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Wednesday, 02 February 2011



The weather changed back here in Argentina too, it seems. We had some very dry weather for the last 6 years or so, before that it was much more humid, but now it seems to be getting back to normal. Which isn't so anyway, my great grand father told me once drier weather was ordinary around the 40s and 50s, then it started raining a lot more for three or four decades. It changes, back and forth, it seems.
Mike, I wonder if you know your EXIF data shows on your images, camera, processing software, etc. I bet you do, I only bring this up because a lot of people don't have a clue about that, and sometimes they'd rather delete EXIF tags if they knew about them.

What "towed"? "The owners of the cars will be drawn, quartered and hung from the city hall." (No smiley. Hate obnoxious drivers.)

BTW, although that kind of weather with snow swirling has its own savage beauty, it always reminds me of Stephen King's short story One for the road.

Impressive mounding on the roof.

A bit of Canadian humour about survival in the north.

Huskies - a sled dog; a good companion; and, possibly, a last meal.

That was heard on the radio today ;)

...meanwhile, over here in the purported "icebox of the nation" (Minnesota), there's hardly a flake of snow, the sun is shining, and it's a rather balmy 12°F.


I don't mind if those who want to see the EXIF data. Really nothing special about it. In fact, once I posted a picture from a then-very-new camera hoping some sharp-eyed readers would see what it was and mention it. But nobody did.


that's so much snow!!! I live in GA and we never get that much!

S.J. Yokel,
The Photoshop on this picture consisted of a very slight amount of highlight/shadow (like 2 and 4 points respectively), and about four points toward yellow on the blue-yellow slider.

Which is kind of pointless, because the color management from PS to the TypePad interface is not terribly accurate, never mind that people are looking at the site on all kinds of monitors with all kinds of different calibration. In this case the out-of-camera JPEG would have been essentially indistinguishable from the picture as posted.


That looks pretty, Mike. How does your current weather compare with the winter of '66? I was a 10-year old on a year's visit to Syracuse that year, and have fond memories of heavy snowfalls, big drifts, and the schools closing for a week after a big fall shut the city down. Pretty exciting stuff for an Aussie boy.

Mike, these storms are known as Cyclones here in Australia.

Regards, Jim Roelofs

No, they're called cyclones, not typhoons, here down under.

Thank you for your thoughts of us here in Queensland, Australia. The damage up in north Qld is still to be revealed to us today as the cyclone is crossing the coastline now. By all accounts the very worst cyclone we have experienced to date, but in early reports I saw on the news, the wind velocity did not reach the expected 300km/h +. For myself, I was evacauted out of my home in the Brisbane floods some two weeks ago and my unit got flooded to about a meter up the walls. We lost a lot of furniture and built in cupboards and white goods and in particular, a brand new, leased, Fuji-Xerox C2260 multifunction machine, The replacement cost is beyond us for our small business and no, we did not have flood insurance because it is nearly impossible to get flood insurance if you live near a river. The legal ramifications of the flooding in Brisbane are yet to make themselves felt as many believe that the flood could have been mitigated if the main flood control dam, just outside Brisbane, was not allowed to get to 170% full. Anyway, Qld is experiencing a run of weather disasters. It is nice to know people are thinking of us from other parts of the world. Reagrds, David.

Snow is rain in another form. Either shovel it or ignore it. Snow is what identfies
"us" to other peoples of theworld as to who we are and where we dwell.
Soon the snow will become liquid and be part of terra firma, turning soil to mud. TAs the days become warmer, dryer, which allow Mike to work in his garden and his son to mow the non-edible grass cover. Then all too soon after the heat of the summer, the cycle of seasonal change returns.

That seasonal cycle of time is what makes us who we are. For that alone be thankful.

Honestly, Mike, you could have done a lot more to that picture in Photoshop and I wouldn't have cared. Photoshop is not evil and editing pictures in Photoshop doesn't disqualify their use in a context like this. Context is everything - if you were trying to disceive us through your changes, that would be one thing. But color/shadow/highlight correction of an image taken by you and posted on your blog? Go ahead, Photoshop all you like...


Cyclone Yasi hit land last night here in OZ and so far initial reports aren't quite as bad as expected, it was downgraded from a "5" to a "2" when it hit land with no deaths reported so far.

It is still heading inland though and hopefully won't add to the extensive flooding disaster that had only just started to recede.

Meanwhile here in Sydney it's hitting 38°C (100°F) every day this week so far, some snow would be most welcome.

