Saturday, June 28, 2008


When Sand and Bernie passed through Iowa last summer, Sand admired the prolific fireflies in our backyard. (They don't have them in California.)

It's June again, and we still have 'em.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Still knitting, too

Charlotte's Web shawl
Originally uploaded by chaimann
Even though I haven't posted any pictures for awhile, I am still knitting - just not finishing anything. I'm seriously beginning to envy those folks who practice project monogamy.

I jumped back in to the Charlotte's Web shawl, and I love what the colors are doing. I'm doing pretty well with the lace pattern. I'm getting where I can fix mistakes a couple of rows back if I concentrate. I even survived having a needle break in the middle of a knit row, 14 rows away from the lifeline. I was sitting near a KnitWit who had a sock needle handy to rescue the stitches that fell off the needle, then I carefully picked the stitches back to the beginning of the row. And lived to tell the tale.

We're having thunderstorms tonight. I hope it is enough rain to wash some of the stink away in the recently flooded areas. I would put up with the stink awhile longer, though, if I could send some of the rain (minus the lightening) back to California, where my friends are dealing with fires, smoke, and the threat of evacuation. Stay safe, y'all.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rainbow, first day of summer

Originally uploaded by chaimann
We went to Ashton Observatory yesterday for a work party with the astronomy club. A quick little rain storm blew through while we were there. Once the sun started to peek through, people hovered near the door, looking for a rainbow. We thought we might not get one, since the sun was still rather high, but soon someone spotted the top of an arc. Work ground to a halt as folks wandered outside to enjoy a fleeting view. (More pictures here.)

In the Bible, of course, the rainbow is the sign from God that he will never again destroy the Earth with a flood. How appropriate is that, as Iowa gets back on its feet after two weeks of floods? We stayed safely above it at both home and work, but we drive through recently flooded areas regularly. The recovery seems to be coming along well, but it still stinks, even in the car, even with the windows rolled up. Out in the country, it just has that fishy river smell, In town, though, it smells like river, and fish... and mold... and people laugh at this, but I swear I smell sauerkraut.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Early morning drive

We got up early so we could see just how much water there was along I-80/35. The answer: Just about as much as there was in 1993.

Turn down the sound if you watch. T & I mutter incomprehensibly, but mostly it's just road noise.

Two Way Traffic

Two Way Traffic
Originally uploaded by chaimann
This is my favorite photo so far from my flood tours, although it doesn't actually show any flooding. I love the contradictory signs and ominous clouds.

There's now a Flickr group for flood photos. Some of my photos are there, including some I took today after a levee breach last night caused evacuations and road closures just a few blocks from my house.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Floodwatch 2008

To see how things have changed since Tuesday, go look at this picture of the Simon Estes Amphitheater as it appears today. I also took some pictures Thursday, and they (as well as Tuesday's pix) are on my Flickr. Today, the water is covering the tops of the arches on the bridges,and is getting ever closer to the road surface. The powers that be asked for a voluntary evacuation of downtown and the entire flood plain area. My office is a couple of blocks outside of the flood plain, but I had put in my forty hours, and I was happy to comply.

We are okay. Our house is, we hope, high enough to not be in danger, and we can still get to it by one of our normal routes. The water was pretty high along that route this afternoon, though, and it is just one leaky levee from going under.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The flood begins

Originally uploaded by chaimann
Des Moines is getting ready for a flood. The good part is, we know it's coming and we are getting ready for it. But still, seeing scenes like this just down the street from my office, before the bad part gets here? That's sobering.

More pix here.