darkoshi: (Default)
Here! In March!!!! And I was just taking more photos of the pretty blossoms outside! We're not likely to get much of it here, if any, but still.

weather forecast, 80% chance of snow!


According to Columbia, SC snowfall records, the latest in the Spring it ever snowed here was April 3, in 1915.

According to Florence, SC snowfall records (Florence is fairly close to Columbia), 14% of their measurable snowfall events have been during the month of March. (I didn't find a similar page for Columbia.)

Here is a page that lists the historic dates with the heaviest snowfall in Columbia.
darkoshi: (Default)
The little fig tree leafs are growing (bigger). There are a bunch of little figs growing too. The car is already getting lightly covered in pollen. This evening we had some wind and a small refreshing rainstorm. It was too warm inside, so I opened a few windows to get some of the breeze. Tomorrow it will be cooler, a high of 65. (Last week or somewhen, when the forecast was also for 65, I thought *eek* that will be cool, and then reminded myself that normally 65 in February would be nice and temperate.)

Feb 2017 weather history, Columbia SC
(click to enlarge)
(from https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KCAE/2017/2/1/MonthlyCalendar.html)

Now that it is March, maybe I will stop feeling so disconcerted about the weather. In my experience, we could have cold weather and sporadic snow and ice up through the very end of February here. But March has always sounded like Spring.

Photos under cut... )
darkoshi: (Default)
Checking why it hasn't felt like winter to me, this year...

With the help of numbers from Weather Underground (a wonderful weather resource), I've determined the following for my area here in central South Carolina. All temperatures are in Fahrenheit.

(although I wouldn't be surprised if I flubbed some numbers here and there in writing this post.)

..

The average December high temperature is 58, and the average low is 35.
This year (2016), the average December high was 60, and the average low was 40. So our December was 2 to 5 degrees warmer than usual.
.
The highest high was 82 degrees, on Dec 19.
The highest low was 54 degrees, on Dec 28.
.
The lowest high was 39 degrees, on Dec 17.
The lowest low was 24 degrees, on Dec 11.
.
What I'd consider warm winter days:
We had 6 days where the high temp was 70 or higher.
We had 9 days where the high temp was 65 or higher.

What I'd consider cold winter days, for here:
We had 6 days where the high temp was 50 or below.
We had 7 nights where the low temp was 32 or below.

..

The average January high temperature is 56, and the average low is 34.
This year (2017), the average high was 64, and the average low was 43. So our January was 8 to 9 degrees warmer than usual.
.
The highest high was 80 degrees, on 3 separate days: Jan 14, 16, and 19.
The highest low was 60 degrees, on Jan 23.
.
The lowest high was 39, on Jan 9.
The lowest low was 22 degrees, on Jan 10.
.
What I'd consider warm winter days:
We had 11 days where the high temp was 70 or higher.
We had 17 days where the high temp was 65 or higher.

What I'd consider cold winter days, for here:
We had 4 days where the high temp was 50 or below.
We had 6 nights where the low temp was 32 or below.

..

For February 1 through 11, the average high temperature is 58, and the average low is 35.
This year (2017), the average high was 68, and the average low was 41. So our February, so far, has been 6 to 10 degrees warmer than usual.
.
The highest high was 78 degrees, on Feb 8.
The highest low was 58 degrees, on Feb 9.
.
The lowest high was 49 degrees, on Feb 5.
The lowest low was 28 degrees, on Feb 6 and Feb 11.
.
What I'd consider warm winter days:
We had 6 days (out of 11) where the high temp was 70 or higher.
We had 7 days (out of 11) where the high temp was 65 or higher.

What I'd consider cold winter days, for here:
We had 1 day (out of 11) where the high temp was 50 or below.
We had 3 nights (out of 11) where the low temp was 32 or below.

...

Based on the overall averages for this area, the daily highs and lows usually hit their low point in the first week of January, at 55 and 33 degrees respectively; then they start rising again. (Though there are odd blips for Jan 1 and Jan 4, with higher average temps than the surrounding days).

