Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fifth Day of Christmas, and Crisp Weather

Sunday, December 29, 2013. Depending on how you see it, Christmas has come and gone: or we're at the fifth day of Christmas.

We had a white Christmas this year: complete with a little fresh snow. Weather announcements flip-flopped between calling today's weather winter weather and a blizzard, with a winter weather advisory from 6:00 p.m. Saturday to 6:00 p.m. today. This morning all that was left of that advisory was a weather statement about wind chill.

As someone said on my way to church this morning, it's been a crisp day. It's about -18° Fahrenheit at 9:00 this evening.

Christmas Eve at Our Lady of Angels. December 24, 2013.

Christmas lights. That snowman on the roof is new this year. December 27, 2013.

If my eyes were sensitive as a cat's and I could still see colors, back yards in my neighborhood would probably look like this. December 27, 2013.

This is pretty close to what I could actually see. December 27, 2013.

Finally, merry Christmas, and happy new year.

Related post:

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Winter Storm and a Webcam in Central Minnesota

A Winter Weather Advisory started at 6:00 p.m. today, and runs until 6:00 p.m. tomorrow. It's the usual thing: wind, blowing and drifting snow, occasional whiteout conditions, and "wind chill values of 20 below to 35 degrees below zero." That's Fahrenheit, which means that folks going outside should cover any part of themselves they want to keep.

Weather tracking and forecasting technology has come a very long way since my 'good old days,' which I don't miss: and that's another topic.

The WunderMap, from, earlier this evening. December 28, 2013.

The view through my webcam mostly shows a lot of dark right now.

View from my north window at 11:41 p.m. - shrunk a bit to fit this blog's format. December 28, 2013.

I've been keeping track of the weather, partly out of habit. Now it's time for me to sleep.

Related posts:

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Picture-Postcard Weather for Christmas: Maybe

Sunday, December 22, 2013. If I was committed to buying a Christmas present for someone at the Rosedale shopping center in the Metro, I'd be crazy. I'd also have only two days left, since they're closed Christmas Day, Wednesday - and shut the doors at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, Christmas Eve.

As it is, my family has our Christmas shopping done: including me, oddly enough. True to form, I haven't gotten my wife's present wrapped yet: and that's another topic.

I haven't been around town much since last week, but did get some photos. We're having a white Christmas this year: picturesque, but a bit on the chilly side.

Picture-postcard weather for the Christmas season, seen through my webcam. Snow kept getting 'refreshed' with new snowfall or frost. December 17, 2013.

Frost on the trees, Saturday morning. December 21, 2013.

Not much wind, so we still had a 'fairyland' at noon. December 21, 2013.

On the other hand, we have a warm spell that melts all the snow: unlikely, but this is Minnesota.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Lights, Mostly

Sunday, December 15, 2013. This was one of those weeks when I got very little done: and took all week doing it. The "very little" didn't include any new photos, so here's a 'Christmas lights' selection from previous years:

Christmas is coming: one of Sauk Centre's more thoroughly-decorated yards. November 25, 2012.

Santa, maybe taking off - or landing - with a jet pack? Hats off to the folks who put that up, for a different angle on Christmas lights. December 7, 2011.

Downtown Sauk Centre: lighted garlands over the street, and Main Street Theatre's signs. December 7, 2011.

We've still got a very white cover of snow. It's nice to look at, but the below-average cold that came with it isn't universally popular.

Monday noon, and Christmas-card weather. December 9, 2011.

That's all I've got for now, see you next week.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ice on the Trees, Christmas is Coming

Sunday, December 8, 2013. The sounds of someone's snow blower are filtering in as I write this. That's a guess, actually. It's dark out, and I'm not going out to see where the sound comes from.

It's fairly warm this evening: about four degrees above zero, Fahrenheit. There's also no wind to speak of. There's a wind chill advisory from three tomorrow morning until noon, probably because the wind will be picking up.

