False Indigo + Orange Tufts

Desert False Indigo and Honeybee with Orange Pollen Tufts

It was a dark and stormy night, part of which we spent sheltering in the basement. A line of thunder-boomers came to town, advancing up farty-far, from the southwest. As they approached the red tornado boxes began popping up. The first one had us just outside the line, but the second one had us square dap in the middle of it. My iPhone began to screech something horrible, and the tornado siren began wailing outside. Anne had already scooted off the couch, with its three west-facing windows directly behind it and was watching the frantic TV weather broadcast well away from said aperture. It was time to go to the basement, which is still quite cold, don’t you know? So, Anne ran upstairs again to fetch her vest, against my objections. Our tornado warning was slated to last forty-five minutes, but we got sprung after only half-an-hour, I guess for good behavior. The TV weather marathon continued on into the night as the storm front with its attending red and yellow boxes keeping pace, as this weather event marched ever eastward across Illinois. Earlier in the day, we had setup our furniture back up again on the porch. We reinstalled the swinging bench together and I hung the new windchime that Frank and Kathy had given us last Christmas. With its tubular bells, it makes a lovely dulcet tone that this morning somehow reminds me now of the wind sculptures that Hellen Hunt’s aunt made in the movie Twister. Tonight, we get to repeat this drill all over again.

Fishing Little Blue Heron

Fishing Little Blue Heron

Yesterday, we took advantage of our fine weather this week to walk in Forest Park. Pictured is the peak sighting of the day of a Little Blue Heron. This is a rare species for the park. More common is the Great Blue Heron, which we also spotted, as it overflew us later. It being a weekday, the park was relatively empty, except for the zoo, which had dozens of school bus parked outside of it, plus quite full parking lots. Other than the Little Blue Heron, it was a case of rounding up all of the usual suspects, at least in the bird department. Also, the flowers were nice, and I got a few good pics of them too, for posting later in the week. Throughout the park the grass was looking pretty long. A combination of a wet spring and the city being unable to staff their parks department, because of the overall labor shortage. Its companion organization, Forest Park Forever, a non-profit dedicated to maintaining the park, doesn’t seem to have the same difficulty. We saw dozens of individuals and teams scattered around the park, each with one of the organization’s signature carts. We spoke with one of these people and he explained that the city is responsible for mowing the grass, while they concentrate on pruning, planting and weeding, i.e., everything else.