Spring of February

Saturday, February 11th, 2017 04:43 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
It is such a gorgeous warm sunny day today. This whole so-called winter has been relatively warm. Other than a few cold nights and cool days, it hasn't even felt like winter.

The pink magnolia tree started blooming this week. The blooms don't usually last more than a week or two. Based on photos, in prior years it bloomed in early to late March. So this year is a full month earlier than usual, unless the years in which I didn't take photos had earlier blooms too.





The fragrant yellow jessamine on the fence is also already blooming.

There is a bush at Qiao's house, which I've been curious to know what kind of plant it is. It has thin stalks, some with reddish blossoms and some with white (unless the white ones are a different kind of bush). It started blooming right at the beginning of February, even before the pink magnolia. In the summer, it gets roundish green fruit that look like plum-sized small apples. They are surprising to see, because the thin stalks don't seem like they could support such relatively big fruit, yet they do. The fruit smells and tastes like bitter apples (too bitter to eat). So it's probably some apple variant. It doesn't look like what Google Images shows for crab-apples, though.

After doing some searches, my best guess is that it is a shrub quince, even though the fruit is green rather than yellow, and more apple-shaped than quince-shaped.



More photos... )

lilac twist

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 10:15 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Best headline I've read so far, this year (via andrewducker):
75-Year-Old Texas Woman Flies Through Tornado in Bathtub, Lands in Woods Unharmed

Actually, both she and her son flew in the tub after having taken refuge in it. This article has a video interview with them:
A 75-year-old took a bathtub ride to survival during ETX tornado

.

Good cover of a good song:



Video title: kriill - Lilac Wine
Posted by: kriill music
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwXtKECKaLs


Their Facebook page: kriillmusic

heat

Monday, January 9th, 2017 02:09 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Something in the gas furnace (heater) broke today. Upon opening the bathroom door after having taken a shower, there was a light smoky smell in the air. Nothing in the house was burning, singed, or smoking, and the outside air was clear. Then I noticed the heat was no longer coming on. And upon sniffing the vents, even though the air was no longer blowing, the smell was stronger there.

So I have to get someone to come out and check that. (The hardest part is always getting someone to do it. I still haven't even gotten that gutter fixed, which got broken a year and a half ago; I stopped being concerned about it after 3 people said they'd fix it and then didn't.) I have no idea if it's something small that needs to be replaced, or if I might end up needing a whole new furnace. I will check tomorrow to see if there's a label that says how old the current one is. The outside A/C unit is 18 years old, so it wouldn't be surprising if the furnace is that old too.

In the meantime, I pulled out the oil-filled electric radiators, dusted them off, and am using them to keep warm. They're doing pretty good considering I only set them on medium. I always worry that putting them on high might trip a circuit breaker, even though that's not happened so far.

It's in the 20s (F) tonight and tomorrow night. We had a light dusting of snow here on Saturday morning, but it was mostly gone by the time I got out of bed. Originally, the forecast was calling for 2 to 3 inches of snow.

Hurricane Matthew

Sunday, October 9th, 2016 03:00 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Didn't do much damage in my area, as far inland as we are. Our power flickered and went out for a couple hours during the night (as noted by the electric fans and telephone light turning off and on), but was back on by morning. The recycling bin outside was knocked over, and some rain leaked in under the garage door but didn't go very far in. Those grooves I cut in the concrete have been working very well.

I haven't yet heard from my sister though, who was in Charleston. Unless she evacuated after all. I hope she's ok.
[Update: got a text from her, she is ok.]

.

This flying insect was gathering nectar from the lantana flowers in the evening, last week. It was flitting too quickly for me to get a clear shot of it. It looked unusual due to its thick torso. From doing an image search, it may be some type of hawk moth?

insect on flowers
insect on flowers
insect on flowers
insect on flowers
darkoshi: (Default)
Frog song in thunderstorm. A lightning strike 37 seconds in, repeated in slow motion at the end of video.



