Monday, January 04, 2016

Wacky Weather ~ my column from Sunday's paper

The cooling temperatures finally have me looking for sweaters instead of shorts, and I’m glad. It was obvious we were in for a wild weather ride last week when the tiny yellow stars of confederate jasmine bloomed out on the arbor covering our front walk, and blueberry buds as fat as ticks popped out on the bushes in the garden. Neither are good signs for December.

When the weathermen and women began pointing to red blobs crossing Arkansas and Mississippi heading our way a few days before Christmas, I was concerned like everyone else, but I wasn’t surprised.

On Christmas evening, we spent time at my sister’s house, but we kept our eyes on the sky. And when the curtains of rain began to fall, it was hard for Jilda and me to enjoy our family time. In fact, we cut our visit short so that we could drive home before “dark-thirty,” and that was a fortunate decision.

Rivers of water washed over the rural road in several places. I crept toward home to avoid hydroplaning, but there was a driver who apparently wasn’t as concerned as I was about being swept off to Mobile because he rode my bumper.

At one point where the drainage was particularly poor, I pulled over allowing the impatient driver to pass. I figured if rushing water swept him down to the Black Warrior, I’d call 911 once we made it to higher ground. Mother Nature has a way of weeding out the gene pool.

Fortunately, he made it through, and I followed tentatively.

By the time we made it home safely, my temples were pounding like a drum line, and I had trouble sleeping.

Later, I heard horror stories from Christmas night, and over the following few days watched the rivers rise to levels I’ve never seen before and felt for those who’d had to abandon their homes because of the rising water.

The clouds moved out late yesterday afternoon, allowing the setting sun to paint the sky a shade of peach on a stark blue canvas. By this morning, the water level of the Mulberry River at the Sipsey Fork had dropped several feet, which is good news for people around here, but the water is headed south.

The only problem we had here is that my chicken pen flooded. When I went down to feed them, the smell almost knocked me down. As my grandpa used to say, “It smelled worse than a billy goat’s beard.” I added a chore to my list for today.

After hauling several wheelbarrows full of soggy hay and a mountain of chicken manure out of the pen and onto our garden, I put fresh, dry hay in their laying nests and on the floor in their sleeping shed.

I’m not sure what will happen to our poor, confused plants once the temps plunge over the next several days. I’m sure they’ll be wondering how they could have misunderstood, but I’m hoping we have no more wacky weather, and they survive until spring.


  1. I'm glad it's cooler. I was sick of running the AC.


  2. I'm happy to hear it's cooling down a bit for you.. I'm hoping it doesn't cool down here too much... it was awful hearing about all the flooding down that way xox ♡

  3. Im one for enjoying the warmer weather. The unseasonable weather at Christmas was weird but nice. We had flooding once the rain came in too. The flat lands looked like little rivers and for a while, I thought Id get to wake up the next day to water front property.


  4. I love how you headed home before dark-thirty. I'd never thought to call it that before, but I am always in before dark these days. Glad you had little damage from the storms. I'm sure your chickens love you for all your efforts. It's turned very cold here and our plants were very confused too. Daffodils had started to come up. Not any more. We are well below freezing and will probably stay that way for a couple of months now.

  5. I'm glad the flood has passed, your chickens are back to their cosy clean and dry nest and the cooler weather has arrived.
    I hope the blueberry bushes will be OK. I wouldn't be surprised if the crop was diminished this year.

    Have a great day.

  6. Great article, but everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it. LOL Well at least the chickens should be happy. I was about 5 yrs old the last time mama raised chickens but I remember she loved them, and allowed me to gather eggs under her supervision. A good part of my childhood memories.
    good read!

  7. Poor chickens. I'll bet they were scared to death when the water moved in on them.

  8. It hasn't stopped raining here for mote then a few minutes for the last couple of days, many places are flooded not my place which is good but many places


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