Friday was clear, cold, and featured iced trees. December 6, 2013.

I took that photo through a window screen. It was a good angle to catch sunlight in the ice: and I wasn't thrilled with the notion of going outside just then.

My kids set up the Christmas tree this week. December 8, 2013.

Christmas is bearing down on us, around the corner, and less than three weeks away. I still have some holiday preparations to make, but plan to relax as much as possible.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas; and weather-related announcements

Someone parked north of the house this morning. I didn't see what happened, but the driver probably didn't take winter traction into account when rounding the corner. Happily, nobody got hurt. The car will have to be towed: its right front tire wheel is folded under the hood.

Other than that, it's a fairly routine early-winter snowfall. The radio has been running cancellation announcements.

There's a winter weather advisory on until 3:00 a.m. Tuesday.

These pictures are from my webcam, shrunk to fit this blog's format:

A little before 9:00 this morning. December 2, 2013.

Snow. Definitely snow. December 2, 2013.

Related post:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Advent, Day One

Sunday, December 1, 2013. It's the first Sunday in Advent. More folks have their Christmas decorations out, and there hasn't been a serious snowfall yet.

This will look more 'Christmassy' when there's snow on the ground. November 28, 2013.

TFirst Sunday in Advent, at Our Lady of the Angels church. December 1, 2013.

On a more personal note, I'm successfully dealing with an antibiotic-resistant infection, and my son had to have his appendix removed yesterday.

I'm hoping for a comparatively uneventful December.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snow, Seasons, and a Sunset

Sunday, November 24, 2013. We're almost halfway through the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas triathlon of holidays. We've had the usual Minnesota weather: warm, cold, clear, overcast, and a little snow. The snow didn't last, but it probably won't be the last of the season. It wasn't the first, either, come to think of it.

It was starting to look like winter on Thursday. November 21, 2013.

These folks started putting out Christmas decorations early. November 21, 2013.

Saturday was a cold day, with bright blue sky. November 23, 2013.

Neighbors putting up Christmas lights. November 23, 2013.

Sunset. November 24, 2013.

That's all I've got this week. See you next Sunday.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

For the Third Time, First snow

The view through my webcam this evening. April 14, 2013, 6:45 p.m.

This isn't the season's first snow. That came a few weeks back, and last month, which is a bit embarrassing. (November 3, 2013; October 29, 2013)

What started coming down this morning may not stick around until we get more. Then again, maybe it will. Either way, right now it's starting to look a lot like winter: and, across the street, Christmas. And that's another topic.

Related posts:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blue Skies, Fog, Wind, and Christmas Decorations

Sunday, November 17, 2013. "Thor, the Dark World," is playing at Main Street Theatre downtown, along with several other movies. #1 daughter and I went to the matinee this afternoon: and enjoyed ourselves enormously.

It's been a foggy few days here, and a windy Sunday. That's quite a contrast to how the week started, but I'm not complaining: at all. Folks Illinois and Indiana are cleaning up after tornadoes: and some didn't survive.

On a happier note, I took some photos of this week's pleasant weather.
Sauk Lake Park's gazebo. November 13, 2013.

Birds on Sauk Lake, Wednesday afternoon. November 13, 2013.

Same birds, a closer look. November 13, 2013.

The service I use to get my webcam and the Internet on speaking terms has been telling me that either the the Internet connection or my computer is slow. I've checked, and it's not my computer. The household's connection is a bit below-par now and then: mostly, apparently, after rain: or mist; or really heavy fog.

I tried reducing the video's quality, which kept 'we've got trouble' messages from coming quite as often: but also resulted in a view like this:

My webcam's view out the north window. November 11, 2013.

The picture's not bad, but it's not good either. the sky outside never has that pattern of little squares you see. So I put 'quality' settings back to something that looks presentable. Most of the time.

