Doggerel in Memory of Winter 2019

Jet stream bounded polar vortex:
Warmed, the wind wall weakens.
Cold air bleeds out southward:
Ice and snow remembered
‘Twixt wind and rain as if
In chaotic delirium.
Listen, fools!
Summer is coming.

— Yip


The World Below

Time-lapse photography from the International Space Station, edited by Bruce W. Berry, Jr.

Bruce Barry writes:

“All of 4K video and Time-lapse sequences were taken by the astronauts onboard the ISS (NASA/ESA). All footage has been edited, color graded, denoised, deflickered, stabilized by myself. Some of the 4K video clips were shot at 24frames/sec reflecting the actual speed of the space station over the earth. Shots taken at wider angels were speed up a bit to match the flow of the video.

“Some interesting facts about the ISS: The ISS maintains an orbit above the earth with an altitude of between 330 and 435 km (205 and 270 miles). The ISS completes 15.54 orbits per day around the earth and travels at a speed of 27,600 km/h; 17,100 mph).

“The yellow line that you see over the earth is Airgolw/Nightglow. Airglow/Nightglow is a layer of nighttime light emissions caused by chemical reactions high in Earth’s atmosphere. A variety of reactions involving oxygen, sodium, ozone, and nitrogen result in the production of a very faint amount of light (Keck A and Miller S et al. 2013).”

Saturday, December 29

Awakened to an inch or two of snow!

My favorite bush, especially as it has no aspiration to govern. Let shrubs be shrubs. Photo by Roman.
More shrubbery in winter. Photo by Roman.
It was only seasonably cold, but the sparrows were lazy albeit camouflaged. Photo by Roman.
Actually, it was a little on the slow side even for spotting humans, though it was this ornamental plant that got my attention. Photo by Roman.
A cypress in winter. Photo by Roman.


December Tornado Outbreak

According to the National Weather Service, this December 1 event was the largest December outbreak in Illinois since 1957: 28 twisters with Taylorville, a town southeast of the state capital Springfield, suffering the worst of it.

Skip Talbot, one of my favorite stormchasers because his meteorological commentary in addition to good videography, posted his experience to YouTube:

Fog Feet in Chicago

Carl Sandburg said

“The fog comes
on little cat feet.”

In terms of motion only, it makes sense. But thinking about when I had two cats, it makes no sense at all. You might think that two small cats, 9 pounds and 6 pounds and a good fraction of that being fur, would be as silent as fog when running down the hall. No: they may as well have been a herd of elephants in thunderous stride. It’s certainly no different with my upstairs neighbors’ cat, who never fails to evoke a pleasant nostalgia at random intervals throughout the day when making a run across their apartment.

Still, Friday the 14th was a foggy day:

I was not the only one in Loyola Park taking photos of the fog. This photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
I can’t resist the tangle of branches against the gray sky. Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Sheridan Road: originally made to facilitate troop movements in the case of riots and insurrection. Appropriately named after General Sheridan who put Chicago under martial law after the Great Chicago Fire, with dubious legal authority. Photo by Roman.

Sandburg concluded with

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

The fog does indeed.