158: The annual flood

(A crocheted coral reef.)

The photos I’m using in this post were taken at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History when M and I went to Washington, D.C. last December.  The exhibition is called The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef.  This is another of those instances where photographs are not nearly as good as the real deal.  It is pretty amazing what the local crocheters and crochet groups managed to create.  I saved the photos for a watery post.  This seems to be it.

Apropos of nothing in particular:  My mother taught me to crochet.  It has been a long time since I sat down with a crochet hook and some yarn and created something.  Hopefully it’s like riding a bicycle.  All I have to do is pick up a hook and I’ll remember how to do it.

It stormed here in the Bogs last night.  And I mean STORMED.  There were many, many bright flashes of lightning and loud booms of thunder that rattled the house.  The rain POURED.  Torrents of rain.  Early this morning one of the local weather people said we had gotten 3 inches of rain overnight.  The rain, of course, melted the snow.  The result?  Water, water, everywhere.

M went down to the basement to discover that yes, indeed, the water made its way into the basement.  It’s the annual February flood.  Sometimes it waits until March if the rains start late.  One year we had no flooding at all in the spring, but a hurricane blew through and left behind so much water that the ground was over-saturated and there was no place for the water to go except the basement.

Yesterday, without thinking about the rain and the snow melt, I sorted the laundry and left it in piles on the laundry room floor.  We found it all thoroughly soaked this morning so today has been a laundry intensive day for me.  It all has to be washed and dried before it starts to become moldy and musty.  You’d be surprised how fast mold can form.

I had planned to start my Spring Cleaning Fest in a couple of weeks.  Once again Mother Nature has decided I should start earlier than planned.

M and I had to carry out the throw rugs and area carpets that soften up the basement floor.  It’s still gray and misty outside right now, but the sun is supposed to come out eventually and that should dry out the rugs and carpets.

This morning I was thankful for a lot of things, but two stand out.  The first is the shop vac (or wet/dry vac).  It is so much easier to suck up all that water with a vacuum than with a mop.  There is one little area in the basement bathroom where the water continues to slowly stream in, and I’ve had to keep at that all day, going in every half hour or so to vacuum up the new water.  Once that stops, I’ll do a good mopping with some bleach.

The other thing I was particularly thankful for was the return of my photos on the external hard drive.  It just needed a reboot.  But I like to think that talking nicely to it while turning it on helped.

(Hmph.)

Today’s outdoor adventures

With all the early spring cleaning of the basement upon me, I did not have a lot of time to spend outdoors today.  I went out periodically to hang things on the line, to feed the birds, and to get in my full 30 minute minimum.  There is a great deal of water out there.  And mud.  Lots and lots of mud.

The birds are enjoying all the mud and water, though.  There were hundreds of them covering the front lawn when I went out this afternoon.  There was even a small flock of robins.  I haven’t yet seen the red-winged blackbird, our harbinger of spring.

One nice thing is that walking around the pond is much easier without the snow.  I did not go down into the woods as the creek has taken over and it’s mostly flooded.  See the two crossed trees in the center of the above photo?  The creek bank is usually somewhere behind that.  I’d like to take a ride around and have a look at some of the other creeks around here, but I don’t think I’ll have the time for it.

I did find this lovely surprise:

Crocuses!!  The little squiggly green things from a couple of weeks ago are now flowers and leaves.

The daffodils are pushing their way up out of the ground, too.

(The ice on the pond is thawing.)

Tomorrow morning should be interesting.  It’s going down to 20 degrees tonight.  I expect there will be plenty of ice out there in the morning.


101: What’s around the corner?

(Looking forward.  Washington, D.C.)

Note: This is a mega-post, for which I apologize.  I am trying to fit in a little about the trip as well as some current stuff.  I am pondering “learn brevity” as a New Year’s resolution.

Happy 2011!  I wish you joy, love, laughter, and prosperity in the new year.  How you apply those wishes is entirely up to you.  🙂

M and I have already celebrated with our traditional pork and sauerkraut dinner that is said to bring luck, prosperity, and other good stuff.  Weight loss, obviously, is not part of the “other good stuff.”

It seems like much has changed between the old year and the new year.  There aren’t many years when I can honestly say I see such a great contrast.  Stepping away from the familiar has a way of changing one’s perspective in a way that allows you to see the contrasts.  Even so, the difference between the day M and I left home early Wednesday morning and arrived home yesterday evening is amazing.

(Stepping out of the Christmas holidays.  Fogged lens.  The U.S. Botanic Garden.  Washington, D.C.  This looks better large.  As with all of the photos in this post, click on the photo to view it larger.)

When we left home we had about 2 feet of snow on the ground and it was cold.  Frigid is the word I last used to describe it here on the blog.  When we returned, most of the snow had disappeared and the temperature was in the mid-50s.

(Watery sun reflections on a Smithsonian window.  Washington, D.C.)

I’m guessing you may have figured out by now where we went.  Washington, D.C., of course.  For my friends outside of the U.S., I didn’t assume you’d know from my hints but I also didn’t want to assume you wouldn’t know as it seems like people outside of the U.S. are better informed about the world beyond their borders than a lot of folks within the U.S.  The building in the pictures posted yesterday is the U.S. Capitol.

(In flight.  U.S. Capitol building.  Washington, D.C.)

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