Friday, October 29, 2010

Kentucky Tree Frog

Looks like a lichen

I moved some flower pots on the porch the other day, and this little tree frog leaped out of them and stuck himself to the side of the house.

I've seen frogs of this sort before, but usually not on a tree. On a tree, their grayish coloration hides them very well. They look like lichens, and most of the trees out in the country have lots of lichens on their trunks. The tree frogs I spot, like this one, are somewhere that their camouflage doesn't work.

While I was looking at this little frog and taking his picture, he didn't even twitch. I suppose that's his instinctive behavior. If he sits completely still, he looks even more like he's part of the tree.

When I came back to the area a few minutes later, he was gone. He knew I had stopped hovering over him, and he seized the opportunity to get away.

I hope this little fellow found a warm burrow, last night. There's frost on the roof of my car this morning.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tornado near Pembroke

Weather service confirms twister

The National Weather Service at Paducah has sent out investigators, and they've verified that a tornado also struck just south of Pembroke on Tuesday. (See "High Winds in Hopkinsville," Oct. 26, 2010, for more about the dangerous storm that passed through our area.)

The tornado passed a mile or so south of the Pembroke Elementary School. A staff member told me that the children spent much of that morning in "crouch and cover" position in the hallways.

Damage survey revealed EF0 tornado 2.5 miles south of Pembroke... from just north of Anderson Rd to near the Junction of Hwy 1453 and US Hwy 41. Peak wind estimated at 70 mph. Path length 2 miles intermittent. Path width 50 yards. Tree and several large tree limbs down. Tin damage to a couple of barns. (Source: National Weather Service, as reported on Weather Underground)

WKDZ reports a tornado near Central City in Muhlenberg County, in the path of the same storm front that spawned tornadoes in Christian County.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

High Winds in Hopkinsville

Severe weather brings welcome rain.

As I drove to work this morning, the wind was blowing mightily. The unpredictable gusts nearly knocked my car off the road. A heavy mass of storm clouds (above photo) was approaching Hopkinsville from the west/southwest.

On the radio, I heard several tornado warnings for Christian County and an unconfirmed report of a tornado touchdown within Hopkinsville, near the Indian Hills shopping center. As I looked at the black cloud over Hopkinsville, I wondered whether to continue on my way to work, turn around and go home, or find shelter somewhere along the road.

I drove on to work, keeping an eye out for funnel clouds. I was going to park my car and lie in the ditch if necessary. I'm glad I didn't have to do that.

Sheets of rain were coming down, as I got out of my car. I observed the wind direction and opened my umbrella against it, thinking I could block the driving raindrops. In a split second, a swirl of wind turned my umbrella completely inside out. I tried to use its strange new shape to keep my hair dry, as I ran to the building. It didn't work very well.

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado did touch down in Hopkinsville. As tornados go, it was a mild one -- rated EF0, with winds of 80 mph. It damaged a metal building and the roof of Food Lion on Canton Pike, took part of the roof off a building in the Indian Hills area, and hit a barn on the Little River Church Road east of town (within a couple of miles of this photo!) Trees in the tornado's path were damaged and even uprooted.

A horse was killed at a farm on Bradshaw Road when a tree fell on it. This was probably not related to the tornado.

At our house, we had almost an inch of rain from the storm, and the moisture was very welcome. We've had an extended drought, here. In fact, drought disaster relief has been requested for Christian County, along with Todd, Trigg, Caldwell, and thirty-one more Kentucky counties.  Sunday afternoon, we had a slow, quiet rain, our first rain in a long, long time. We prefer rain like that -- without all the drama we had today -- but I guess we'll take whatever we get.

A Wedding Accomplished

A lovely bride and a beautiful day

Our daughter Keely and her fiance Taurus were married October 23, 2010, at Oakland Manor, Hopkinsville, KY. It was a small, simple, informal wedding.

During a chilly spell a couple of weeks before the wedding, I worried that the weather might be too cold to have the wedding outdoors. A few days later,  the temperatures rebounded to 80°F, and I worried that people might get hot and sunburned at the wedding. However, we were blessed with a beautiful day. It was about 75°F with a breeze and mostly overcast skies.

A number of family members traveled long distances to share the day. My brother came from Kansas, and my sister was here from Missouri , along with two sons and a fiancee. My aunt, uncle, and cousin came from northern Illinois, and another cousin and her daughter-in-law came from western Tennessee. My husband's sister and niece from Texas were here, as well as two more sisters and a nephew from Missouri.

I don't remember anything at all going wrong at the wedding. The bride and groom were radiant with happiness. It was clear that their vows were spoken from the heart. The pastor spoke eloquent words of wisdom to the bride and groom. The music was beautiful. I thought it was a really lovely ceremony, and many guests told me the same.

Life should settle down some, now. Perhaps I will even be able to gather my thoughts and write in my blog again!

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.