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Labor Day, A Cool Front and Other Things

A slightly late Happy Labor Day to everyone.  I'm putting the studio back in order after having my grandsons here for the weekend.  There is nothing more quickly and quietly destructive than a four year old with a pair of scissors.  Fortunately, I figured out what was going on sooner rather than later so the shredding of yarn didn't spread too far. Our internet remains very spotty so I'm hoping to get this blog post out there sometime today. I have lists of new kitchen towels and hand knitted scarves ready to go up on the website if only my connections would stabilize.  I'm not sure how much of the issue is left over from Harvey and how much is...

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The Sun Shines Again

Harvey has gone.  As I write this on Wednesday morning, easternmost Texas and western Louisiana are getting hit hard by driving rains from Harvey but we are sitting here with clear skies and bright sunshine. We were very lucky.  We had 22" of rain here while Peggy had more than 32" at her house. My daughter, who lives south of Houston and much too close to the Brazos River for my comfort, received over 40" of rain.  That is a truly unprecedented amount of rain. None of us lost power.  None of us had flood waters in our homes.  None of us had to be rescued.  We were well and truly lucky.  My son-in-law works for the electric company and...

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Hurricane Harvey

The tropical storm that was Harvey has graduated to a full fledged hurricane.  As I write this, Hurricane Harvey is a minimal Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale with winds in excess of 75 miles/hour.  Harvey is expected to make landfall at or about Corpus Christi, Texas sometime tomorrow as a Category 3.  That is a real hurricane.  A Cat 3 has winds in excess of 110 miles per hour.  By comparison, Hurricane Alicia that hit Houston head on in 1983 was a Cat 3.  Superstorm Sandy (2012) was a Cat 3 when it pounded Cuba and had dropped to a Cat 2 by the time is slammed into the northeastern US.  We are often put on notice of bad...

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Cattle Egrets

I'm not sure when I first discovered cattle egrets but I know it was years ago.  I suspect it was sometime during the years we were in College Station, TX for graduate school.  We moved down here from the Chicago area and I'm fairly confident we didn't see these lovely birds up in Illinois.  I know we saw them on the farmlands and rice paddies near our home in Katy, TX and saw them more often when we moved out to Simonton, TX.  In Simonton we lived in a subdivision but with small acreage and lots of horses in the area. Cattle egrets are stately white birds of the heron family - think long legs and a long neck on...

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I love peaches.  We are currently on our 2nd or 3rd peach tree.  Unfortunately, this is not a happy climate for peaches, which are native to northwest China.  In looking at the climatic requirements, it's amazing we ever get peaches here. Peaches require cold - 500 hours of temps between 35 and 50 degrees, but a spring frost can kill the blooms - anything below 25 degrees in March or April will do the deed.  Then you need a warm summer to ripen the fruit - the 70's and 80's will do nicely.  Winter rains at 60 degrees or colder will encourage serious fungal diseases which can kill the trees.  So the magic climate is hot as needed, cold as...

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