A cross-country ski race in the park today was postponed because of too much snow

lol, here we've got such events cancelled or postponed only if there's NOT enough snow.

Greetings from coldy russki :)


Scary stuff, to watch this unfold whilst I'm over here 8 hours behind, safely in my apartment. I can't imagine what it would be like going through that at night -- not seeing anything at all -- and just the noise!

Love the photo by the way (but I love snow in general). Which makes me think... How did you get out of the house? And how do those pesky mosquitos you talk about in summer survive that kind of winter?


...one thing is for sure, you still own your territory from the mosquitoes.

Yes, that "new connectedness" comes most vividly for me through TOP with posts such as this. It's weird to be sharing your experience of snow and blizzard whilst simultaneously experiencing tropical-like summer humidity in Sydney and hearing news updates on the effects of Tropical Cyclone (TC) Yasi up north.

Yes, I thought that was hilarious. I assume they meant too much snow on the roads, not on the course!


The back door only had half a foot of snow in front of it. It wasn't a problem getting out, but the dog had to struggle to find a place to pee! As you can see the roof has about a three-foot overhang, so there's a little protection under the eaves.

As to how mosquitoes survive, I think they are imbued with magic powers by the Devil, who created them. [g]


Sorry Mike. The "Photoshopped" quote seems to get trotted out whenever anything dramatic or unusual appears on the web. I thought the snowdrift you are living in tonight qualified. Lame attempt at humor.

Kinda surprised a purist like yourself messed with the sliders however.

I keep thinking I should get up really early, some day, and walk out the back door and around to the front of the house, and get a shot of unbroken snow up to the house. But I never actually do it; it's too far around, on what would largely be unshoveled sidewalks.

I live in central Iowa. We got snow as well. I, too, stood by the window for a long time last night mesmerized by the blowing snow and the patterns it created. Absolutely beautiful. I kept thinking about my weather proof Pentax and the wonderful photographs I could make out there under the street light. It was much warmer inside that window though. I will save those photographs for another night. Or not.

Whoa. That's a lot of snow. The weather is really changing and it's no good news.

Typhoons originate in the Pacific Ocean, cyclones originate in the Indian Ocean, and hurricanes originate in the Atlantic Ocean.

This bit of orthodoxy was drilled into me by my geography teacher circa 1966. Little did she or I know that the Aussies were making busy upending this rather simple pedagogical rule.

This is old enough to be public domain.

John O'Brien was a rural Catholic priest in Australia and had an opportunity and an eye to keenly observe the (Australian? Probably universal) farmer:


"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
In accents most forlorn,
Outside the church, ere Mass began,
One frosty Sunday morn.

The congregation stood about,
Coat-collars to the ears,
And talked of stock, and crops, and drought,
As it had done for years.

"It's looking crook," said Daniel Croke;
"Bedad, it's cruke, me lad,
For never since the banks went broke
Has seasons been so bad."

"It's dry, all right," said young O'Neil,
With which astute remark
He squatted down upon his heel
And chewed a piece of bark.

And so around the chorus ran
"It's keepin' dry, no doubt."
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"Before the year is out."

"The crops are done; ye'll have your work
To save one bag of grain;
From here way out to Back-o'-Bourke
They're singin' out for rain.

"They're singin' out for rain," he said,
"And all the tanks are dry."
The congregation scratched its head,
And gazed around the sky.

"There won't be grass, in any case,
Enough to feed an ass;
There's not a blade on Casey's place
As I came down to Mass."

"If rain don't come this month," said Dan,
And cleared his throat to speak -
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"If rain don't come this week."

A heavy silence seemed to steal
On all at this remark;
And each man squatted on his heel,
And chewed a piece of bark.

"We want an inch of rain, we do,"
O'Neil observed at last;
But Croke "maintained" we wanted two
To put the danger past.

"If we don't get three inches, man,
Or four to break this drought,
We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"Before the year is out."

In God's good time down came the rain;
And all the afternoon
On iron roof and window-pane
It drummed a homely tune.

And through the night it pattered still,
And lightsome, gladsome elves
On dripping spout and window-sill
Kept talking to themselves.

It pelted, pelted all day long,
A-singing at its work,
Till every heart took up the song
Way out to Back-o'-Bourke.

And every creek a banker ran,
And dams filled overtop;
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"If this rain doesn't stop."