I'll be back next week, with something else. One of our neighbors has most of their Christmas display out, so I won't be lacking things to show. Now, if the sun will come out for a few minutes when I have a camera handy - - -

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Harvest Time, and Looking Forward to Winter

Sunday, November 10, 2013. It's harvest time, we've had rain, snow, and dry spells. The dry spells are good, since harvesting goes easier then: but the process kicks up an amazing amount of dust, grain, dust, and assorted respiratory irritants. That's probably why I feel like I've had a cold for more than a month now.

I'm not alone, but 'misery loves company' doesn't apply in this case. I'm looking forward to winter.

Southern sky, where Ash Street crosses Lake Woebgone Trail. November 4, 2013.

Just one photo this week. I'd been taking a walk, and caught one of our more interesting skies.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jack-o'-Lanters, Daylight Saving Time, and All That

Sunday, November 3, 2013. Thanks to Daylight Saving Time, I got an extra hour this morning. Sort of.

What an old Indian is supposed to have said about Daylight Saving Time is the best analysis I've heard: "Only a white man would cut a strip off the top of a blanket, sew it on the bottom, and think it makes the blanket longer."

My take on our biannual mandated jet lag and other goofy ideas:
The season's first snow came on Tuesday, and was gone almost as soon as it fell. Even so, the light snowfall kept going, off and on, all day.

You can't see it, but tiny flakes of snow were in the air. October 29, 2013.
Halloween's come and gone, the next big holiday is Thanksgiving, and that's about all I've got this week.

Jack-o'-lanterns at the rectory. November 3, 2013.

Next week I'll probably have more.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013. Happy Halloween.

I'll be back Sunday, with something a bit closer to home.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

First Snow

It was snowing all morning. Not much. It hardly amounted to "light snow." Sometimes it was more like rain than snow.

The afternoon was more of the same, drizzle with snowish aspirations.

I think I can bring the hummingbird feeder in.

You can't see it, but tiny flakes of snow were in the air. October 29, 2011.

Another October morning in central Minnesota, with snow on the hummingbird feeder. October 29, 2011.

Related posts:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Golf Courses, Toppling Trees, and Chow Mein

Sunday, October 27, 2013. The Sauk Centre Country Club's changing hands. An article on WJON-AM's website says that a developer bought the Country Club property and plans to build homes along the 9-hole golf course, and a marina on Sauk Lake.

I drove by the Country Club Wednesday afternoon, to see what was happening.

Sauk Centre Country Club's southeast corner, Main Street and Country Club Road. October 23, 2013.

The Country Club's east side. October 23, 2013.

North side of Sauk Centre Country Club. Those trees have already been toppled. October 23, 2013.

A crew was pushing trees over on the west side of the golf course Wednesday afternoon. October 23, 2013.

Sauk Centre Country Club's clubhouse, and birdhouse. October 23, 2013.

Sauk Centre Country Club's current course layout, from the Sauk Centre Country Club's scorecard. Used w/o permission.

My guess is that the new owners looked at those trees, saw how old they are, and decided to push them over before one fell on someone. That makes sense, but I'll miss them.
aThat article says that the folks who owned Sauk Centre Country Club bought GreyStone Golf Course. Apparently folks who like to golf on that 18-hole course won't notice much difference, since the place will still be open to the public.

Assuming that the developer keeps a 9-hole golf course there on the north side of Sauk Centre, that'll make two 18-hole courses and a 9-hole course in or near Sauk Centre. Folks who like to play golf may have trouble deciding where to go, but I don't think they'll mind having options.

I did a little checking, and all three golf courses have websites, or are supposed to. I'd provide a link to the GreyStone course, but when I tried using their Internet address, the website's software started doing very odd things to my browser. It's probably a technical problem, related to the place changing hands. Searching Google or another search site for GreyStone Golf Course should give you some information about that place.

