Morning walk at Green Lake, with puddles

Morning walk at Green Lake, with puddles

“March is certainly a step from winter towards summer, yet its sour, blustery, fickle weather, if one looked no further, and did not consider the law, would induce the belief that the earth had taken the wrong road, and that summer did not lie in this direction.”
— John Burroughs, from The Heart of Burrough’s Journals, edited by Clara Barrus

“Well, March has gone out, as she usually does, angry and sniffy, and slammed the door behind her.”
— John Burroughs, from The Heart of Burrough’s Journals, edited by Clara Barrus

Today is the vernal equinox.  Happy first day of Spring!

Sunrise, Green Lake

Sunrise, Green Lake

Heron weather vane

Heron weather vane



Every Day Rain

December 18, 2012

A foggy, rainy December morning at Green Lake

A foggy, rainy December morning at Green Lake

Weather Report
by David Budbill, from We’ve Still Got Feet

The weather is horrible here on Judevine Mountain.
It’s dark and cold all winter.  Every day rain and snow

beat on your head.  And the sun never shines.  Then
it’s spring and more rain and ice and mud, too.  And

after that, the blackflies eat you alive and then the
deerflies and then the mosquitoes and then it’s fall

before you ever noticed it was summer.  Then there
might be a couple of weeks of decent weather and

then it starts to rain and snow again.  It’s just awful
living here.  I don’t think you’d like it here at all.

You better go find your own miserable place to live.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m a farmer’s daughter, or if it’s because I was raised in Minnesota, but talking about the weather is a normal part of my day.  (Here’s a video clip about “How to Talk Minnesotan” on YouTube.)  We are in the darkest days of the year, so it can be  a challenge to find something positive to say.   Winter in Seattle is almost invariably rainy and gray, cold, but not freezing (most of the time).  It’s true that if you waited for good weather to do some planned task, you’d never get anything done.

And if not the weather, it’s something else.  This is life.

“There are seven or eight categories of phenomena in the world that are worthy of talking about, and one of them is the weather.”
— Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek

Distant rain storm from Mesa Verde National Park

I found the skies of Colorado to be dramatic and atmospheric.  They were such a contrast to the skies of my hometown, Seattle, where thick gray clouds roll in like a blanket, unchanging for days on end.  Our Colorado mornings typically started out clear.  Then white, puffy clouds would arrive like a pleasant flock of lambs.  By afternoon, we would often see storm clouds in the distance; sometimes lightening would flash or the clouds would burst in a release of rain.  Occasionally we were caught in a rain shower — heavy, but relatively brief.  I found the weather exhilarating.

After Thunder
by Timothy Murphy

Storm, thunder no more.
Arroyos, dowse your roar.
Rubber rabbitbush,
Antelope bitterbrush,
Mormon tea, saxifrage
and Great Basin sages,
sweeten the sorrel plain.
No passion without pain
nor blossoms without rain.

Afternoon thunderstorm near Ft. Collins

Drama in the skies near Ft. Collins

Gathering storm near Mesa Verde


Running Hot and Cold

March 4, 2011

Fickle March weather

Fast changing March sky

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.”
     — Charles Dickens

This quote captures perfectly the capricious, inconstant, fickle, and unpredictable March weather we’ve been experiencing the past few days.

The ever-changing April sky


Moisture-laden clouds


The march of our early spring has been interrupted lately by cooler (and cold) weather.  We’ve actually had brief hail and snow flurries mixed in with our April showers.  I’m hoping the cooler weather prolongs the lilac-blooming season, which is one of my favorite times of year. 

This excerpt from Robert Frost’s poem, “Two Tramps in Mud Time,” expresses exactly the ever-changing weather of our April this year: 

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.” 

(Thank you, Shirley, for giving me this poem.)

Blue and gold reflections

Blue and gold reflections

I love autumn best of the four seasons.  Summer is too hot, winter too dark, and spring too wet and muddy.  A crisp, cool, sunny fall day is perfect.

October’s Bright Blue Weather
by Helen Hunt Jackson

O sun and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October’s bright blue weather;

When loud the bumblebee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And goldenrod is dying fast,
And lanes with grape are fragrant;

When gentians roll their fingers tight
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burrs
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redden still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine turning;

When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks,
In idle golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers, hour by hour,
October’s bright blue weather.

O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October’s bright blue weather.