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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Storms on the Prairie

We were in my home state of IL last week where my nephew received his PhD. These shots were taken during a storm Friday evening:

A huge storm front approaches from the west.

Just before the storm hit, my nephew made a Monical's Pizza run in his classic $200 Volvo.

Soggy, unplanted fields are a disturbing sight this late in the growing season.

The fields remain wet long after planting is usually done.

Huge pools of water make it impossible for farmers to get into the fields.

I grew up on the Prairie. But each time I return, I'm more amazed at the flatness of the land, the black richness of the fertile soil. This trip we found the fields unplanted, the earth sopping wet. Having lived it, I know how devastating this is for the family farmers who bought seed for spring planting long ago.

I'd also forgotten the ferocity of midwestern thunderstorms. I managed to capture a few shots of menacing clouds (which dropped over 3" of rain in less than an hour) before a tornado warning forced 13 of us to seek shelter in the basement. Glo-in-the-dark necklaces I'd brought were a much-needed diversion for the five little ones.

The storm was strong, with some areas getting hit with 2" hail stones. But we were safe in my sister and BIL'S house which also has a completely enclosed storm shelter. Because the rain came down fast, quite a bit of water came into the basement. We were able to get it cleaned up and fortunately did not lose power.

Weather in the midwest is often fierce. My DH said he couldn't imagine a blizzard there - with all the open land and its inherent strong winds. I told him that's why midwesterners never leave home without food! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

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