Tag Archives: Texas weather

Today it Feels Like Spring

Sitting out on the porch with my morning coffee was a change of pace today. All of the rain we have been having makes it look and feel like spring not fall.

It must have already rained a bit this morning because the trees are still dripping. The sun coming out from behind the clouds to the east has cast a magical look to the world. Water drops hanging from every leaf sparkle like jewels sending flashes of light with every rustle of a breeze.

Even the avian community seems to notice the feel of the day. The blue jays are talking and dancing in the ends of the branches. I heard the liquid song of the mockingbird for the first time in months this morning. Even the redbirds are fluttering and playing on the ground beneath one of our oaks. In the distance there are crows cawing their greeting to the day. There was even a cackle from a woodpecker as it flew from oak to oak looking for breakfast.

And still the antics of the hummingbirds kept me amused as I finished my first cup of joe…

I hope your morning was as nice.

Summer Continues

Sometimes it seems like summer will never end here along the Texas coast. Yesterday afternoon the temperature was pushing 97° according to the weather station on the mantle. I checked with the WunderGround and the heat index was almost at 110°.

For the last few weeks I have been spending the early morning hours (the ones I once used to muse here), sitting in the rocker on the front porch with my morning coffee. The morning temperatures are moderating enough to make it not totally unpleasant out there…Barely. Though, last week, when Hermine came ashore down at the bottom of Texas, the day feel before the rains started was miserable. It was humid and in the 80’s at daybreak. Happily, once the rains began the temperature fell into the low 70’s.

Another of the reasons for the morning muses on the porch is that for the  last few weeks we have been seeing hummingbirds coming to the feeder out there. It has not happened before in all of the years we have lived here.

Hovering Hummingbird

Each year I would clean out the feeders and fill them and hang them out and never see a single hummer. It had become something of a joke around here. Then one morning I was standing out on the porch and heard a buzzing sound to my left. When I looked over there was a red throated hummingbird checking out the feeder. Since I knew the nectar had to be old, I quickly took it into the house to clean and refill before I rehung it on the porch.

Since that first day it has become a regular parade of hummers. Chasing each other away from the feeder. I actually added a second feeder to ease the territorial battles…Not that it really helped.

So mornings I sit with my coffee, watching the world come awake around me. School buses pass by, folks travel to work, my neighbor across the street goes for breakfast and coffee at the local diner. The business across the road unlocks their gate and the employees gradually show up for the days work. The hum of traffic from the highway a quarter of a mile away rises and falls as the rush hour ebbs and flows. Occasionally, a freight whistle will announce the presence of a train along Highway 6 not a mile away. Squirrels play tag in the oaks around the yard. Woodpeckers and Jays raise a fuss as they search for food in the trees. When the morning heat approaches 80° I quit the porch and turn on the interwebs inside the house…And my day really begins.

From my seat here in the kitchen though, I can still see the hummers coming and going from the feeder out front at the opposite end of the house.

Snowmagedon…It Didn’t.

This past week has been eaten up by the minutia of life. That being said…

The prognosticators missed the mark by a couple of hundred miles at the beginning of the week. No snow, no snow flurries, not even any sleet at our house. It’s just as well, I had an appointment to be poked and prodded the next morning.

The bi-annual checkup.

What with all the fun the past year and a half have brought my way, I managed to miss my annual checkup last year. With changes in insurance coverage I lost access to my long time family physician…Not that it mattered, as he chose the same year to transition out of his practice.

Last week I developed a rash on my leg next to a scrape from the week before…It didn’t look very pretty and there was some swelling so it seemed like a good time to choose a new doc. And since it had been almost two years since my last physical, I scheduled both.

Now, as I am sure most of you are aware, a physical means the vampires will be at work and therefore you do not get your morning fast breaker…Now, that’s not too bad. But the kicker is when they inform you that you need to refrain from coffee too…Can you imagine…Me with no coffee.

Well,  I decided to be a good little boy and follow directions for a change…I got myself out of the house a little early…Mainly to remove myself from the temptations of sitting in the kitchen by the coffee pot. As luck would have it I arrived at the clinic thirty minutes early…I found me a seat and began to meditate…and meditate…and meditate…thirty minutes after my appointed time a nurse poked her head out to say the doc was running forty-five minutes late.

Thirty minutes later I made it into the examining room.

Lesson learned…Arrive on time…Never early.

The weather has been very strange…

We keep having the strangest weather this winter. The sun has risen on more frost covered morns than I can ever recall. But by mid-day the temperatures will be pushing into the mid 60’s…even over 70 degrees. Then after sundown the temperatures fall again into the mid to low 30’s…Only to repeat the roller-coaster all over again the next day.

I think the part of our weather full days that are driving my wife mad are the winds. Each year the March winds come a little earlier and stay a little longer. Her trips outside to grab a smoke bring her back inside cussing…Never able to find a sheltered side of the house to hide from the winds…She so hates the wind. Even more than the cold.

It looks like I better enjoy the weather for the rest of the weekend as the prognosticators are calling for rain on Monday. That means the trail that just dried out will be wet again.

Time to take #2 Grandson for a walk…Later.

Not Walking With The Sisters Today…

The morning emails brought me this…

Thu 8AM Thu 10AM Thu 12PM Thu 2PM
Sky Rain Rain Rain Cldy
Chance of Precip Moderate Moderate Moderate Slight
Temp (F) 51° 46° 41° 40°
Wind Chill (F) N/A 39° 32° 30°

At this time it’s 57° and that’s down 2° since I woke up…And raining….lightly.

A couple of days ago I did a lunchtime run down to the local wildlife refuge. Brazoria NWR is located just a few miles south of here along the coast. I was interested in seeing if all of the fall rains had managed to fill the ponds after being disappointed for the past few years by the water levels. Well, the water levels were definitely up. Bird numbers were not as high as I would expect though…It could have been the time of day with most of the waterfowl off to the feeding fields.

There were a number of different species of  ducks and one decent sized gaggle of geese in the ponds. The weather was great for a day at the Refuge, cool and breezy with a clear blue sky. I spent a nice bit of time on the observation platform mainly watching the hawks play and hunt.

Self-portrait, Brazoria NWR, Jan 2010

Sitting there with all of the other evidence of civilization being on the far horizons, listening to the birds chirping in the bush, the geese honking on the distant pond, the kkeeeeer of the hawks up above. Overall, the only sound of civilization that intruded was the sound of a helicopter passing overhead, probably on its way to resupply an offshore rig.

Trying to get my 200mm lens to stretch out and pull in the images I wanted are problematic at the distances around you in this refuge but here are a few shots I was able to capture…

Brazoria NWR, Jan 2010
Brazoria NWR, Jan 2010

Brazoria NWR, Jan 2010

Everyone stay warm and dry…It looks like winter is going to make it’s presence known over most of the US by the end of tomorrow…There is even a slight chance of snow (very slight) for SE Texas…again. And from the reports I’ve been seeing from my beloved Blue Ridges…My friends in the mountains have a few more days of snow piling up before the weekend ends…