Video title: Frogs, thunder and lightning
Posted by: Darkoshi
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77r6Gzx332I

niceties, oddities

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 01:20 am
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The killdeer chicks must have hatched. I saw & heard the 2 adult birds along with at least 3 small ones cheeping about in the shade of a tree.

Worked late today. Left the office a bit before 11pm. The ..critters.. in the trees making their noises - I don't even know what they are (note to self: look up the critter sounds; do cicadas make 2 different kinds of sounds?), but the sound is so relaxing and peaceful for me. And the quality of the night - the temperature, amount of humidity, scents as well as sounds - reminded me of similar nights experienced when I was a child.

.

Outside the gate on my driveway, something odd. Reddish brown spots, like something bled along there. They don't look like rust spots, as they aren't directly under the gate. Maybe a dog was wandering around bleeding. Or maybe a dog caught some prey and carried it, bleeding, in its mouth.

Then I remembered something odd from yesterday. Driving home, I had passed a guy jogging along the side of the street. It's rare to see a jogger in that area. He had orange shorts on. The odd part was a black scarf over his mouth. It had white circles on it which somehow reminded me of those ghost/ghoul masks. It's summer and was probably at least 85 degrees outside. Why would someone jog with a scarf over their mouth in summer? It's not a dusty area. I wondered if it was some kind of gang initiation.

.

For the past month, my LJ has been getting spam comments on old posts, all of the same style but with different wording and URLs, and from different IP numbers. At least one every other day. All comments on my LJ are screened by default, so it's not doing anyone any good.

.

Last Friday, the day I found out about my sister moving... when I went outside for lunch and a walk, I got caught in a rainstorm and got soaked. The forecast had foretold a clear sunny day, so although it started to get stormy and sprinkle, I didn't pay it much attention, other than bringing my umbrella along. My mind was on other things. Then suddenly it was pouring down, really pouring down, and even standing under a tree with my umbrella didn't help much. After it finally let up, I walked to our nearby Fitness Center to dry myself off with paper towels. It sounded like I was the only person in the building. Besides the paper towels, there was a blow-dryer that I used to dry my shirt. That was an experience. But my pants and shoes were still quite wet, and I didn't want to wear wet socks and shoes the rest of the day. So I drove home and worked the rest of day from there.
darkoshi: (Default)
Cute videos of baby goats!

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Our first daffodil bloomed on Feb 1. The stem got bent, so today I cut the flower and put it in a glass vase on the table. From a distance, it smells like sawdust, but up close it has a very floral scent.

.

As of 12:36am we had bits of ice falling from the sky. It has stopped, but the forecast says it might snow overnight. If so, it will likely be melted by the time I get up. We already had a bit of snowfall on the morning Jan 23 too. If I hadn't been awakened by an early phone-call, I wouldn't have seen it.

.

VeganEgg - another new vegan egg substitute. This one can even be used to make scrambled eggs. Its ingredients include nutritional yeast and black salt for the eggy flavor, the same as Vegg does... I wonder if they got the idea from Vegg. Vegg has a scrambled-egg product now too, which I hadn't known about. Vegg Scramble uses a different main ingredient than VeganEgg does though (soy protein isolate vs algal flour & algal protein), so I wonder how they compare.

It's getting hard to keep up with all the new vegan products available!
darkoshi: (Default)
Gardein "fishless filets" - they actually taste like fish. I'm impressed.

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The spring rolls at the Vietnamese Pho restaurant here include tasty slivers of pickled carrots and radish. A while back I pickled some daikon radish myself. Sugar, salt, and vinegar - a simple recipe. It ended up ok, but not what I had hoped for. Too sweet and zesty; not the mildly sweet crunchy flavor they have at the restaurant.

