Weather That’s Bigger Than You

GeorgiaUSA

As noted two years ago, on 3 July, 2014: For a few years the hurricane season never turned up. A tropical depression far out west of Cape Verde, a storm drenching Guatemala or Cancun in the Gulf basin, but nothing here in America.

This year, as Americans repaired to their Independence Day barbecue grills, a crazy early storm formed off Florida’s east coast. Only North Carolina and its outer banks are evacuated so besides overwrought news TV, most of the country remains sanguine.

Here in our mountains the effects are profound and lovely.

Once in a while there is a hurricane nearby but not close enough to storm on us. Its signal effect is to draw all the moisture out of the air and toward the storm, leaving us, a thousand miles west of the storm, with tree-ruffling breezes and shiny, concentrated, brilliant skies.

Our beautiful mountains.

Trees sway and sweep up with the breeze so patches of the hillside turn pale with the lighter green of the leaves’ undersides. The smile of a moon darts between clouds along with planes too far up in the sky to hear. We watch as they cross in front of us so they can land pointing east in Atlanta, two and a half hours away by road.

If we want to stay outside past dark tonight, Thursday, July 3rd, we’ll need long pants and footwear against the chill. This is why we love our mountains. On July 3rd, way down south in Georgia.

The American South, October 2014

kkksmall

We live in a rural patch of Appalachia. Driving home from a dinner party a couple of Saturday nights ago, this is what we saw. We hear they do this every fall.

Unbelievable. But true.

Maybe as consolation, here is probably the same KKK in daylight, at a courthouse rally. Just silly here, out from under the cover of darkness.

kkk

 

Who do you suppose does their dry cleaning? I mean, really?

Just Before the Leaves Fall

Autumnscene2010

Our next mission abroad is still some seventy days away, but this isn't the time of year to be away from our southern Appalachian home, anyway. These are the very final days before that last, crashing rainstorm blows out our leaves and blows in six months of brown and chill. Every day we walk around the farm wide-eyed, camera in hand, trying to will a few more of these beautiful, colorful days.

This photo is a seven exposure HDR, taken down at the bottom of our driveway, at the beginning of our lower pasture. It's displayed in the EarthPhotos.com Rural Life section and was taken precisely one year ago, in October 2010. Click it to make it much, much bigger.