Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Just Another Day

The annuals really own the garden this time of year. Most of the big ticket perennials have come and gone. Of the fabulous lilies only green leafy stalks remain. Just a few of the former multitude of daisies are still showing their cheery faces. There is still some phlox to tease the eye and scent the air.

But the day belongs to the hardest working residents in the garden: the allyssum, the marigolds, bachelor's buttons and sulphur cosmos.

The other cosmos still have not joined the show yet, though there are buds forming. I can't believe they are waiting so long this year. I think there's some reason behind that I've not quite figured out. The seeds were certainly sown early enough. Perhaps the soil is too rich for them. The plants are tall enough, some of them topping off at nearly four feet.

I hadn't thought I was going to show you any morning glories this morning, though there were plenty in bloom. And then I spotted this bumblebee tight-rope-walking along one of the twining stems, clambering over tomorrow morning's flower buds.

And this pale pink morning glory was a bit of a surprise, since I've not seen any this color before today. At first, I thought it was actually a bindweed flower, but a closer look showed it to be another color of glory heard from.

Pretty, eh?
Here's something for the Big Book of the Minorly Weird: at work today, one of the waitresses was cutting lemons and discovered this lemon with another lemon which had grown inside the first.

Hardly a sign of the coming apocalypse, but vaguely interesting nonetheless.

We heard of a severe storm warning around 1:00 this afternoon, and within minutes it was swirling in on us, thunder echoing in the distance to the west.

In a matter of minutes, the clouds billowed out of nowhere to obscure the sun and the sky grew very dark. It was sort of amazing how quickly it happened. I learned late tonight that there was actually a microburst causing lots of tree damage not far from the Cape Cod Canal at about that time, which explains the speed with which everything was moving.

As the thunder continued booming and lightning flashed across the sky, the gusty winds arrived first and then the rain. At first, it made a sort of fog as it came in contact with the hot pavement and evaporated.

Then suddenly it was falling in sheets and making visible the great gusts of wind that were blowing in a variety of directions.

I understand there was golf-ball sized hail connected with the microburst, but we didn't see any of that in Orleans, just lots of that heavy, heavy rain, sometimes blowing sideways, helping us feel a sort of kinship with our friends and family in Florida who were braving the battering wind and rain of Tropical Storm Fay.

I did download an impressive radar map of the storm's track and another detailing the frequency and location of the lightning strikes...but sadly, I've misplaced those files, so you'll just have to trust me when I say it was a big, unexpected storm.

[EDIT: 8/20/08, 8:20 am: here's a link to more coverage of this storm, if you're interested.]

After work, I stopped by Rock Harbor for a look out across the bay, where it was cloudier than I'd expected, since we'd ended up having a pretty sunny afternoon following the storm. It wasn't until I got home to Harwich that I discovered that they were having a second storm about that time.

It's much cooler this evening, with temperatures dropping down into the low sixties...and now, after midnight, we've slipped down into the 50s. Definitely a nice night for a sweatshirt. I think I'll sleep well for a change.

There's still some fast moving clouds passing by overhead, and I didn't find the right setting to capture those crisply on the new camera yet.

But really, I wasn't so into photography tonight and mostly just sat in front of the TV and enjoyed some more Olympics coverage. Men's diving, women's gymnastics, BMX bike racing, more running and hurdle-jumping.

It's all good, though I am often a little disappointed that, in trying to make sure we see as much of the games as possible, some of the "lesser" contenders don't get their televised moment of glory. We see all those countries' athletes enter the stadium on the first night, and many of them are never seen again.

Succeed or fail, they are all part of the beauty of the Olympic experience.


dykewife said...

you should've taken the staff out to play in that lovely downpour. i'm sure your customers wouldn't mind :) i'm almost certain your staff would've liked that.

Greg said...

DW, it's my impression that a couple of the staff working yesterday might have enjoyed a gambol-ing party in the rain...but the rest, not so much.

Plus, this time of year, when it starts raining, the restaurant's business nearly doubles within minutes, so they were unfortunately not available to go out and play.

