Critters Photography Weather

Too hot

Even before Summer officially starts on Sunday, we’ve had heat alerts the last two days. Combined heat and humidity has led to effective temperatures of 105 degrees. We haven’t broken upper temperature records, but we have lower temperatures in the evening.

As these two Grévy’s zebras demonstrate, the only way to handle weather like this is to stay in the shade, or in air conditioning. I’ve had to turn my air conditioning up to 80 degrees, just to keep it from running 24 hours a day.

Not sure if the sudden heat wave is an indicator of a bad summer or not. From what the climatologists have said, it looks like we will have an unusually warm summer. Move over, zebras.

two zebras under shade of tree


To our Southern neighbors

I can’t imagine temperatures of 117 F. I also can’t imagine being surrounded by oil rich eucalyptus trees, as flames are driven straight at your home at 65 miles per hour. The winds of hell must be an apt description.

My sympathies to those of our southern neighbors in Australia that have suffered loss the last few days because of the fires.

update DaveD, in comments, linked to extraordinary photos at related to the fires.


Wettest year ever

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Congratulations, St. Louis.

With this afternoon’s rain, frozen rain, sleet, and hail, we set a new record for wettest year. From the Weather Underground:

Statement as of 2:40 PM CST on December 23, 2008

... Record yearly maximum precipitation set at St. Louis MO...

A record yearly maimum precipitation of 55.00 inches was set at
St. Louis today. This breaks the old record of 54.97 inches set
in 1982.

We managed to flood every river, stream, creek, and dry bed this year. Though none of the floods beat any records, the number of floods was extraordinary, as was the fact that every flood came perilously close to beating records. However, at least we haven’t been getting the snow other areas are getting. Knock on soggy wood.


Photography Weather


Autumn has finally arrived in our year of odd weather. We’re ten degrees above normal, but should return to 60s by Thursday. We’re in the 4th wettest year on record, and if we get our normal rainfall for the rest of the year, we’ll end up the wettest year on record.

Color path

We’re also a toss up in the election, and I’ve fielded over 20 calls today from various organizations. Can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone campaigning in our state. I think Obama and his wife are in the state tonight, Biden was here yesterday, Palin Monday, I hear a rumor about Rudy Giuliani, though I don’t think McCain’s been here. That’s because Palin is more popular here than he is.

color lake

All over by Wednesday, when we can sink back into our normal obscurity. In the meantime, all our visitors have been seeing the state at its best. I wonder if they’ve even noticed?

more color

Photography Weather

Soggy state

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The majority of my photos posted recently are from the Missouri Botanical Gardens, or the St. Louis Zoo. I’ve not explored outside of the St. Louis area this last year primarily because of all the rain and flooding we’ve had. Though I was not, personally, directly impacted by the flooding, I’ve been indirectly impacted because of the extremely high mold content. I wasn’t aware until recently that I’m allergic to mold pollen, go figure. Add to this my allergic reaction to even the most innocuous Missouri bug bites, and I’ve spent most of the summer on paved paths and close to home.

A happy byproduct of my restricted explorations, though, is how much I’ve come to look beyond the obvious in my local walks at the St. Louis Zoo. So much so that I’m starting a new category of writings on the Zoo over at my personal web site, Just Shelley. There is much we can learn about ourselves, as well as the animals, at a zoo.

In the meantime, I have been posting photos from both the Botanical Gardens and the Zoo to the MissouriGreen image galleries. Posted below are some representative examples. Now that the weather is getting cooler, I may expand my explorations again, perhaps even include some fall color photos.

From the Gardens:

yellow flower

pink dahlia

little bug on hedge rose

The Gardens aren’t just flowers and insects, as these snakes sunning themselves on branches demonstrate:

snake on branch

snake on branch

A few photos from the Zoo:

white pelican on lake

snow leopard

silverback lowland mountain gorilla