yellows follow making a bright contrast from the reds. Enjoy the season, our last colorful season of the year. While the whites of winter are beautiful in their own way, I do miss the colors of the other three seasons. And in closing I remind you that Kindness never has a season. It should always be spread where ever you can to all kinds of living creatures.

Mid-Week Sky

I enjoy joining in with Hammad Rais and the gorgeous skies that can relax you at the end of the week, but we had a storm early this morning…that I spelt through. So I did not take these photos but thought they were awesome to share. The local TV station took them and posted them on FB. Spring and summer can create some pretty horrific storms here in the Midwest and with it being as hot as it has been, it is no wonder we had one this morning, only to be topped off with more triple digit heat. Enjoy the pics.

Hail stones size references

Even when we are faced with the rough side of nature, we can still find was to be kind. Being kind to others also brings peace to you.

Always Be Kind

FOTD – June 29, ‘Shroom

Cee reminds us that Flower of the Day doesn’t HAVE to be a flower – Don’t forget that my FOTD challenge accepts gardens, leaves and berries as well as flowers.

So today I give you something I have never seen before, not that I have seen everything, but this was neat.

There were actually three of them.

I tried to find out what type of mushroom these were but found no information in the internet. They are transparent and no bigger than my thumb. The baby one to the right you can see has the umbrella look, where the bigger one has spread out it umbrella and split looking like a flower. This was in the flower bed outside of my office.

The next one came from my yard. It was much bigger, standing nearly 8 inches tall and 3 inches in diameter. With us having so much rain, it is really bring them out.

This looks like some of the water towers I have seen with the flared out bottom and the dome looking top. And yes, I know I need to cut my grass…if it would quit raining.

Come join in on the fun of FOTD and as always remember to be kind.

Always be Kind

Fandango’s Friday Flashback

Fandango asks   “Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?”

I have many photographers I follow and Irene is one of my favorites. She posted this picture, then I posted it again and wrote a poem about it. I actually had two posts on this day but this one got the most likes so I hope you also enjoy it or remember it.

Fun With Poetry

As I play with my blog, I enjoy what others say, write and photograph. Today I saw a photograph that so inspired me that I thought again I would write about it. I have done this in the past and it is relaxing to me. After the wonderful day of 48 degrees (before it plummets back to single digits) I was able to get out and enjoy the sun so I think more fun is good thing to do. Irene of Heaven’s Sunshine takes lovely and fun pictures of nature and things around nature and today she posted a Leafy Heart. Do drop by her blog and enjoy her photographs. So below are my words to go with Irene’s Leafy Heart.

Leafy Heart
The Leafy Heart / The Autumn Leaf

The Autumn Leaf

The audible sigh of the leaf in fall as it begins to die

 Drops slowly from trees above like tears when you cry

We wait for them all winter as they quietly rest and sleep

Popping out at spring and stretching to soak up warmth so deep

As summer comes in to brighten their worth, they create abundant shade

For we sit and rest under them and block the heat that is made.

As changing season turns again once more to cooler fall

The leaves display their dying hues that are admired by one and all

The leaf hangs tight to its dear life as long as it possibly can

But winds of fall will toss them down to be crushed by steps of man

As other lives rush over them when preparing their own winter deeds

A spider crawls around them to see if there is anything he needs

But alas he leaves as nothing was found for him of the leaf to give

And he heads towards home and other things in hopes of his life to live.

                  -Anita Neal-


And always in closing I remind all of the extraordinary value of kindness and how if we can share that kindness with others, even when we don’t feel like it,  that may be the only kindness shared with that one person on that day.


A Photo a Week Challenge: Opposites

Nancy has challenged us with showing opposites. I agree that this is not my favorite tine of year and want to remember the fun warmer times of year.

What we have now…

A relaxing afternoon at Vander Veer Botanical Park. Guess the plants need sleep so they can show us beauty in a few months. As you remember the warmth and the beauty of spring and summer, remember that kindness brings its own warm. So spread the warmth of kindness and watch the flowers grow.

kindness warm