I kept the pickled radish in a jar in the refrigerator, eating a little with dinner here and there. After a week or so, it began to stink, even though it still looked and tasted ok. So I stopped eating it, and left the jar in the fridge, unsure how to dispose of it. Putting it in the garbage would make the bin stink. Flushing it down the toilet might cause a clog.

Today I finally got rid of it. I poured the liquid down the sink drain, and buried the radish in a hole in the yard. I washed the glass jar for recycling. I rinsed the sink with a good amount of water and detergent. I opened the house windows, turned on a fan, and sprayed orange air freshener.

Even so, the house smelled vaguely like a garbage dump for a few hours.

.

The weather here has been unusually rainy, misty and overcast for the last 2 to 3 weeks (similar to the weeks prior to the recent "flood event"). The temperature is fine, but sunshine would be really nice.

The sun room started getting a mildewy smell again, so I opened the windows down there and left them open. Better to have moist ventilated air, than moist stagnant air. That room is separated from the house by sliding glass doors, so having those windows open doesn't affect the rest of the house.

To find out how moist it is in the sun room, I used the remote sensor of our weather station. Inside the house, the humidity is ~74%, while in the sun room it is 94%. The 94% has been suspiciously constant for the last several days**.

Around 4am this morning*, a South Carolina humidity map showed most areas at or near 100% relative humidity. This evening, the numbers are somewhat lower, but there are still many locations at 100%. Considering that, 94% with the windows open seems reasonable.

*before going to bed. You'd think that the time change would make me feel like going to bed earlier rather than later.

**My suspicion was right after all. The remote sensor isn't updating its numbers, even after bringing it back inside. Unfortunately I'm having trouble with our other weather station too.

This morning it looked like it was starting to dry up outside. Yay! Then it rained hard for a few minutes. Hopes dashed. Then the sun came out. Wow! Yay! Then it got overcast again.

With the house windows open today, the humidity level in the house proper went up to 79%. Now it is back to 74%. This feels perfectly fine and normal to me. The weather has been in the upper 60s and 70s, so we haven't needed the heater or A/C turned on.

Update:
11/08: I finally got both weather stations working again last night. A cold front came through so it is much cooler today (still overcast and wet). The humidity in the house is now ~64%, and in the sun room ~70%.

SC Flood information

Thursday, October 8th, 2015 11:56 am
darkoshi: (Default)
A not quite random thought the other day: That was before all the dams started failing.


SC DOT storm resources - includes a link to a KML file that can be opened with Google Earth to show road closings

Interactive map of road closings and dam failures in Richland County

Another Interactive Map - in some places this map has more accurate info, in other places the above map is more accurate. So don't rely completely on either one.

Additional RC flood-related maps

SC DHEC list of statewide dam failures

SC DHEC twitter feed

Richland County website
Richland County twitter feed

City of Columbia website

WLTX News Facebook page

Congaree Riverkeeper Facebook page

water water

Sunday, October 4th, 2015 10:51 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Wow, a lot of flooding in town, rivers overflowing, streets closed/collapsed, a curfew tonight. Luckily, my house is up on a hill so isn't in danger of flooding. There's a boil water advisory, and my water pressure is about half of normal, but at least I still have water and power.

Hurricane Joaquin

Sunday, October 4th, 2015 03:53 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Dear dog, if you're going to insist on eating small animals, please don't come inside to throw them up.

That was a bloody mess. The hairy part looked suspiciously rat-like. At least I was planning to clean that rug anyway.

Now we are having some very heavy rain. Qiao found water leaking in through the top of the bathroom window frame. I checked the attic, and found 2 large sections where the sheathing is all wet and dripping. Put up plastic bins to catch the water in the one section which is accessible to me, but it is dripping so fast that I hope the bins don't overflow while I'm asleep.

Then I checked the garage. A bunch of water had gotten in under the garage door seal again. I brushed as much as I could out even though I know more will come in. In between me going to the garage and coming back, the walkway by the side door had formed a deep puddle.