Actually, this was a pretty intense storm; even I - who loves to run around in the rain - was cautious about this one, watching from inside for the worst of it and only sneaking out to snap a photo or two once it had arrived.

TigerYogiji said...

I love a good rainstorm! :)

T.R. said...

Your blog is so appropriately named as it is after the midnight hour that I come here to feast my eyes and sooth my soul. Tonight I arrive late and so touched to hear the Les Miz duet and the always haunting Superman song. You have great taste in midnight music!

Its weird to be working here in Beijing for the Olympics and watch your enthusiasm there for it. Oh how I wish you were here -- I end up with extra tickets everyday for many of the sessions. Tonight I could have sent you to Athletics. Last night your choice of Brazil vs. Argentina football or more Athletics or Beach Volleyball, Brazil vs. USA. Admittedly, the games are made for TV and you get to see much more but it is fun, for about fifteen minutes, to be in the thick of things.

Thanks for cultivating such a beautiful place.

Greg said...

Tigeryogiji, in summer a good rainstorm refreshes and cleanses the soul and is just darned good fun to run around in. Of course, that works best in the storms without lightning, high wind and hail!

Hi TR! Midnight for you in Beijing is about lunchtime for me!

I've always thought it would be fun to check out the Olympics live and in person! Wish I was there to enjoy your surplus. Sure you get some good bits on TV, but I imagine it must be quite something to actually be there. (Of course, being there means you miss out on the lane graphics and the overhead I would have less of a clue about what was going on, but still...)

Glad you enjoy the tunes. Thank you for your lovely compliment. I'm happy to know you enjoy it! : )

Java said...

Lovely shots of the clouds!! I especially like that white puffy one before the storm. What a strange storm, though.

Big book of minorly weird? You should write it. And hardly a sign of the coming apocalypse, but vaguely interesting. You crack me up. Makes a strange looking lemon even funnier. :)

I was happy to see that beautiful pale pink morning glory. Haven't seen one in that color that I can remember.

Greg said...

Java, wasn't that a sweet morning glory?! I was happy to see a few more today.

I loved that cloud shot, too. Just pleased as punch to know that I crack you up. : )

Robin Easton said...

Yes! The tight rope walking bee is stupendous! I love shots like that where you can really see the insect that clearly. It's a beauty. Also enjoyed the storm photos, and that one big boofy cloud with the slanting sun ray going through it. Very nice!

I chuckled over how your threw the "mutant lemon" in the middle of the mix....I laughed out loud. You are such a character. It's like one of those sci-fi movies where the guy has a whole other little body that pops out of his side or stomach but is part of him....well, I guess you had to be there. LOL :) :)


MartininBroda said...

“Hardly a sign of the coming apocalypse, but vaguely interesting nonetheless.” Hm. Last evening my path crossed that of a probably 4-5years old boy singing loud “highway to hell” on his tricycle. (This applies here as a good neighborhood) “Hardly…”.

Greg said...

Robin, wait'll you see tonight's sweet bumblebee study!

I know just what you mean about the horror show lemon--it made me think of Stephen King's The Dark Half. Something about August always makes me want to read SK's creepy stories, actually.

Ha ha! Martin, I hope you were able to get out of the kid's way in time!

Bird said...

Wow, cracking storm! British weather always used to be so gentle, but we experience that kind of thing more and more - not like Florida had to put up with obviously, but that fabulous picture of the rain pounding the pavement rings a bell.

Butch said...

You've certainly had your share of rain showers and storms this year.

Very interesting lemon. I've seen wee peppers growing on the inside of a larger pepper but never a lemon.

Word Verification: oczpig

Anonymous said...

We received a short but welcomed rain storm today. It has moved the humidity out and added breeze to the stale air. That photo with the rays of light from behind the cloud is great!

lostlandscape said...

Love the Rock Harbor pic--Those softly freeform green whatsies on the left contrasting with the harsh straight line of the horizon is a great contrast!