Great Balls of Fire!

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is FIRE IN THE SKY
and the Word of the Day Challenge is UNPREDICTABLE

First I should say that all bloggers are welcome to join in and write a post in response to the prompts. So if these prompt words give you an idea for a post, just click on the names (links) above for more details.

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Michael McGough — Pixabay

A person could give various responses to the image of “fire in the sky.” A blazing sunrise or sunset would qualify. Here on the prairie we see some amazing sundogs, partial rings or halos on one side or both sides of the sun.

Of course one of the main displays of fire in the sky is lightning, which reminds me of a couple of stories I once heard.

My husband’s mother spent her first eight years in Manitoba and apparently the electrical storms there were furious and unpredictable back in those days. She says every time there was a thunderstorm her parents would gather the children all around in one room. After moving to Saskatchewan, they did this during the first few storms but soon decided our storms here didn’t pose a threat, so her parents quit this practice.

Visiting friends in Manitoba once, there was a wild thunderstorm, but no serious damage. In the morning they recalled another storm they’d had where ball lightning fell from the clouds and they watched balls of fire roll along the road by their place. So we understand why Grandpa & Grandma Letkeman took the precautions they did while they lived in Manitoba.

Weather patterns have changed a lot over the years, maybe due to settlement and many trees planted here on the prairie. Records show and old timers talk of wild storms, blizzards and heat waves like we never see these day — thankfully!

Lightning can have really unpredictable consequences. We read an account where a farmer had just built a new barn, the door of which had the standard Z of brace-boards across the back to fortify the vertical door boards. Nails holding this all together were evenly spaced all along this Z.

Soon after, an electrical storm passed over their farm. The next morning the farmer went out to do his chores and when he slid open the barn doors, the wood all fell in a heap at his feet. A lightning bolt had hit the barn and just jumped from nail to nail along the door, sizzling every one. One tug on the door and the whole thing gave way.

 

Summer, Baled and Stored

Richness of the pasture,
the warmth of sunshine,
rains of heaven: a prairie
summer captured in clover,
cut, ripened, baled and bound.
Rolls scattered through fields
at random or neatly aligned:
summer bundled in bronze.

Winter-disguised as vague lumps
under clean, snowy blankets,
wind-dusted at times.
Frozen, frosted, they still appeal;
hungry deer tug at sweet strands,
certain it’s all for them; – and find
last summer’s mice nestled deep.

–My poem from 2013

Lush, Luscious, or Just Drippy?

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is LUSCIOUS

I wrote a nice post once, but hit the wrong button from the choices above and my post disappeared in the twinkling of an eye. Rats!

So again, I chose this prompt word several weeks ago and scheduled my post, but today we’re not thinking of luscious. We had heavy rain in the night, over two inches in the past 24 hours, so the outdoors is very soggy this afternoon. But it was so needed that I think everyone in this area is rejoicing — except maybe the weekend campers. Wouldn’t be nice in a tend having that much rain pouring over your heads.

The sky is still filled with lumpy, long-hanging clouds, but the sky’s getting lighter and we’ll probably have sunshine tomorrow, and the prairie will have a lush green appearance. Farmers will be smiling cheerfully. Awhile ago I heard a little wren singing his heart out from the woods beside us, and robins are perusing the lawn, grabbing whichever end of the worm is sticking out. We might turn up our noses, but to a bird, a worm is a luscious creature. For the worm, however…

Life can be so stressful at the bottom of the pecking order:

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Image by kirillslov at Pixabay

Prairie Dawn

Good morning everyone! The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is VISUAL

I got up at 5 am this morning and saw the dawn’s early light coming through the bare branches of the trees to the east of us. The early morning light is one visual sign that spring is returning to the prairie. An auditory sign–which I don’t get much of without  my hearing aids–is the twittering birds and the gabbling of the geese as they wake up and start discussing travel plans.

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Image by analogicus  —  Pixabay

Another sign I get is the cats wanting to go outside the minute I set my feet on the floor. After being cooped up in the house all winter, they love to be outdoors when the weather’s clement. The snow in our yard is finally gone, so they can wander about looking for the visual clues that fresh mice are about.

By now the sun is well up and I’ve had my morning coffee. It’s time to prepare for what other activities today will have in store.

Sunshine on the Snow

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is LOOKING OUT MY FRONT DOOR.

Since we live in a mobile home, with both doors on the same side, the view isn’t any different. However, today we do have a lovely view — with a promise of spring to come. Yesterday morning the temp was -31C first thing; this morning it was -14, so a great improvement. Hubby says it’s +1 C this afternoon. With the sun so bright and warm, our snow is getting soft.

Because we’ve been putting out birdseed, a flock of English sparrows has moved into our trees; we see a lot of them in the caragana bushes outside our front window. As I write this, dozens are scrambling around and under the bird feeder, grabbing what they can.

Come spring when the tree swallows return, I’ll be ready to shoot all these aggressive English invaders before they drive my swallows away. I see a few have already claimed the swallow nest on the garage. By feeding the birds we were actually hoping to attract chickadees and woodpeckers, and one hairy woodpecker does raid the feeder regularly.

I’m not feeling very inspired to write today, so this will have to be a sufficient response. However, while I’m here I’ll mention another writing prompt you might like to try your hand at: Crispina’s Creative Challenge, or CCC. Every Wednesday Crispina Kemp posts a photo as inspiration and you can write up to 150 words, in any genre. Better yet, you have a whole week to do it.

This week’s picture is a rather forlorn old mill. Check it out HERE

Not Moving Much

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is STATIONARY and I found the perfect photo on Pixabay to illustrate this concept. Where do you think these fellows were going when they were turned to stone?

Statues.Meatle
Meatle  —  Pixabay

As the prompter mentions, STATIONARY is one of those words easily misspelled. Many a time I’ve see writers mistakenly use this spelling when they really meant the STATIONERY you write on, or vice versa.

Not quite as glaring, or open to misinterpretation as when someone writes “The hunter bagged a dear,” when they mean, “The hunter bagged a deer.” English is like that — you gotta watch out.

This morning I’ll start with a cup of hot coffee as I check the weather. Likely the school children will remain stationary in their beds for an extra hour this morning, too, as school is often called off when the temp goes below -40̊. And Environment Canada tells me that it’s -30̊ C with a wind chill factor of -43̊ – for US readers that’s -21̊ F with a wind chill factor cooling us down to -45̊ if we happen to venture outdoors. Here on the prairies we call that COLD.

We don’t have an attached, heated garage, so at this temp our automatic garage door won’t work — which means we tend to stay home whenever possible. If we must go somewhere Bob has to disconnect it from the mechanism and operate it manually with the cord and muscles to lift the door.

The temp is supposed to hit -27 C̊or -17 F̊ by this afternoon, a negligible difference. If we didn’t have warm houses on days like this we may well be as frozen as the fellows in the photo – but picture about 20 cm/ 8″ of snow everywhere to give the true impression.

Wishing you all a lovely, sunny day and a good cup of coffee.