Here's where to find the other two online:
Finally, my parish's chow mein fundraiser went well: and Fr. Statz said that, contrary to what someone heard someone else say, he's not retired, semi- or otherwise. Today was one of those beautiful October days that poets and writers get excited over, and I'll be back next week. That's the plan, anyway.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sauk Centre Country Club

I glanced at the Sauk Herald's front page at the grocery yesterday. Looks like the Sauk Centre Country Club is closing to make way for a nine hole "executive" golf course and housing.

I suppose that with larger golf courses north and south of town, not as many folks have been using the 18-hole course in Sauk Centre's north side. I've swung a golf club, and actually hit the ball once: but never played golf. Even so, I'll miss the current course. It's been a beautiful bit of landscaping, across the street from lakeside houses.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Rain, Drizzle, and the Season's First Snow

Sunday, October 20, 2013. My voice still has a frog-like quality to it, but other than that it could be worse. Or better: but this way I feel the way many of this week's days looked. On a positive note, I'm getting my annual autumn cold out of the way, and should be done by Halloween.

Another damp autumn morning in Sauk Centre. October 14, 2013.

This morning's rain didn't look quite right. The drops were sluggish, and a bit too large to be realistic: for good reason. It was this season's first snowfall. The first one I've noticed, at least.

Sunday morning, a minute before 9:00. October 20, 2013.

Sunday morning, 9:15: about a quarter of an hour later. October 13, 2013.

The snow turned to rain, more or less, so we didn't get to keep the snow. Can't say that I'm disappointed.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blue Skies and Sunshine: also Coughing

Sunday, October 13, 2013. I'm still 'on the mend,' but my voice still has a frog-like quality to it. I sometimes feel as if I should be sitting on a giant lily pad somewhere. It's been two weeks since "I got what I asked for." (Through One Dad's Eye (September 29, 2013))

Some of what I'm experiencing may be allergies, or whatever a person who isn't exactly "allergic" to stuff kicked up by harvesting experiences this time of year.

It's afternoon as I write this: one of those beautiful, clear, October days.

There were some wispy high clouds earlier, but they're gone. You could check out current conditions on the webcam looking out my north window: or not. Your choice. Aside from the occasional computer crash and maintenance, it's on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Another autumn day, just before noon. October 13, 2013.

Local parishes have the annual chow mein supper later this week. It's a major fundraiser for the school. Folks around here don't get chow mein very often, so it's a change of pace from the more common sausage breakfasts.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blue Skies and Coughing

Sunday, October 6, 2013. I feel better than I did earlier this week. As the old Minnesotan saying goes, "it could be worse." I've heard that quite a few folks in town have a bug.

My version sounds and feels like a cold, and isn't bad enough to warrant checking in with a doctor. Besides, the doctor would probably say something like, 'in my considered opinion: you/re sick!' This, I already know: and the usual 'rest and plenty of fluids' seems to be helping.

On a more cheerful note, I saw blue sky and sunshine today.

An autumn afternoon. October 6, 2013.

Over the course of the week, we've seen rain, drizzle, clear skies, and falling leaves. Next week will probably be more of the same, which is fine by me.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Got What I Asked For

Sunday, September 29, 2013. A few days ago I expressed the desire that my body make up its mind: either be sick, or stop feeling slightly 'off.'

I got what I asked for: and have been inside, coughing, since the next morning. In a strange way, it's an improvement.

About 4:50 this afternoon. September 29, 2013.

We've had some beautiful, 'picture postcard' days this week. That photo is a pretty good example.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Blue Sky, or Not Much Happened This Week

Sunday, September 22, 2013. The calendar tells me that it's the first day of autumn. The sky is right for that season: clear blue; but trees generally haven't gotten around to turning color. Not that I've seen, anyway.

My house has a yard, some folks have lawns, others maintain displays of landscape art. September 18, 2013.

First day of autumn. September 22, 2013.

My parish is organizing their annual chow mein dinner fundraiser. Folks keep coming back: possibly because not many places serve chow mein around here.