Monday, March 16, 2015

MONDAY MUSINGS LIFE IN THE OZARKS

Apologies for the later posting. I had some computer/internet issues.
I live in the Ozark Mountains in Missouri. Like the Appalachian and the Catskill Mountains, the Ozark Mountains are actually what you’d call a dissected plateau, meaning we were once a surface plain until tectonic uplifting and then the Canadian Shield glaciers left rivers, streams and time to carve out deep valleys and ravines. We look like mountains in elevation but our elevations are pretty uniform across the range and we don’t have extensive faults and magma of those mountains such as the Rockies.  Elevations where I live are about 1300 ft. Missouri’s topography has a high limestone content with caves, sinkholes, and underground springs and waterways. It’s truly a beautiful state with a lot of diversity and an amazing system of riverways. I’ll be sharing more about life in the Ozarks next month.

I live the pink a little W of the orange area (wiki commons)
The Ozarks aren’t particularly high mountains and so don’t effectively block the cold arctic or the hot and humid Gulf air and means we have cold winters and humid summers. This also makes for some volatile clashes in the way of thunderstorms, high winds, and tornadoes. Most of the tornadoes are in the flatlands and only a few touchdown in the higher elevation plains.

Weather can be extreme in my area and there are different ecological pockets—sort of an independent area where we can get more rain or snow then other areas rather close to us. For example, I have a girl friend that lives about five miles southeast of our town and she hasn’t gotten as much snow this year as we have. I live nine miles northwest of the same town. This last storm, almost two weeks ago, dropped about 10 inches of snow but she only got about 4 inches but did get more ice. It can be pouring down rain here, at the house, and I drive to town (eight miles away) and they have gotten little or no rain. There is actually a rain line on the way. And it’s weird to be driving in rain and then hit a dry area the rest of the way into town.

Not a lot of green yet on our creek
No green yet on trees
This year there wasn’t a gradual transition to cold winter or spring for that matter. We were in the normal fifties with a few spikes into the upper 70’s this fall and someone threw a switch and we were plunged into the teens by the next day and there it stayed for several weeks. Same with spring this year (and last spring for that matter), Twelve days ago we were in the lower teens during the day with snow falling and we got ten inches by the time it was done. Four days later we were in the upper 40’s and lower 50’s and rain and by day six all snow had disappeared and it jumped to spring. It confuses the body. One day you need a coat, gloves, scarf, and boots and the next you find yourself automatically pulling on those things only to realize you don’t need them.

Spring has finally sprung here with birds singing, sunshine, and temperatures in the upper 60’s lower 70’s. This past weekend it was shirt sleeves during the day. I have tulips and daffodils breaking ground by about 3 inches, my tiger lilies just broke ground yesterday. The brown grass of five days ago is now mostly short green. You can see the green slopes of the hills surrounding us.

As my mother says, if you don’t like the weather today, tomorrow it will be different. She’s not far off by that statement. <smile>

11 comments:

cleemckenzie said...

I love it where weather is extreme. It's exciting and makes me feel alive. So why do I live in CA where it's always about the same. Well, we do have earthquakes to shake things up, and I love the beach, and if the truth be told, I enjoy snow from afar.

Loved your description of your topography and howit was formed.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Mz McKenzie, Ma'am, so nice to see your smiling face. I love your picture because it looks like you're giggling over a juicy secret or up to mischief. Hmm probably both. :-)

The older I get the less I like snow. A few storms now and then, okay, but huge amounts, and for me 10 inches is huge, I don't like it. I do like four seasons though. When I lived in Northern Californis the seasons weren't prounouced--I loved January to May because it was so green.

Here, the weather is unpredictable at times and it has to do with the topography. I will be sharing more info on Missouri in April.

A Beer For The Shower said...

The weather's like that here, too. It's fun switching from the AC, to the heat, then back to the AC... all in the same day.

Two weeks ago it dumped 20 inches of snow. Today it's 80 degrees. Who knows what it'll be like next week?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It changes that fast here. Went from freezing one day to sixties the next.
Glad you are seeing some spring now.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

My flowers are finally starting to grow. Our recent snow and ice confused them.

When I lived in Arkansas and heard someone talk about camping in the Ozark Mountains, I always thought to myself that they were more like Ozark Hills.

Natalie Aguirre said...

We hit 63 today but it'll be in the low 40's tomorrow. Not complaining since it was 0 or 10 not that long ago. Glad you're getting some warm weather.

Jo said...

Gonna be a while here. We have had lots of sunshine this week but tonight they are talking flurries. Ve shall see.

We have the advantage of living in what is known as the banana belt. People get bad weather all around us but it misses us.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

We had about six inches of snow last week. It was nearly 60 today and we might get snow again by the end of the week. I really, really want spring and some warmer days. I love the heat and don't even care if it's humid.

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Sia,

Those spikes you speak of is a normal thing for Chicago. We can seriously drop or increase 40 degrees within 24 hours.

Yesterday it was 72 here... today 42.... I am done. I can't wait to move to Florida where it will rain on one block but will be dry on the next... True...

Sounds like you'll be enjoying a lovely spring... lucky you!

Kat Sheridan said...

Florida here, and Michael has the right of it. It can rain on one street but not the next. I do miss spring and can hardly wait to head back north for the summer. It's been close to 90 here for a few days. Here you can get the wind from any and all directions, but since we're inland, we miss the nice coast breezes (of course, in case of hurricane and high winds, we would also miss much of those, so there's a trade off!) Hoping your spring comes and stays awhile!

LD Masterson said...

I was driving with the top down on Monday. This morning the temperature was in the low twenties. I'm okay with it but it's really hard on the early flowers.