And stop it did, in God's good time;
And spring came in to fold
A mantle o'er the hills sublime
Of green and pink and gold.

And days went by on dancing feet,
With harvest-hopes immense,
And laughing eyes beheld the wheat
Nid-nodding o'er the fence.

And, oh, the smiles on every face,
As happy lad and lass
Through grass knee-deep on Casey's place
Went riding down to Mass.

While round the church in clothes genteel
Discoursed the men of mark,
And each man squatted on his heel,
And chewed his piece of bark.

"There'll be bush-fires for sure, me man,
There will, without a doubt;
We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"Before the year is out."

Around the Boree Log and Other Verses, 1921

And Mike,

"The Groundhog Day ceremony at the State Fairgrounds was cancelled."

Do you really have a Groundhog Day ceremony in Wisconsin?

I just checked for myself using Wikipedia: YOU DO!! Until now, I thought Groundhog Day was a fiction created by the film! I was living in blissful ignorance.

Gee, you do funny things in America!

@ amcananey: "Photoshop is not evil"

Well, no. Photoshop doesn't alter photographs, people alter photographs.

By the way Mike, looking at the snow hanging off your roof, if you go out the front door don't slam it behind you.

Not quite the same thing ... Hurricanes and Typhoons circulate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and Cyclones circulate clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Or so I'm told!

"The owners of the cars will be drawn, quartered and hung from the city hall."

Hanged, not hung!

The cyclone came from the east onto the Queensland coast out of the Southern Pacific Ocean - several thousand kms from the Indian Ocean - that simple rule of storm nomenclature seems to have an exception - rather a lot of them over the decades.

The "real" one takes place in Punxsutawney, PA, with "Punxsutawney Phil," but there are other ceremonies around the country.

"Groundhog Day" is one of the best movies ever made. Has as its basis an ancient Zen fable about love and acceptance, and is a fiction perfectly suited to being told in film.


Oh the memories. January 27, 1967. As a as third year college student, living at home in Oak Park, working part time at the local Mobil Oil gas station, I remember is well. 23 inches in less than 24 hours. What a great opportunity for my best friend and me to make some extra cash. The gas station owner told us not to bother coming in to work until Monday. He just was not going to worry about opening his business. He lived about 10 miles from the station and it was impossible to get there. Erid and I lived but a mile or so from the station. After the blizzard settled down, we decided to go to the station, not to open for business, but to fire up the Jeep with the plow on the front and have some "FUN". 4-wheel drive, a few cans of ether, a plow, and a heavy duty jump-starting system in the back of the rig.

Wmade so much money cruising around Oak Park the next three days it was like winning the lottery to two college guys! Plowing, jumping, pushing out of ditches. People would literally throw money at us just to stop as we drove down the frozen, drifted streets. And of course, it was ALL CASH!

In case anyone has even the slightest interest, here is a link to an article about the Big Snow of "67.


GO PACKERS!!!! Even though I am a life long fan of DA BEARS...I must still Back the Pack as the NFC Champion this weekend.

Mike, on your constant references to the Panasonic 20/1.7, I couldn't agree more. I love the lens. But I'm sorry to say the GF1 is not for me. Somehow my thing is a small slr. I wanted so much to be happy with it but I think I'm buying Pentax again. I even got the accessory viewfinder, and it works, but somehow it's just not what I can handle.
A similar Limited 27/1.7 pancake on a K5 would be something marvellous, I can't see why there's no such thing (the new "cheap" 35/2.4 is interesting, but still too long for my taste).
On using the 20 on another body, I suspect it would not be as nice an experience if it wasn't a Panasonic body, and there's the thing with no in-body stabilization...

I'll trade you your snow for the ice we got in Pennsylvania. Ice is really only good for drinks. You can't plow it, it breaks things, and is just the most inconvenient stuff.

Thought You might enjoy this. Two short films about the Blizzard, the first by two photographers and former Milwaukeeians (forever at heart).

We have so much snow this year that for the first time in my life I am getting painfully educated on the phenomenon of "Ice Dams".

Hello Mike,

I was in the unfortunate predicament of having to drive from Nebraska to Iowa as this storm was making its last-minute plans on its route toward the great lakes; it decided to intercept my path with nary a second thought. This picture is just before crossing into western Iowa along US30. This was a true blizzard with heavy snow, 35+ mph winds and bitter cold! Keeping a straight path on the road and balancing the camera in my lap was an interesting multi-tasking excercise, but yielded some interesting shots!


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