Thursday, August 25, 2011

Floating Clouds

Coming out of the Kansas Flint Hills and down into the Kaw River Valley south of Wamego, Kansas on Highway 99, I drove into a thick blanket of white fog. It was 7:30 am and the temperature was a cool 63 degrees. Almost 20 degrees cooler than yesterday morning when it was 80 degrees at 6:30 (Yes, it was almost as hot as Hell yesterday.)

The fog wasn't over the river, but lay in a long heavy blanket about a mile or so south of the river. It stretched up and down the farm land parallel to the river; only about a half mile deep. The visibility was less than a quarter of a mile, but I drove on anyway. Probably too fast.

I was talking to my brother. We talk a couple times a month. He lives in Carbondale and, while we are close, we don't live very close. I got off the cell phone as my car exploded out of the white shroud into clear morning skies and crossed over the Kansas River on the Wamego bridge.

Mist rose in tiny swirls from the surface of the river. The water was warmer than the surrounding air. I think the phenomena is "triple point", but I don't think that is accurate. I do like the idea of fairies dancing ever so lightly, twirling invisibly within the rising mist. That has a more artistic bent to it!

It is another beautiful day in Kansas. On Highway 24, farmers are irrigating the soybeans in a last ditch effort to save their crops. It has been a difficult summer here; the corn crop is not even good for silage. Unless the farmers irrigated; then there is hope. A couple of friends in the Kaw River Valley are combining now, but I haven't talked to them since they started Monday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Attack of the Hummingbird

Green. That's what it was. I stood in the early morning light with a hose in my hand, messing with the water spigot. Morning is gray at 6:30 a.m. Not many people out at that time trying to water their pine tree... Of course they didn't grow the thing from a little stick. It was 80 degrees out and the humidity hung thick over the Kansas Flint Hills. It was hard to breathe.

Thunk! Something thumped my shoulder and then buzzed around my head. A gray-green blur and then a sharp little chirp, chirp. Criminitlee! A Hummingbird attack!

I ducked. Sure, I smelled sweet. I was ready for work, having dressed in my red library shirt and blue jeans. Ready for a day full of tomes and computer work in a couple of hours -- after a 60 minute drive and a cuppa. (Darn detours).

The little bugger flitted around and chirped again. It was a scold, actually, and then the hummingbird was gone.

I should know better than to wear red. It has happened before, but I prefer the encounters of the natural kind. Guess I won't wear red AND Estee' in the mornings when I water!