April 22, 2005

Green cloud.

I will admit to being totally weather-obsessed lately. As anyone around Southern Illinois knows, spring here is tumultuous to say the least. There are constantly "strong storms" or "severe weather" in the local forecasts and via the Weather Channel's website. This is all new to me. In Baltimore City, the mountains knock around the storms that come through, so I can't say I ever even saw hail until my first spring in the "Heartland" last year. On the darker side, Maryland gets both tornados and hurricanes. I harbor some kind of fear of hail. It's always tempting to go and hide with the car under cover at school, to avoid the falling ice chunks. Last week, it hailed some small hail. I didn't go anywhere, since driving in a bad storm would be one of dumbest things I could do. The car was fine. Ford does use pretty nice paint, so little double-pea-sized hail didn't do any damage. Cape Girardeau (an hour away across the Mississippi River in Missouri) got a whole half-hour of hail and had some flooding. We were lucky here in Carbondale. Same thing happened today. According to the 6 o'clock news, several Southern Illinois counties got large hail and terrible winds. There were reports of "larger than golf-ball-sized hail" and even some "soft-ball-sized hail." That's crazy. The latter could actually hurt you, and I have had enough head injuries in my short lifetime thank you very much (I'll write about my forcepts birth one day; it's a funny story). In the field across from my little apartment, there was a green cloud that started to spin and seemed to be coming down toward the field. I don't know why a cloud would be green.* There has been so much pollen around here that our black car is actually green every morning. It brings to mind a line from "The Simpsons" where Homer begs, "Why does a bear need a crow-bar?" I went outside and snapped a few photos, and I had to brace with my leg to keep it from slamming shut in the wind. I heard the dude who works for our property manager saying that he'd never seen anything like that. And he's from around here; he told me that once. So I freaked out a little. We sped off in our little black car to get away from the green cloud and the trees near our apartment. There were already tree limbs all over the ground, like some meteorological battlefield scene. We were sitting still at one point, and the wind was blowing the car around on its suspension system. That's strong. The rain sounded like gravel hitting the side of the car, and it felt like some frat boys in PCP were trying to flip the car over but couldn't because they eat too much frat pizza. I figured, fuck it. I was supposed to be working hard today, but I was out worrying about some storm instead -- this after my compulsive weather-checking online these days. I literally dropped my pen and book and ran. How cowardly is that shit? The hell with that foolishness. So we went to the mall and had coffee and the type of vegan cookies I always enjoyed from the coffeeshop near Boston College back in the spring and summer of 2003 when I was a strict vegan. By the time we came outside again, the storm had passed. The car was still slick with pollen and dirt, so I assumed that it hadn't even rained that much. After hearing the reports of hail across the region, though, I got worried again. I went out after dinner and checked for hail damage. Yes, just like some little small-weinered dude who replaces his lacking unit with a car. That's sad, I know. I shouldn't let possessions own me. And all that. It's good to confess it here, I suppose. I should really stop being such a neurotic little baby. Despite all of this bad weather bullshit (would be a great title for something), here I am in a sweater and red flannel pants. It's cold. Very cold. There is a frost advisory for the area this weekend, and it doesn't even freeze most nights of the actual winter around here. I love cold weather, and cold weather for a weekend is even better, especially since Southern Illinois won't be seeing that again anytime soon. And to boot, my asshole neighbors aren't partying tonight. I should be in a much better mood than I am. [*I swear on the coffee gods, that photo is not altered at all. It's really that color, and Canons always do a nice job of capturing that.]


broomhilda said...

Good snap!

Can I have a copy of that?

I might be able to use that in my story about the spider wars.

Lorianne said...

That is a *great* pic of the cloud. The skies turn an eerie greenish color in tornado weather; I think it has something to do with atmospheric pressure, etc. So you're lucky you "only" had hail!

(The buttercup pic is lovely, too...but that's my bias for wildflower pix showing!) ;-)

Pragmatik said...

Thanks:) I've never seen a green cloud. Maybe it would have been just pretty and not scary if it hadn't been spinning.

I like to sing that "Lollipop, lollipop, oh lolli lolli pop" song in my head, but with buttercup instead. I remember this dude in kindergarden with me who said that it means "you like butter" if a buttercup turns your chin yellow upon rubbing. I didn't rub that one, though, since my scruffly chin would mush it up.

Stasyna said...

Yes! I love a good photograph.