"What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism." - G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Angry Sky


It seems as though we haven't had a drop of rain here in central Minnesota since the middle of June. That all changed this last week. We've found ourselves in the midst of a "storm belt". Four out of the last five days have produced severe weather that has been surging through our area. The photo above is of a storm that just missed us last night. It dumped so much hail onto the town just north of us that they had to call out the plows to clear the streets!


This photo is from my brother-in-law who lives about an hour south of us. The same storm was still dropping large hail and producing 70 mph winds by the time it reached them.

It's hard for me to express how much I look forward to these summer storms. There is this strange combination of awesome beauty and the ominous threat of potential tornadic activity. (which I also MUST see before I die. (hopefully not as I die))

It seems we are all drawn to the fantastic. We'd all love to see a "miracle" — something that just blows you away. I find myself ever drawn to this sense of awe. I love to be in the presence of great power. I like to feel small. I long to stand before something much greater than myself. I guess that's why I love the mountains as much as I do. It's also why I love gazing off into the universe on a moonless night. (note to self: buy a telescope.) And I think it's also why I enjoy watching such an awful manifestation of power go angrily growling past my neighborhood.

These storms have the potential to destroy my home and kill my cherished trees. (let alone myself along with my family!) Still I eagerly await their arrival. Each summer that goes by without at least one severe storm feels like a waste of a perfectly good season.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Liz said...

I love the sea on a stormy windy day too.

8:29 AM

 
Blogger Alex said...

Ohhh. Nice addition Liz! A little something like this perhaps?

8:54 AM

 
Blogger Colin Campbell said...

We have very bland weather here in South Australia. It does get hot from time to time, but we just don't get much of the extreme weather that I have seen in different parts of America, Scotland, The Philippines, and Nepal. We had a hailstorm once, but they melted before I could show the kids. They have also never seen real snow.

9:52 AM

 
Blogger Alex said...

Hey Colin,
How sad that you have to endure the "hot" without its violent death at the hands of a Canadian cold front! Honestly I have been missing the snow these last five years or so. It seems that we just don't get the kind of precip during the winter that we used to. Stupid climate change...

10:25 AM

 
Blogger Daniel Nairn said...

What an amazing, ominous picture!

We have some crazy "weather" here in Montana as well. Thousands of acres are burning within a 20 mile radius or so of our house. The entire valley is filled with smoke, so much so that nobody wants to be outside.

I've been wanting to take some pictures of the fires, but my wife has our camera in North Dakota right now. As soon as she gets back, we're going to try to get out of the smoke for a few days. But where to?

And I've heard some parts of the U.S. are undergoing floods.

"Stupid climate change" !

10:38 AM

 
Blogger Matt M said...

It's a bit windy here in the UK. That's about as exciting as it gets.

(Well... aside from the times when half the country is underwater)

10:48 AM

 
Blogger Alex said...

Daniel,
What an amazing, ominous picture!

Yes it was ominous indeed! The clouds above us were swirling around at a ferocious rate! Later that night the second wave came through with a marvelous cloud to cloud lightning show!

The entire valley is filled with smoke...

Ya that's the thing about you mountain folk. It seems like your mountains are always on fire! A few years back when we went up to Banff, B.C. was burning. We could hardly see across Moraine Lake!

But where to?

Boundary Waters?

Matt,
common now! A partial flood of your country is nothing to sneeze at! You done with that sick thing then?

All,
Hey wish Megan and I happy anniversary! It's the bit 06 for us today! I think we'll celebrate by renting a movie... maybe a bottle of cider as well. Ah yes we live large these days... ;-)

12:28 PM

 
Blogger Matt M said...

Happy anniversary!

Nothing wrong with a movie and a bottle of cider - especially if the company's good.

3:47 PM

 
Blogger Rev. Dr. Incitatus said...

Couldn't agree more, Alex. The storms are beautiful in the midwest (ice storms, thunderstorms etc). Wild and extreme, but beautiful. Puts a real sense of scale on one's perspective. Certainly a bit of a shock for me coming from England.

Do you get tornado warnings that far north? Sirens go off in St. Louis occasionally. I'd love to see one, but preferably not one like this one.

4:26 PM

 
Blogger UCIS said...

you certainly do, don't you.....half smile and what not:()

4:31 PM

 
Blogger Alex said...

Matt,
Thanks man. We actually kicked the evening up a notch by going out for pizza as well! Dang... I love a good pizza.

incitatus,
Ya it wasn't all that long ago that I came to the realization that not all places on the globe are graced with the vengeance of a midwestern thunderstorm. Down in St. Louis, where you are at, they are much more frequent than we get up north. Even so, we are no strangers to the tornado warnings. The above storm systems were kicking off all sorts of rotation. The tornado warnings were out, but apparently the spotters never called in a sighting.

Love those pics by the way. No matter how many times I see your sun set shot it never ceases to amaze. I'm sure the photo doesn't at all do the experience justice. (even considering how wonderful of a shot it is.)

ucis,
You know it brother! Put Adrian to bed to the tune of "Morning and the sle..." tonight. The whole fam thought it pretty much rocked... in the un-rockish sort of way it was meant to rock of course. Hey it was really great meeting you and Harmony (and the kids) today. I really enjoyed our conversation. My email addy is in my profile if you should ever have need.

8:31 PM

 
Blogger UCIS said...

Alex

it may be "crap~fi" but it most certainly is heavenly therapy.......


I am glad you found "Morning and the Sleepy Kids" ....OK

it's always good to know another friendly face....

I am still catching up.....

9:23 PM

 
Blogger Rev. Dr. Incitatus said...

"No matter how many times I see your sun set shot it never ceases to amaze.

That's right, I've totally pimped that shot here before! :0 Sorry, my vanity gets the better of me on a regular basis.

Matt said,
"(Well... aside from the times when half the country is underwater")

I hear they want to build more houses on those flood plains. Will they come with snorkels, or will the underclass have to supply their own, I wonder?

10:13 PM

 
Blogger Liz said...

Oh, yes, Alex, fabulous!

2:59 PM

 

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