Down the street, where water tends to flood during heavy rains, it looks quite flooded. But it is dark, so I can't tell how bad it is. I had been wanting to call the county about that; they probably just need to clear out some growth in order for the water to be able to drain.

Dang, it must be really bad on the coast if it is this bad in the middle of the state.
darkoshi: (Default)
Got home, washed specks off my windshield, washed algae off the vinyl siding on one side of the garage, washed dishes. Ate. Vacuumed dog hair off the carpets.

It felt comparably cool this evening when I left work and got home, though it was still 89 degrees outside. That is why I decided to take advantage of the relative coolness to do the windshield and siding washing.

I've had a small watering can sitting around the house for a while. It's the kind for potted plants with a long narrow spout. It hasn't gotten much use, as I usually use a tall plastic cup to water the plants. But I used it today, along with a sponge, for washing the windshield and siding. Much easier than dragging out the big hose. Much cleaner than having water in a bucket and rinsing the sponge in the bucket and getting the remaining water all dirty. Yep, the watering can has finally found its calling.

My passport will expire soon, and who knows when I might want or need to go on a trip. So I need to fill out a renewal form. Monday I went and got photos taken for it. But now I'm procrastinating filling out the form. It is just a form, but for some reason it seems like a difficult task.

flashing sky

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 08:45 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Last week, as an impressive thunderstorm was approaching. Not long afterwards, the rain started. Inside, both dogs kept in constant proximity to me, for my own protection, of course. They even leaned against my heels as I washed dishes.



Video URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax-tS9VoHng

shangri la-la

Saturday, April 4th, 2015 01:11 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Such gorgeous weather this week. All warm and gentle, breezes and blossoms. Have photos, will post, later.

I noticed this evening that the scent of wisteria has a hint of cinnamon to it. I wish it were possible to post examples of scents, not only words and pictures.

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Went to the post office today to pick up a package. They searched and searched and called the truck driver who told them where it should be, and they still couldn't find it. At one point, the lady helping me said, "You've got to go" in a firm voice, and I was like "Oh. ::blink:: Okay." My immediate impression was that she was telling me to step back from the half-door/counter I was leaning on, as she intended to close the window while continuing the search. My next impression was that she was telling me that I had to leave, that I had been there long enough.

She seemed to catch on to my confusion, as she then repeated it, "You've got to go?" in a more questioning tone. She was simply asking if I was still able to wait longer. That was amusing to consider, afterwards. I did wait longer, but eventually left my phone number so that they could call me if the package was found. It ended up being left at the house. The truck driver must have had it in the vehicle after all.
darkoshi: (Default)
Two snowfall-related songs on my mp3 player random play in the last hour while cooking broccoli leaves for dinner. If the forecast weren't for 80 degrees tomorrow and 84 the next, it might seem an omen.

Ah. I didn't even realize that Lovespirals' Aspenglow was a cover of a John Denver song.

Hmm. Tastewise, I think I prefer collards. Unless it is because I didn't cook these as soft as I usually do others.

Last week I cooked mustard greens with cabbage. I intended for the cabbage to reduce the sharpness of the mustard greens, which it did. But I didn't like the cabbage taste. Cabbage tastes good to me in soups, but not in stir-frys. Need to remember that.
darkoshi: (Default)
The skin on my hands is very dry and is starting to crack in various places. The same thing happened right around Thanksgiving and again around Christmas (4 weeks apart), so I started wondering if it was related to my menstrual cycle. In between, my skin went back to normal. But this time it's been 2 weeks since the last time, so maybe it's just the weather. On Thursday, the high temperature was 33F, which is very unusual around here. But the day was sunny, so it wasn't really that cold.

One of the first things I did in Atlanta over Thanksgiving, was to walk to Target to buy some liquid bandage to put over a crack on my finger that was really bothering me. I felt much better after doing that.

Atlanta skyline, with Cirque du Soleil's big top slightly visible behind the right end of the bridges:


Thanksgiving Day morning, Atlanta Half Marathon in progress: