Confusions of the season

1valchloesmall  Anne here, confessing that when I'm working on a book, I sometimes have to think twice about what season I'm in. It's what happens when you're in the writing cave. I live in the southern hemisphere, but communicate almost constantly with people in the northern hemisphere, so they're in winter and talking about ice and snow and blizzards and sending me pictures.  I'm also very much in the season of the book — currently early Spring in England. So at times, when I go to take the dog for her daily walk, I'm surprised to find it's a warm and balmy summer evening.

It's also complicated because where I live, in Melbourne, Australia, we're famous (infamous?) for having four seasons in one day. It couldn't have been more true recently, where we went from roasting temperatures to an incredibly severe hailstorm, then to sunshine and blue skies and then cold again.

Hailstones as big as tennis ballsHandfulsofhail  

The hailstorm was one of the worst in years — huge hailstones, bigger than I've ever seen. In fact the first I knew of the storm was a loud crack! on the roof. I thought kids were chucking stones onto the roof. But more followed, and when I looked up from the computer screen, the sky was really dark. (Pic source: The Age)

It took a moment to register what was happening because although my body was in an early afternoon in late summer, my mind was still caught up in the word of my current story, in a cold, late winter's night in Regency England. So the cold and the darkness seemed appropriate. Even the stones landing on the roof suited the story. 

Pajerostorm-damage   Then there was a blinding flash of lightning, followed immediately by a roar of thunder all around and the computer screen and everything else went black. No electricity. Then the heavens opened and the hail just pelted down. The air was white with it. Hailstones bounced off the car and slammed against the windows. I thought the windows might break, it was so loud and violent. But I didn't really believe they would. (Herald/Sun reader pic)

Hailfloes-readers-pic  In minutes my front lawn was covered in large, icy white pebbles. For me, the hail was merely spectacular and exciting. And when it was followed by a torrential downpour  and then heavy rain set in for the rest of the day, I was pleased, as we've been in drought for years. I had no idea of  wider damage, such as this.  (Herald/Sun reader pic)

Man&baby  I learned later I'd experienced the outer edge of the storm and people in the heart of it did have their windows — even their car windows–and roofs smashed by hail. A huge amount of damage was done and many people were badly injured, traumatized and bruised by the huge balls of ice and the floods that followed. (Herald/Sun reader pic)

 Holidaymakers in summer gear pelted by iceMommbacaughtout  

It was a long weekend, our Labour Day holiday and in Melbourne we have a festival called Moomba. The city was thronging with holiday makers and children — it's very much a family and child-friendly festival and, as I said, it was warm before the storm, so people were caught in their summer clothes and with no protection. .(Herald/Sun reader pic)

But some people always find a silver lining.

Undoubtedly it was a dreadful storm, and many people suffered as a result of it and they have my sincere sympathy. But I also love the way some people refuse to be daunted and take the storm and the floods that followed as an opportunity.

Kickboard  Why drive when you can kickboard?

(Herald/Sun reader pic)

Or kayack along the highway?Kayacking on road  

(Herald/Sun reader pic)

We don't get snow in Melbourne, but when it hails, we make hailmen and have hail fights. Because it would be a sin to waste it, you understand.

HailmanBoychuckshail
 
 (Herald/Sun reader pics 1 & 2)

   And if a big pile of ice falls on a holiday, especially a summer holiday,  it's obviously been sent for A Good Reason, such as keeping your beer cold.Keepingcool  (Herald/Sun reader pic) 

And now the earth is soaked and fragrant in a way it hasn't been for months, and people are cleaning up the mess left after the storm. And I, blessedly free from storm damage, am back in Regency England, in late winter, wondering whether to give my characters a hail storm…

It seems to me that these freak storms of nature, whether seasonal or unseasonal, are becoming more frequent. What do you think? Had any crazy weather lately? And was there any silver lining?

100 thoughts on “Confusions of the season”

  1. Houston has had snow twice this winter. Compare that to last year when by now, we had had 8 days of above 80 degrees. Definitely weird weather. And I so love your description of the best use for hail – to keep the beer warm!! Definitely a different (but thoroughly valid) perspective down in Oz!

    Reply
  2. Houston has had snow twice this winter. Compare that to last year when by now, we had had 8 days of above 80 degrees. Definitely weird weather. And I so love your description of the best use for hail – to keep the beer warm!! Definitely a different (but thoroughly valid) perspective down in Oz!

    Reply
  3. Houston has had snow twice this winter. Compare that to last year when by now, we had had 8 days of above 80 degrees. Definitely weird weather. And I so love your description of the best use for hail – to keep the beer warm!! Definitely a different (but thoroughly valid) perspective down in Oz!

    Reply
  4. Houston has had snow twice this winter. Compare that to last year when by now, we had had 8 days of above 80 degrees. Definitely weird weather. And I so love your description of the best use for hail – to keep the beer warm!! Definitely a different (but thoroughly valid) perspective down in Oz!

    Reply
  5. Houston has had snow twice this winter. Compare that to last year when by now, we had had 8 days of above 80 degrees. Definitely weird weather. And I so love your description of the best use for hail – to keep the beer warm!! Definitely a different (but thoroughly valid) perspective down in Oz!

    Reply
  6. MJ, snap! By this time last year last year we’d had 6 days in a row of 106 degrees F which led to the worst bushfires in our history. And now we have hail floes. Very weird indeed.
    Are you telling me Texans wouldn’t take a creative approach to cooling beer? I don’t believe it. LOL. It’s kind of a “when life hands you lemons” thing. I love that attitude.

    Reply
  7. MJ, snap! By this time last year last year we’d had 6 days in a row of 106 degrees F which led to the worst bushfires in our history. And now we have hail floes. Very weird indeed.
    Are you telling me Texans wouldn’t take a creative approach to cooling beer? I don’t believe it. LOL. It’s kind of a “when life hands you lemons” thing. I love that attitude.

    Reply
  8. MJ, snap! By this time last year last year we’d had 6 days in a row of 106 degrees F which led to the worst bushfires in our history. And now we have hail floes. Very weird indeed.
    Are you telling me Texans wouldn’t take a creative approach to cooling beer? I don’t believe it. LOL. It’s kind of a “when life hands you lemons” thing. I love that attitude.

    Reply
  9. MJ, snap! By this time last year last year we’d had 6 days in a row of 106 degrees F which led to the worst bushfires in our history. And now we have hail floes. Very weird indeed.
    Are you telling me Texans wouldn’t take a creative approach to cooling beer? I don’t believe it. LOL. It’s kind of a “when life hands you lemons” thing. I love that attitude.

    Reply
  10. MJ, snap! By this time last year last year we’d had 6 days in a row of 106 degrees F which led to the worst bushfires in our history. And now we have hail floes. Very weird indeed.
    Are you telling me Texans wouldn’t take a creative approach to cooling beer? I don’t believe it. LOL. It’s kind of a “when life hands you lemons” thing. I love that attitude.

    Reply
  11. Two weekends ago I drove through sleet, hail, snow,rain, clear skies and fog to visit my new grandson (nothing could stop me, LOL). All in less than 2 hours. We have a saying here, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes.”
    The day before, we’d lost power for hours due to high winds. No computer. No bath. Had to get in my car to charge my cell phone,get warm, buy hot tea. Oddly enough though, February saw the smallest snowfall here in ages, and it’s unnaturally warm for Maine this month so far.
    I worked in a historical society museum for three years, and I came across a diary that began every day with a weather report. Our ancestors had reason to pay attention to the weather. We’re pretty lucky that we can usually come in out of the rain—and hail. 🙂

    Reply
  12. Two weekends ago I drove through sleet, hail, snow,rain, clear skies and fog to visit my new grandson (nothing could stop me, LOL). All in less than 2 hours. We have a saying here, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes.”
    The day before, we’d lost power for hours due to high winds. No computer. No bath. Had to get in my car to charge my cell phone,get warm, buy hot tea. Oddly enough though, February saw the smallest snowfall here in ages, and it’s unnaturally warm for Maine this month so far.
    I worked in a historical society museum for three years, and I came across a diary that began every day with a weather report. Our ancestors had reason to pay attention to the weather. We’re pretty lucky that we can usually come in out of the rain—and hail. 🙂

    Reply
  13. Two weekends ago I drove through sleet, hail, snow,rain, clear skies and fog to visit my new grandson (nothing could stop me, LOL). All in less than 2 hours. We have a saying here, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes.”
    The day before, we’d lost power for hours due to high winds. No computer. No bath. Had to get in my car to charge my cell phone,get warm, buy hot tea. Oddly enough though, February saw the smallest snowfall here in ages, and it’s unnaturally warm for Maine this month so far.
    I worked in a historical society museum for three years, and I came across a diary that began every day with a weather report. Our ancestors had reason to pay attention to the weather. We’re pretty lucky that we can usually come in out of the rain—and hail. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Two weekends ago I drove through sleet, hail, snow,rain, clear skies and fog to visit my new grandson (nothing could stop me, LOL). All in less than 2 hours. We have a saying here, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes.”
    The day before, we’d lost power for hours due to high winds. No computer. No bath. Had to get in my car to charge my cell phone,get warm, buy hot tea. Oddly enough though, February saw the smallest snowfall here in ages, and it’s unnaturally warm for Maine this month so far.
    I worked in a historical society museum for three years, and I came across a diary that began every day with a weather report. Our ancestors had reason to pay attention to the weather. We’re pretty lucky that we can usually come in out of the rain—and hail. 🙂

    Reply
  15. Two weekends ago I drove through sleet, hail, snow,rain, clear skies and fog to visit my new grandson (nothing could stop me, LOL). All in less than 2 hours. We have a saying here, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes.”
    The day before, we’d lost power for hours due to high winds. No computer. No bath. Had to get in my car to charge my cell phone,get warm, buy hot tea. Oddly enough though, February saw the smallest snowfall here in ages, and it’s unnaturally warm for Maine this month so far.
    I worked in a historical society museum for three years, and I came across a diary that began every day with a weather report. Our ancestors had reason to pay attention to the weather. We’re pretty lucky that we can usually come in out of the rain—and hail. 🙂

    Reply
  16. The weather is becoming more severe around the world. We had 3 times our snow in the Washington DC area and people say that disproves global warming. They don’t get the global aspect of it. I fear that weather will be much more of a topic. BBC story today about how Cyprus is turning into a desert. Take care of yourself, please look out the window before you venture. I am glad you came out unscathed and hopefully saved your WIP before the power died.

    Reply
  17. The weather is becoming more severe around the world. We had 3 times our snow in the Washington DC area and people say that disproves global warming. They don’t get the global aspect of it. I fear that weather will be much more of a topic. BBC story today about how Cyprus is turning into a desert. Take care of yourself, please look out the window before you venture. I am glad you came out unscathed and hopefully saved your WIP before the power died.

    Reply
  18. The weather is becoming more severe around the world. We had 3 times our snow in the Washington DC area and people say that disproves global warming. They don’t get the global aspect of it. I fear that weather will be much more of a topic. BBC story today about how Cyprus is turning into a desert. Take care of yourself, please look out the window before you venture. I am glad you came out unscathed and hopefully saved your WIP before the power died.

    Reply
  19. The weather is becoming more severe around the world. We had 3 times our snow in the Washington DC area and people say that disproves global warming. They don’t get the global aspect of it. I fear that weather will be much more of a topic. BBC story today about how Cyprus is turning into a desert. Take care of yourself, please look out the window before you venture. I am glad you came out unscathed and hopefully saved your WIP before the power died.

    Reply
  20. The weather is becoming more severe around the world. We had 3 times our snow in the Washington DC area and people say that disproves global warming. They don’t get the global aspect of it. I fear that weather will be much more of a topic. BBC story today about how Cyprus is turning into a desert. Take care of yourself, please look out the window before you venture. I am glad you came out unscathed and hopefully saved your WIP before the power died.

    Reply
  21. I live in Michigan. This morning, it was 33 and foggy. Now, it’s 52 and sunny. It’s 11am. Later today, it’s supposed to drop to about 38 and brilliant sun and tonight it’s supposed to hit 60 with downpours.
    This is typical for us. Right now, after three days of 50+ temps at some time during the day, my yard is still half covered in snow.
    What I have noticed this past few years is that we haven’t gotten nearly the snow we used to. The terrific amounts the east coast got this year were normal for us for years. Now, not so much.
    I think though it’s the humidity in summer I have the hardest time with. It’s rarely below 70% here and the air usually feels thick, it’s so heavy. After all, I live in a mitten sitting in a bowl of water.

    Reply
  22. I live in Michigan. This morning, it was 33 and foggy. Now, it’s 52 and sunny. It’s 11am. Later today, it’s supposed to drop to about 38 and brilliant sun and tonight it’s supposed to hit 60 with downpours.
    This is typical for us. Right now, after three days of 50+ temps at some time during the day, my yard is still half covered in snow.
    What I have noticed this past few years is that we haven’t gotten nearly the snow we used to. The terrific amounts the east coast got this year were normal for us for years. Now, not so much.
    I think though it’s the humidity in summer I have the hardest time with. It’s rarely below 70% here and the air usually feels thick, it’s so heavy. After all, I live in a mitten sitting in a bowl of water.

    Reply
  23. I live in Michigan. This morning, it was 33 and foggy. Now, it’s 52 and sunny. It’s 11am. Later today, it’s supposed to drop to about 38 and brilliant sun and tonight it’s supposed to hit 60 with downpours.
    This is typical for us. Right now, after three days of 50+ temps at some time during the day, my yard is still half covered in snow.
    What I have noticed this past few years is that we haven’t gotten nearly the snow we used to. The terrific amounts the east coast got this year were normal for us for years. Now, not so much.
    I think though it’s the humidity in summer I have the hardest time with. It’s rarely below 70% here and the air usually feels thick, it’s so heavy. After all, I live in a mitten sitting in a bowl of water.

    Reply
  24. I live in Michigan. This morning, it was 33 and foggy. Now, it’s 52 and sunny. It’s 11am. Later today, it’s supposed to drop to about 38 and brilliant sun and tonight it’s supposed to hit 60 with downpours.
    This is typical for us. Right now, after three days of 50+ temps at some time during the day, my yard is still half covered in snow.
    What I have noticed this past few years is that we haven’t gotten nearly the snow we used to. The terrific amounts the east coast got this year were normal for us for years. Now, not so much.
    I think though it’s the humidity in summer I have the hardest time with. It’s rarely below 70% here and the air usually feels thick, it’s so heavy. After all, I live in a mitten sitting in a bowl of water.

    Reply
  25. I live in Michigan. This morning, it was 33 and foggy. Now, it’s 52 and sunny. It’s 11am. Later today, it’s supposed to drop to about 38 and brilliant sun and tonight it’s supposed to hit 60 with downpours.
    This is typical for us. Right now, after three days of 50+ temps at some time during the day, my yard is still half covered in snow.
    What I have noticed this past few years is that we haven’t gotten nearly the snow we used to. The terrific amounts the east coast got this year were normal for us for years. Now, not so much.
    I think though it’s the humidity in summer I have the hardest time with. It’s rarely below 70% here and the air usually feels thick, it’s so heavy. After all, I live in a mitten sitting in a bowl of water.

    Reply
  26. Maggie, it sounds like you and I live in similarly changeable places., and possibly in Maine the weather is a constant topic of conversation, especially between strangers. I always tell visitors that wearing layers of clothing is the key — you spend the day peeling them off or bundling them on again.
    And yes, our ancestors really had to notice the weather. My grandfather and my mother were both very good at predicting the weather, usually by watching the bees and other insects, I think, as well as the clouds. Whenever I see the native plants in lush, abundant flower I hear my mother saying, “Looks like we’re in for a drought next summer.”

    Reply
  27. Maggie, it sounds like you and I live in similarly changeable places., and possibly in Maine the weather is a constant topic of conversation, especially between strangers. I always tell visitors that wearing layers of clothing is the key — you spend the day peeling them off or bundling them on again.
    And yes, our ancestors really had to notice the weather. My grandfather and my mother were both very good at predicting the weather, usually by watching the bees and other insects, I think, as well as the clouds. Whenever I see the native plants in lush, abundant flower I hear my mother saying, “Looks like we’re in for a drought next summer.”

    Reply
  28. Maggie, it sounds like you and I live in similarly changeable places., and possibly in Maine the weather is a constant topic of conversation, especially between strangers. I always tell visitors that wearing layers of clothing is the key — you spend the day peeling them off or bundling them on again.
    And yes, our ancestors really had to notice the weather. My grandfather and my mother were both very good at predicting the weather, usually by watching the bees and other insects, I think, as well as the clouds. Whenever I see the native plants in lush, abundant flower I hear my mother saying, “Looks like we’re in for a drought next summer.”

    Reply
  29. Maggie, it sounds like you and I live in similarly changeable places., and possibly in Maine the weather is a constant topic of conversation, especially between strangers. I always tell visitors that wearing layers of clothing is the key — you spend the day peeling them off or bundling them on again.
    And yes, our ancestors really had to notice the weather. My grandfather and my mother were both very good at predicting the weather, usually by watching the bees and other insects, I think, as well as the clouds. Whenever I see the native plants in lush, abundant flower I hear my mother saying, “Looks like we’re in for a drought next summer.”

    Reply
  30. Maggie, it sounds like you and I live in similarly changeable places., and possibly in Maine the weather is a constant topic of conversation, especially between strangers. I always tell visitors that wearing layers of clothing is the key — you spend the day peeling them off or bundling them on again.
    And yes, our ancestors really had to notice the weather. My grandfather and my mother were both very good at predicting the weather, usually by watching the bees and other insects, I think, as well as the clouds. Whenever I see the native plants in lush, abundant flower I hear my mother saying, “Looks like we’re in for a drought next summer.”

    Reply
  31. LynS, I think the predictions re global warming are that there will be more extreme weather conditions all around, more storms, more instability. I should have said, in Queensland there are serious floods too, much worse than ours, which was more a feature of the stormwater system being unable to cope with the sudden downpour..
    And yes, I saved my work. In general, I’m pretty good at saving every few minutes, and the moment I heard thunder I saved again.
    Theo I loathe high humidity, too. It can be baking hot and I don’t mind, but give me a mild, humid day and I’m pathetic.
    I love your analogy, living in a soaked mitten. LOL

    Reply
  32. LynS, I think the predictions re global warming are that there will be more extreme weather conditions all around, more storms, more instability. I should have said, in Queensland there are serious floods too, much worse than ours, which was more a feature of the stormwater system being unable to cope with the sudden downpour..
    And yes, I saved my work. In general, I’m pretty good at saving every few minutes, and the moment I heard thunder I saved again.
    Theo I loathe high humidity, too. It can be baking hot and I don’t mind, but give me a mild, humid day and I’m pathetic.
    I love your analogy, living in a soaked mitten. LOL

    Reply
  33. LynS, I think the predictions re global warming are that there will be more extreme weather conditions all around, more storms, more instability. I should have said, in Queensland there are serious floods too, much worse than ours, which was more a feature of the stormwater system being unable to cope with the sudden downpour..
    And yes, I saved my work. In general, I’m pretty good at saving every few minutes, and the moment I heard thunder I saved again.
    Theo I loathe high humidity, too. It can be baking hot and I don’t mind, but give me a mild, humid day and I’m pathetic.
    I love your analogy, living in a soaked mitten. LOL

    Reply
  34. LynS, I think the predictions re global warming are that there will be more extreme weather conditions all around, more storms, more instability. I should have said, in Queensland there are serious floods too, much worse than ours, which was more a feature of the stormwater system being unable to cope with the sudden downpour..
    And yes, I saved my work. In general, I’m pretty good at saving every few minutes, and the moment I heard thunder I saved again.
    Theo I loathe high humidity, too. It can be baking hot and I don’t mind, but give me a mild, humid day and I’m pathetic.
    I love your analogy, living in a soaked mitten. LOL

    Reply
  35. LynS, I think the predictions re global warming are that there will be more extreme weather conditions all around, more storms, more instability. I should have said, in Queensland there are serious floods too, much worse than ours, which was more a feature of the stormwater system being unable to cope with the sudden downpour..
    And yes, I saved my work. In general, I’m pretty good at saving every few minutes, and the moment I heard thunder I saved again.
    Theo I loathe high humidity, too. It can be baking hot and I don’t mind, but give me a mild, humid day and I’m pathetic.
    I love your analogy, living in a soaked mitten. LOL

    Reply
  36. That storm was amazing, Anne, it was all over the telly here. Glad you and Chloe survived relatively unscathed.
    As for extremes, I have to admit, I’m pretty happy to see the back of summer this year. There’s only so much of 40C and baking hot everything that I can handle. Lovely now it’s cooler and we’ve had some blessed rain. Autumn has to be my favourite time of year.

    Reply
  37. That storm was amazing, Anne, it was all over the telly here. Glad you and Chloe survived relatively unscathed.
    As for extremes, I have to admit, I’m pretty happy to see the back of summer this year. There’s only so much of 40C and baking hot everything that I can handle. Lovely now it’s cooler and we’ve had some blessed rain. Autumn has to be my favourite time of year.

    Reply
  38. That storm was amazing, Anne, it was all over the telly here. Glad you and Chloe survived relatively unscathed.
    As for extremes, I have to admit, I’m pretty happy to see the back of summer this year. There’s only so much of 40C and baking hot everything that I can handle. Lovely now it’s cooler and we’ve had some blessed rain. Autumn has to be my favourite time of year.

    Reply
  39. That storm was amazing, Anne, it was all over the telly here. Glad you and Chloe survived relatively unscathed.
    As for extremes, I have to admit, I’m pretty happy to see the back of summer this year. There’s only so much of 40C and baking hot everything that I can handle. Lovely now it’s cooler and we’ve had some blessed rain. Autumn has to be my favourite time of year.

    Reply
  40. That storm was amazing, Anne, it was all over the telly here. Glad you and Chloe survived relatively unscathed.
    As for extremes, I have to admit, I’m pretty happy to see the back of summer this year. There’s only so much of 40C and baking hot everything that I can handle. Lovely now it’s cooler and we’ve had some blessed rain. Autumn has to be my favourite time of year.

    Reply
  41. Sherrie, here. Anne, I’m so glad you didn’t suffer any damage from the storm. And wow, that was some awesome hail! I loved the hailmen and hailballs.
    Here in Washington State, we’ve had the most bizarre weather. Last winter we had record-setting snows. This year we had a mild winter with record-setting high temps. Last month we had high temps with a high of 70 degrees F. Last week was sunny and mild, real shirt-sleeve weather. This week the temps have dropped 40 degrees and we’re having rain, snow, and sleet. Very cold.
    Like you Melbourne folks, we dress in layers here in Western Washington. And like Maggie, we have an old saying: if you can see the mountain (Mt. Rainier), it’s going to rain. If you can’t see it, it’s already raining. In Seattle, you carry sunglasses and a storm stick (umbrella) with you at all times, no matter the season, and most everyone wears a coat with a hood, in case of rain.
    I love weather. Even the extemes, while not fun to experience at the time, provide endless hours of entertainment as we talk about it after the fact.
    Sherrie Holmes, sitting at the computer wearing longjohns and two sweatshirts, plus fingerless mittens, a lap robe, and a cat, trying to keep warm.

    Reply
  42. Sherrie, here. Anne, I’m so glad you didn’t suffer any damage from the storm. And wow, that was some awesome hail! I loved the hailmen and hailballs.
    Here in Washington State, we’ve had the most bizarre weather. Last winter we had record-setting snows. This year we had a mild winter with record-setting high temps. Last month we had high temps with a high of 70 degrees F. Last week was sunny and mild, real shirt-sleeve weather. This week the temps have dropped 40 degrees and we’re having rain, snow, and sleet. Very cold.
    Like you Melbourne folks, we dress in layers here in Western Washington. And like Maggie, we have an old saying: if you can see the mountain (Mt. Rainier), it’s going to rain. If you can’t see it, it’s already raining. In Seattle, you carry sunglasses and a storm stick (umbrella) with you at all times, no matter the season, and most everyone wears a coat with a hood, in case of rain.
    I love weather. Even the extemes, while not fun to experience at the time, provide endless hours of entertainment as we talk about it after the fact.
    Sherrie Holmes, sitting at the computer wearing longjohns and two sweatshirts, plus fingerless mittens, a lap robe, and a cat, trying to keep warm.

    Reply
  43. Sherrie, here. Anne, I’m so glad you didn’t suffer any damage from the storm. And wow, that was some awesome hail! I loved the hailmen and hailballs.
    Here in Washington State, we’ve had the most bizarre weather. Last winter we had record-setting snows. This year we had a mild winter with record-setting high temps. Last month we had high temps with a high of 70 degrees F. Last week was sunny and mild, real shirt-sleeve weather. This week the temps have dropped 40 degrees and we’re having rain, snow, and sleet. Very cold.
    Like you Melbourne folks, we dress in layers here in Western Washington. And like Maggie, we have an old saying: if you can see the mountain (Mt. Rainier), it’s going to rain. If you can’t see it, it’s already raining. In Seattle, you carry sunglasses and a storm stick (umbrella) with you at all times, no matter the season, and most everyone wears a coat with a hood, in case of rain.
    I love weather. Even the extemes, while not fun to experience at the time, provide endless hours of entertainment as we talk about it after the fact.
    Sherrie Holmes, sitting at the computer wearing longjohns and two sweatshirts, plus fingerless mittens, a lap robe, and a cat, trying to keep warm.

    Reply
  44. Sherrie, here. Anne, I’m so glad you didn’t suffer any damage from the storm. And wow, that was some awesome hail! I loved the hailmen and hailballs.
    Here in Washington State, we’ve had the most bizarre weather. Last winter we had record-setting snows. This year we had a mild winter with record-setting high temps. Last month we had high temps with a high of 70 degrees F. Last week was sunny and mild, real shirt-sleeve weather. This week the temps have dropped 40 degrees and we’re having rain, snow, and sleet. Very cold.
    Like you Melbourne folks, we dress in layers here in Western Washington. And like Maggie, we have an old saying: if you can see the mountain (Mt. Rainier), it’s going to rain. If you can’t see it, it’s already raining. In Seattle, you carry sunglasses and a storm stick (umbrella) with you at all times, no matter the season, and most everyone wears a coat with a hood, in case of rain.
    I love weather. Even the extemes, while not fun to experience at the time, provide endless hours of entertainment as we talk about it after the fact.
    Sherrie Holmes, sitting at the computer wearing longjohns and two sweatshirts, plus fingerless mittens, a lap robe, and a cat, trying to keep warm.

    Reply
  45. Sherrie, here. Anne, I’m so glad you didn’t suffer any damage from the storm. And wow, that was some awesome hail! I loved the hailmen and hailballs.
    Here in Washington State, we’ve had the most bizarre weather. Last winter we had record-setting snows. This year we had a mild winter with record-setting high temps. Last month we had high temps with a high of 70 degrees F. Last week was sunny and mild, real shirt-sleeve weather. This week the temps have dropped 40 degrees and we’re having rain, snow, and sleet. Very cold.
    Like you Melbourne folks, we dress in layers here in Western Washington. And like Maggie, we have an old saying: if you can see the mountain (Mt. Rainier), it’s going to rain. If you can’t see it, it’s already raining. In Seattle, you carry sunglasses and a storm stick (umbrella) with you at all times, no matter the season, and most everyone wears a coat with a hood, in case of rain.
    I love weather. Even the extemes, while not fun to experience at the time, provide endless hours of entertainment as we talk about it after the fact.
    Sherrie Holmes, sitting at the computer wearing longjohns and two sweatshirts, plus fingerless mittens, a lap robe, and a cat, trying to keep warm.

    Reply
  46. Anne, so glad you came out the other side of the hailstorm intact.
    One of the joys of our unusually wet Aussie summer is that for the first time in a long time we have full water tanks going into winter. The joy!

    Reply
  47. Anne, so glad you came out the other side of the hailstorm intact.
    One of the joys of our unusually wet Aussie summer is that for the first time in a long time we have full water tanks going into winter. The joy!

    Reply
  48. Anne, so glad you came out the other side of the hailstorm intact.
    One of the joys of our unusually wet Aussie summer is that for the first time in a long time we have full water tanks going into winter. The joy!

    Reply
  49. Anne, so glad you came out the other side of the hailstorm intact.
    One of the joys of our unusually wet Aussie summer is that for the first time in a long time we have full water tanks going into winter. The joy!

    Reply
  50. Anne, so glad you came out the other side of the hailstorm intact.
    One of the joys of our unusually wet Aussie summer is that for the first time in a long time we have full water tanks going into winter. The joy!

    Reply
  51. We say here in LA where I live that we do so have four seasons – fire, mud, earthquake and construction.
    Hail is pretty amazing. In LA we get it maybe once a year or so, when there’s a really cold arctic storm in the area, but it never lasts more than a few minutes and it’s like mite sized ice pebbles which sting if they hit you but wouldn’t break anything. The idea of tennis ball size balls of ice falling from the sky sounds absolutely apocalyptic to me 🙂
    We do have earthquakes though, usually 2 or 3 a year that you would notice if you happened to be in the immediate area – but we all have heard that The Big One is just around the corner, and has been for years. I don’t expect California to become an island or slide into the sea, but the 1994 quake did a lot of (mostly fixable) quake damage and a few people died when an apartment house pancaked. Quakes are directional too – I had a bookcase fly across the room because it was east/west, while things facing north/south didn’t move at all. Maybe I’m naive, but a quake doesn’t seem all that scary to me; it’s over in a minute or two and you’re dead or you’re not. I would find it much more scary to live where there were hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms, snows and heavy rains. But then I don’t live in a city of poorly built buildings.
    Sherrie: I just opened my balcony door because it was too hot in here 😉

    Reply
  52. We say here in LA where I live that we do so have four seasons – fire, mud, earthquake and construction.
    Hail is pretty amazing. In LA we get it maybe once a year or so, when there’s a really cold arctic storm in the area, but it never lasts more than a few minutes and it’s like mite sized ice pebbles which sting if they hit you but wouldn’t break anything. The idea of tennis ball size balls of ice falling from the sky sounds absolutely apocalyptic to me 🙂
    We do have earthquakes though, usually 2 or 3 a year that you would notice if you happened to be in the immediate area – but we all have heard that The Big One is just around the corner, and has been for years. I don’t expect California to become an island or slide into the sea, but the 1994 quake did a lot of (mostly fixable) quake damage and a few people died when an apartment house pancaked. Quakes are directional too – I had a bookcase fly across the room because it was east/west, while things facing north/south didn’t move at all. Maybe I’m naive, but a quake doesn’t seem all that scary to me; it’s over in a minute or two and you’re dead or you’re not. I would find it much more scary to live where there were hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms, snows and heavy rains. But then I don’t live in a city of poorly built buildings.
    Sherrie: I just opened my balcony door because it was too hot in here 😉

    Reply
  53. We say here in LA where I live that we do so have four seasons – fire, mud, earthquake and construction.
    Hail is pretty amazing. In LA we get it maybe once a year or so, when there’s a really cold arctic storm in the area, but it never lasts more than a few minutes and it’s like mite sized ice pebbles which sting if they hit you but wouldn’t break anything. The idea of tennis ball size balls of ice falling from the sky sounds absolutely apocalyptic to me 🙂
    We do have earthquakes though, usually 2 or 3 a year that you would notice if you happened to be in the immediate area – but we all have heard that The Big One is just around the corner, and has been for years. I don’t expect California to become an island or slide into the sea, but the 1994 quake did a lot of (mostly fixable) quake damage and a few people died when an apartment house pancaked. Quakes are directional too – I had a bookcase fly across the room because it was east/west, while things facing north/south didn’t move at all. Maybe I’m naive, but a quake doesn’t seem all that scary to me; it’s over in a minute or two and you’re dead or you’re not. I would find it much more scary to live where there were hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms, snows and heavy rains. But then I don’t live in a city of poorly built buildings.
    Sherrie: I just opened my balcony door because it was too hot in here 😉

    Reply
  54. We say here in LA where I live that we do so have four seasons – fire, mud, earthquake and construction.
    Hail is pretty amazing. In LA we get it maybe once a year or so, when there’s a really cold arctic storm in the area, but it never lasts more than a few minutes and it’s like mite sized ice pebbles which sting if they hit you but wouldn’t break anything. The idea of tennis ball size balls of ice falling from the sky sounds absolutely apocalyptic to me 🙂
    We do have earthquakes though, usually 2 or 3 a year that you would notice if you happened to be in the immediate area – but we all have heard that The Big One is just around the corner, and has been for years. I don’t expect California to become an island or slide into the sea, but the 1994 quake did a lot of (mostly fixable) quake damage and a few people died when an apartment house pancaked. Quakes are directional too – I had a bookcase fly across the room because it was east/west, while things facing north/south didn’t move at all. Maybe I’m naive, but a quake doesn’t seem all that scary to me; it’s over in a minute or two and you’re dead or you’re not. I would find it much more scary to live where there were hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms, snows and heavy rains. But then I don’t live in a city of poorly built buildings.
    Sherrie: I just opened my balcony door because it was too hot in here 😉

    Reply
  55. We say here in LA where I live that we do so have four seasons – fire, mud, earthquake and construction.
    Hail is pretty amazing. In LA we get it maybe once a year or so, when there’s a really cold arctic storm in the area, but it never lasts more than a few minutes and it’s like mite sized ice pebbles which sting if they hit you but wouldn’t break anything. The idea of tennis ball size balls of ice falling from the sky sounds absolutely apocalyptic to me 🙂
    We do have earthquakes though, usually 2 or 3 a year that you would notice if you happened to be in the immediate area – but we all have heard that The Big One is just around the corner, and has been for years. I don’t expect California to become an island or slide into the sea, but the 1994 quake did a lot of (mostly fixable) quake damage and a few people died when an apartment house pancaked. Quakes are directional too – I had a bookcase fly across the room because it was east/west, while things facing north/south didn’t move at all. Maybe I’m naive, but a quake doesn’t seem all that scary to me; it’s over in a minute or two and you’re dead or you’re not. I would find it much more scary to live where there were hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms, snows and heavy rains. But then I don’t live in a city of poorly built buildings.
    Sherrie: I just opened my balcony door because it was too hot in here 😉

    Reply
  56. Autumn is my favorite time, too, Trish. Here the usual weather is clear and sunny by day, crispy cool by night.
    For those who aren’t sure about celsius temperature, when Trish was talking temperatures over 40, that’s 104 degrees F. We’ve been getting a lot more of that kind of hot day in the last few years.
    Sherrie when I went to Seattle many years ago, I loved it and felt right at home — the foodie culture and drizzly weather was very Melbournian. We still have the foodie culture, but the drizzly days are a thing of the past.
    And I love weather, too, love the changes, love the perversity. My b-i-l always boasts about the weather in Sth. Queensland — “beautiful one day, perfect the next,” but I say that’s boring. We have Proper Weather, not some dull, predictable musak kind. 😉

    Reply
  57. Autumn is my favorite time, too, Trish. Here the usual weather is clear and sunny by day, crispy cool by night.
    For those who aren’t sure about celsius temperature, when Trish was talking temperatures over 40, that’s 104 degrees F. We’ve been getting a lot more of that kind of hot day in the last few years.
    Sherrie when I went to Seattle many years ago, I loved it and felt right at home — the foodie culture and drizzly weather was very Melbournian. We still have the foodie culture, but the drizzly days are a thing of the past.
    And I love weather, too, love the changes, love the perversity. My b-i-l always boasts about the weather in Sth. Queensland — “beautiful one day, perfect the next,” but I say that’s boring. We have Proper Weather, not some dull, predictable musak kind. 😉

    Reply
  58. Autumn is my favorite time, too, Trish. Here the usual weather is clear and sunny by day, crispy cool by night.
    For those who aren’t sure about celsius temperature, when Trish was talking temperatures over 40, that’s 104 degrees F. We’ve been getting a lot more of that kind of hot day in the last few years.
    Sherrie when I went to Seattle many years ago, I loved it and felt right at home — the foodie culture and drizzly weather was very Melbournian. We still have the foodie culture, but the drizzly days are a thing of the past.
    And I love weather, too, love the changes, love the perversity. My b-i-l always boasts about the weather in Sth. Queensland — “beautiful one day, perfect the next,” but I say that’s boring. We have Proper Weather, not some dull, predictable musak kind. 😉

    Reply
  59. Autumn is my favorite time, too, Trish. Here the usual weather is clear and sunny by day, crispy cool by night.
    For those who aren’t sure about celsius temperature, when Trish was talking temperatures over 40, that’s 104 degrees F. We’ve been getting a lot more of that kind of hot day in the last few years.
    Sherrie when I went to Seattle many years ago, I loved it and felt right at home — the foodie culture and drizzly weather was very Melbournian. We still have the foodie culture, but the drizzly days are a thing of the past.
    And I love weather, too, love the changes, love the perversity. My b-i-l always boasts about the weather in Sth. Queensland — “beautiful one day, perfect the next,” but I say that’s boring. We have Proper Weather, not some dull, predictable musak kind. 😉

    Reply
  60. Autumn is my favorite time, too, Trish. Here the usual weather is clear and sunny by day, crispy cool by night.
    For those who aren’t sure about celsius temperature, when Trish was talking temperatures over 40, that’s 104 degrees F. We’ve been getting a lot more of that kind of hot day in the last few years.
    Sherrie when I went to Seattle many years ago, I loved it and felt right at home — the foodie culture and drizzly weather was very Melbournian. We still have the foodie culture, but the drizzly days are a thing of the past.
    And I love weather, too, love the changes, love the perversity. My b-i-l always boasts about the weather in Sth. Queensland — “beautiful one day, perfect the next,” but I say that’s boring. We have Proper Weather, not some dull, predictable musak kind. 😉

    Reply
  61. Kelly, celebrations on your full water tanks. I hope my tadpoles are thriving. (In honor of my birthday recently, Kelly named a thousand tadpoles after me, so I’m expecting a thousand little green annes to be hopping around very soon.)
    Janice, that’s the kind of hail we used to get — which is why this was so scary.
    But I must admit, living in earthquake country is not for me. You’re a brave woman, Janice! Give me weather extremes any day.

    Reply
  62. Kelly, celebrations on your full water tanks. I hope my tadpoles are thriving. (In honor of my birthday recently, Kelly named a thousand tadpoles after me, so I’m expecting a thousand little green annes to be hopping around very soon.)
    Janice, that’s the kind of hail we used to get — which is why this was so scary.
    But I must admit, living in earthquake country is not for me. You’re a brave woman, Janice! Give me weather extremes any day.

    Reply
  63. Kelly, celebrations on your full water tanks. I hope my tadpoles are thriving. (In honor of my birthday recently, Kelly named a thousand tadpoles after me, so I’m expecting a thousand little green annes to be hopping around very soon.)
    Janice, that’s the kind of hail we used to get — which is why this was so scary.
    But I must admit, living in earthquake country is not for me. You’re a brave woman, Janice! Give me weather extremes any day.

    Reply
  64. Kelly, celebrations on your full water tanks. I hope my tadpoles are thriving. (In honor of my birthday recently, Kelly named a thousand tadpoles after me, so I’m expecting a thousand little green annes to be hopping around very soon.)
    Janice, that’s the kind of hail we used to get — which is why this was so scary.
    But I must admit, living in earthquake country is not for me. You’re a brave woman, Janice! Give me weather extremes any day.

    Reply
  65. Kelly, celebrations on your full water tanks. I hope my tadpoles are thriving. (In honor of my birthday recently, Kelly named a thousand tadpoles after me, so I’m expecting a thousand little green annes to be hopping around very soon.)
    Janice, that’s the kind of hail we used to get — which is why this was so scary.
    But I must admit, living in earthquake country is not for me. You’re a brave woman, Janice! Give me weather extremes any day.

    Reply
  66. As you have probably heard, the winter in the US this year was anything but normal. We live on the North Carolina/Tennessee border. Many times over the winter we had more snow than my Dad did and he lives on the Canadian border in New York State. We have had some of the coldest, wettest and warmest winter weather in a long time.
    We lived in Colorado Springs for 3 wonderful years. In the Rockies, the weather is very changeable. In the winter, you can get two feet of snow and two weeks later it is gone and it is 70 out. During the summer you can get caught in a blizzard if you are high enough in the mountains. We watched a hail storm move in one summer very much like yours. We watched our beautiful vegetable garden go from being knee deep and lush to a pile of green mush in less than 60 seconds. Then it rained and flooded the neighborhood. Like you, we were at the edge of the storm. On the other side of town, they had golf ball size hail. Unfortunately, that was where the car dealerships were. I don’t think there were any cars on the lots that didn’t have their windows broken and weren’t dented.

    Reply
  67. As you have probably heard, the winter in the US this year was anything but normal. We live on the North Carolina/Tennessee border. Many times over the winter we had more snow than my Dad did and he lives on the Canadian border in New York State. We have had some of the coldest, wettest and warmest winter weather in a long time.
    We lived in Colorado Springs for 3 wonderful years. In the Rockies, the weather is very changeable. In the winter, you can get two feet of snow and two weeks later it is gone and it is 70 out. During the summer you can get caught in a blizzard if you are high enough in the mountains. We watched a hail storm move in one summer very much like yours. We watched our beautiful vegetable garden go from being knee deep and lush to a pile of green mush in less than 60 seconds. Then it rained and flooded the neighborhood. Like you, we were at the edge of the storm. On the other side of town, they had golf ball size hail. Unfortunately, that was where the car dealerships were. I don’t think there were any cars on the lots that didn’t have their windows broken and weren’t dented.

    Reply
  68. As you have probably heard, the winter in the US this year was anything but normal. We live on the North Carolina/Tennessee border. Many times over the winter we had more snow than my Dad did and he lives on the Canadian border in New York State. We have had some of the coldest, wettest and warmest winter weather in a long time.
    We lived in Colorado Springs for 3 wonderful years. In the Rockies, the weather is very changeable. In the winter, you can get two feet of snow and two weeks later it is gone and it is 70 out. During the summer you can get caught in a blizzard if you are high enough in the mountains. We watched a hail storm move in one summer very much like yours. We watched our beautiful vegetable garden go from being knee deep and lush to a pile of green mush in less than 60 seconds. Then it rained and flooded the neighborhood. Like you, we were at the edge of the storm. On the other side of town, they had golf ball size hail. Unfortunately, that was where the car dealerships were. I don’t think there were any cars on the lots that didn’t have their windows broken and weren’t dented.

    Reply
  69. As you have probably heard, the winter in the US this year was anything but normal. We live on the North Carolina/Tennessee border. Many times over the winter we had more snow than my Dad did and he lives on the Canadian border in New York State. We have had some of the coldest, wettest and warmest winter weather in a long time.
    We lived in Colorado Springs for 3 wonderful years. In the Rockies, the weather is very changeable. In the winter, you can get two feet of snow and two weeks later it is gone and it is 70 out. During the summer you can get caught in a blizzard if you are high enough in the mountains. We watched a hail storm move in one summer very much like yours. We watched our beautiful vegetable garden go from being knee deep and lush to a pile of green mush in less than 60 seconds. Then it rained and flooded the neighborhood. Like you, we were at the edge of the storm. On the other side of town, they had golf ball size hail. Unfortunately, that was where the car dealerships were. I don’t think there were any cars on the lots that didn’t have their windows broken and weren’t dented.

    Reply
  70. As you have probably heard, the winter in the US this year was anything but normal. We live on the North Carolina/Tennessee border. Many times over the winter we had more snow than my Dad did and he lives on the Canadian border in New York State. We have had some of the coldest, wettest and warmest winter weather in a long time.
    We lived in Colorado Springs for 3 wonderful years. In the Rockies, the weather is very changeable. In the winter, you can get two feet of snow and two weeks later it is gone and it is 70 out. During the summer you can get caught in a blizzard if you are high enough in the mountains. We watched a hail storm move in one summer very much like yours. We watched our beautiful vegetable garden go from being knee deep and lush to a pile of green mush in less than 60 seconds. Then it rained and flooded the neighborhood. Like you, we were at the edge of the storm. On the other side of town, they had golf ball size hail. Unfortunately, that was where the car dealerships were. I don’t think there were any cars on the lots that didn’t have their windows broken and weren’t dented.

    Reply
  71. Hi Anne. I was in Noosa (tropical Qld) last weekend in steamy, humid heat writing a story about a parched and drought-stricken Outback and then saw the hail storms back home in Melbourne on TV. At the same time Queensland was experiencing the greatest floods in 100 yrs. Made me realize what a very large island we live on.

    Reply
  72. Hi Anne. I was in Noosa (tropical Qld) last weekend in steamy, humid heat writing a story about a parched and drought-stricken Outback and then saw the hail storms back home in Melbourne on TV. At the same time Queensland was experiencing the greatest floods in 100 yrs. Made me realize what a very large island we live on.

    Reply
  73. Hi Anne. I was in Noosa (tropical Qld) last weekend in steamy, humid heat writing a story about a parched and drought-stricken Outback and then saw the hail storms back home in Melbourne on TV. At the same time Queensland was experiencing the greatest floods in 100 yrs. Made me realize what a very large island we live on.

    Reply
  74. Hi Anne. I was in Noosa (tropical Qld) last weekend in steamy, humid heat writing a story about a parched and drought-stricken Outback and then saw the hail storms back home in Melbourne on TV. At the same time Queensland was experiencing the greatest floods in 100 yrs. Made me realize what a very large island we live on.

    Reply
  75. Hi Anne. I was in Noosa (tropical Qld) last weekend in steamy, humid heat writing a story about a parched and drought-stricken Outback and then saw the hail storms back home in Melbourne on TV. At the same time Queensland was experiencing the greatest floods in 100 yrs. Made me realize what a very large island we live on.

    Reply
  76. Patricia, what an amazing statement — coldest, wettest and warmest winter weather”. It’s definitely a sign of the times, isn’t it?
    And Louise, drought and floods at the same time in different parts of the country are often the case, aren’t they? Those Queensland floods are huge — I remember last year when our state and Sth Australia were burning up, and in the north there were floods.
    I was telling some friends in the USA about the poem My Country, by Dorothea McKellar, which so many of us learned in school, and I quoted these verses, which for me, still hit the spot:
    I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
    Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.
    I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
    Her beauty and her terror- the wide brown land for me!
    [And these verses about drought:]
    Core of my heart, my country! Her pitiless blue sky,
    When, sick at heart, around us we see the cattle die –
    But then the grey clouds gather, and we can bless again
    The drumming of an army, the steady soaking rain.
    Core of my heart, my country! Land of the rainbow gold,
    For flood and fire and famine she pays us back threefold.
    Over the thirsty paddocks, watch, after many days,
    The filmy veil of greenness that thickens as we gaze.

    Reply
  77. Patricia, what an amazing statement — coldest, wettest and warmest winter weather”. It’s definitely a sign of the times, isn’t it?
    And Louise, drought and floods at the same time in different parts of the country are often the case, aren’t they? Those Queensland floods are huge — I remember last year when our state and Sth Australia were burning up, and in the north there were floods.
    I was telling some friends in the USA about the poem My Country, by Dorothea McKellar, which so many of us learned in school, and I quoted these verses, which for me, still hit the spot:
    I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
    Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.
    I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
    Her beauty and her terror- the wide brown land for me!
    [And these verses about drought:]
    Core of my heart, my country! Her pitiless blue sky,
    When, sick at heart, around us we see the cattle die –
    But then the grey clouds gather, and we can bless again
    The drumming of an army, the steady soaking rain.
    Core of my heart, my country! Land of the rainbow gold,
    For flood and fire and famine she pays us back threefold.
    Over the thirsty paddocks, watch, after many days,
    The filmy veil of greenness that thickens as we gaze.

    Reply
  78. Patricia, what an amazing statement — coldest, wettest and warmest winter weather”. It’s definitely a sign of the times, isn’t it?
    And Louise, drought and floods at the same time in different parts of the country are often the case, aren’t they? Those Queensland floods are huge — I remember last year when our state and Sth Australia were burning up, and in the north there were floods.
    I was telling some friends in the USA about the poem My Country, by Dorothea McKellar, which so many of us learned in school, and I quoted these verses, which for me, still hit the spot:
    I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
    Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.
    I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
    Her beauty and her terror- the wide brown land for me!
    [And these verses about drought:]
    Core of my heart, my country! Her pitiless blue sky,
    When, sick at heart, around us we see the cattle die –
    But then the grey clouds gather, and we can bless again
    The drumming of an army, the steady soaking rain.
    Core of my heart, my country! Land of the rainbow gold,
    For flood and fire and famine she pays us back threefold.
    Over the thirsty paddocks, watch, after many days,
    The filmy veil of greenness that thickens as we gaze.

    Reply
  79. Patricia, what an amazing statement — coldest, wettest and warmest winter weather”. It’s definitely a sign of the times, isn’t it?
    And Louise, drought and floods at the same time in different parts of the country are often the case, aren’t they? Those Queensland floods are huge — I remember last year when our state and Sth Australia were burning up, and in the north there were floods.
    I was telling some friends in the USA about the poem My Country, by Dorothea McKellar, which so many of us learned in school, and I quoted these verses, which for me, still hit the spot:
    I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
    Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.
    I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
    Her beauty and her terror- the wide brown land for me!
    [And these verses about drought:]
    Core of my heart, my country! Her pitiless blue sky,
    When, sick at heart, around us we see the cattle die –
    But then the grey clouds gather, and we can bless again
    The drumming of an army, the steady soaking rain.
    Core of my heart, my country! Land of the rainbow gold,
    For flood and fire and famine she pays us back threefold.
    Over the thirsty paddocks, watch, after many days,
    The filmy veil of greenness that thickens as we gaze.

    Reply
  80. Patricia, what an amazing statement — coldest, wettest and warmest winter weather”. It’s definitely a sign of the times, isn’t it?
    And Louise, drought and floods at the same time in different parts of the country are often the case, aren’t they? Those Queensland floods are huge — I remember last year when our state and Sth Australia were burning up, and in the north there were floods.
    I was telling some friends in the USA about the poem My Country, by Dorothea McKellar, which so many of us learned in school, and I quoted these verses, which for me, still hit the spot:
    I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
    Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.
    I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
    Her beauty and her terror- the wide brown land for me!
    [And these verses about drought:]
    Core of my heart, my country! Her pitiless blue sky,
    When, sick at heart, around us we see the cattle die –
    But then the grey clouds gather, and we can bless again
    The drumming of an army, the steady soaking rain.
    Core of my heart, my country! Land of the rainbow gold,
    For flood and fire and famine she pays us back threefold.
    Over the thirsty paddocks, watch, after many days,
    The filmy veil of greenness that thickens as we gaze.

    Reply
  81. Anne, we’ve had more snow than usual here in the Northeast US. But still, it was nothing horrible. Our friends in the Washington DC were hit way harder.
    I moan and groan about the snow, but I do remember when I was growing up, we had WAY more blizzards and cold weather. It was rarely to see the grass before late March. Things have shifted, and I’m not complaining, mind you. For some reason, our little corner of the country has dodged really awful freak storms. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed it stays that way.
    Glad you emerged from your storm relatively unscathed!

    Reply
  82. Anne, we’ve had more snow than usual here in the Northeast US. But still, it was nothing horrible. Our friends in the Washington DC were hit way harder.
    I moan and groan about the snow, but I do remember when I was growing up, we had WAY more blizzards and cold weather. It was rarely to see the grass before late March. Things have shifted, and I’m not complaining, mind you. For some reason, our little corner of the country has dodged really awful freak storms. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed it stays that way.
    Glad you emerged from your storm relatively unscathed!

    Reply
  83. Anne, we’ve had more snow than usual here in the Northeast US. But still, it was nothing horrible. Our friends in the Washington DC were hit way harder.
    I moan and groan about the snow, but I do remember when I was growing up, we had WAY more blizzards and cold weather. It was rarely to see the grass before late March. Things have shifted, and I’m not complaining, mind you. For some reason, our little corner of the country has dodged really awful freak storms. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed it stays that way.
    Glad you emerged from your storm relatively unscathed!

    Reply
  84. Anne, we’ve had more snow than usual here in the Northeast US. But still, it was nothing horrible. Our friends in the Washington DC were hit way harder.
    I moan and groan about the snow, but I do remember when I was growing up, we had WAY more blizzards and cold weather. It was rarely to see the grass before late March. Things have shifted, and I’m not complaining, mind you. For some reason, our little corner of the country has dodged really awful freak storms. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed it stays that way.
    Glad you emerged from your storm relatively unscathed!

    Reply
  85. Anne, we’ve had more snow than usual here in the Northeast US. But still, it was nothing horrible. Our friends in the Washington DC were hit way harder.
    I moan and groan about the snow, but I do remember when I was growing up, we had WAY more blizzards and cold weather. It was rarely to see the grass before late March. Things have shifted, and I’m not complaining, mind you. For some reason, our little corner of the country has dodged really awful freak storms. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed it stays that way.
    Glad you emerged from your storm relatively unscathed!

    Reply
  86. Cara, I’d always imagined that the Northeast US was very cold and snowy in winter — interesting that your area is generally milder now than before. The effects of global warming aren’t simple or straightforward, are they?
    Peg, yes, they have hail in England. I guess you’ve never read about it because authors haven’t had a reason to have it hail. Most precipitation in books happens for plot reasons. Otherwise it’s usually sunny and mild.

    Reply
  87. Cara, I’d always imagined that the Northeast US was very cold and snowy in winter — interesting that your area is generally milder now than before. The effects of global warming aren’t simple or straightforward, are they?
    Peg, yes, they have hail in England. I guess you’ve never read about it because authors haven’t had a reason to have it hail. Most precipitation in books happens for plot reasons. Otherwise it’s usually sunny and mild.

    Reply
  88. Cara, I’d always imagined that the Northeast US was very cold and snowy in winter — interesting that your area is generally milder now than before. The effects of global warming aren’t simple or straightforward, are they?
    Peg, yes, they have hail in England. I guess you’ve never read about it because authors haven’t had a reason to have it hail. Most precipitation in books happens for plot reasons. Otherwise it’s usually sunny and mild.

    Reply
  89. Cara, I’d always imagined that the Northeast US was very cold and snowy in winter — interesting that your area is generally milder now than before. The effects of global warming aren’t simple or straightforward, are they?
    Peg, yes, they have hail in England. I guess you’ve never read about it because authors haven’t had a reason to have it hail. Most precipitation in books happens for plot reasons. Otherwise it’s usually sunny and mild.

    Reply
  90. Cara, I’d always imagined that the Northeast US was very cold and snowy in winter — interesting that your area is generally milder now than before. The effects of global warming aren’t simple or straightforward, are they?
    Peg, yes, they have hail in England. I guess you’ve never read about it because authors haven’t had a reason to have it hail. Most precipitation in books happens for plot reasons. Otherwise it’s usually sunny and mild.

    Reply
  91. Sherrie, here. Anne, I laughed re your comment about writing, say, a winter scene, and then you get all shocked when you go outside and it’s the middle of summer. I’ve had the same thing happen.
    And you’re so right about Seattle. Yes, we are a foodie and coffee culture here, quite the Yuppie and granola population. We’re rich in cultural diversity, with a heavy emphasis on the Arts. I think we must have more writers and artists and musicians per capita than any other area!
    I loved that poem about Australia! I can get really sentimental and patriotic, and always well up when they sing the Star Spangled Banner before sports games and other important events here in the US. But I welled up reading your poem. It was so heartfelt.
    Janice, you hush your mouth! While I sat here freezing my patootie, you were opening your doors because it was too hot! Well, last night the rains came, and as often happens here in the Seattle area, when it rains, it warms up. So I slept with my slider open and kicked off the extra blanket I’d thrown on my bed the week before. Still too warm, so I pulled of my nightclothes and slept in the buff. I have a huge bouquet of bright yellow forsythia and vivid pink quince branches in a large vase on my kitchen counter, reminding me that spring is just around the corner.

    Reply
  92. Sherrie, here. Anne, I laughed re your comment about writing, say, a winter scene, and then you get all shocked when you go outside and it’s the middle of summer. I’ve had the same thing happen.
    And you’re so right about Seattle. Yes, we are a foodie and coffee culture here, quite the Yuppie and granola population. We’re rich in cultural diversity, with a heavy emphasis on the Arts. I think we must have more writers and artists and musicians per capita than any other area!
    I loved that poem about Australia! I can get really sentimental and patriotic, and always well up when they sing the Star Spangled Banner before sports games and other important events here in the US. But I welled up reading your poem. It was so heartfelt.
    Janice, you hush your mouth! While I sat here freezing my patootie, you were opening your doors because it was too hot! Well, last night the rains came, and as often happens here in the Seattle area, when it rains, it warms up. So I slept with my slider open and kicked off the extra blanket I’d thrown on my bed the week before. Still too warm, so I pulled of my nightclothes and slept in the buff. I have a huge bouquet of bright yellow forsythia and vivid pink quince branches in a large vase on my kitchen counter, reminding me that spring is just around the corner.

    Reply
  93. Sherrie, here. Anne, I laughed re your comment about writing, say, a winter scene, and then you get all shocked when you go outside and it’s the middle of summer. I’ve had the same thing happen.
    And you’re so right about Seattle. Yes, we are a foodie and coffee culture here, quite the Yuppie and granola population. We’re rich in cultural diversity, with a heavy emphasis on the Arts. I think we must have more writers and artists and musicians per capita than any other area!
    I loved that poem about Australia! I can get really sentimental and patriotic, and always well up when they sing the Star Spangled Banner before sports games and other important events here in the US. But I welled up reading your poem. It was so heartfelt.
    Janice, you hush your mouth! While I sat here freezing my patootie, you were opening your doors because it was too hot! Well, last night the rains came, and as often happens here in the Seattle area, when it rains, it warms up. So I slept with my slider open and kicked off the extra blanket I’d thrown on my bed the week before. Still too warm, so I pulled of my nightclothes and slept in the buff. I have a huge bouquet of bright yellow forsythia and vivid pink quince branches in a large vase on my kitchen counter, reminding me that spring is just around the corner.

    Reply
  94. Sherrie, here. Anne, I laughed re your comment about writing, say, a winter scene, and then you get all shocked when you go outside and it’s the middle of summer. I’ve had the same thing happen.
    And you’re so right about Seattle. Yes, we are a foodie and coffee culture here, quite the Yuppie and granola population. We’re rich in cultural diversity, with a heavy emphasis on the Arts. I think we must have more writers and artists and musicians per capita than any other area!
    I loved that poem about Australia! I can get really sentimental and patriotic, and always well up when they sing the Star Spangled Banner before sports games and other important events here in the US. But I welled up reading your poem. It was so heartfelt.
    Janice, you hush your mouth! While I sat here freezing my patootie, you were opening your doors because it was too hot! Well, last night the rains came, and as often happens here in the Seattle area, when it rains, it warms up. So I slept with my slider open and kicked off the extra blanket I’d thrown on my bed the week before. Still too warm, so I pulled of my nightclothes and slept in the buff. I have a huge bouquet of bright yellow forsythia and vivid pink quince branches in a large vase on my kitchen counter, reminding me that spring is just around the corner.

    Reply
  95. Sherrie, here. Anne, I laughed re your comment about writing, say, a winter scene, and then you get all shocked when you go outside and it’s the middle of summer. I’ve had the same thing happen.
    And you’re so right about Seattle. Yes, we are a foodie and coffee culture here, quite the Yuppie and granola population. We’re rich in cultural diversity, with a heavy emphasis on the Arts. I think we must have more writers and artists and musicians per capita than any other area!
    I loved that poem about Australia! I can get really sentimental and patriotic, and always well up when they sing the Star Spangled Banner before sports games and other important events here in the US. But I welled up reading your poem. It was so heartfelt.
    Janice, you hush your mouth! While I sat here freezing my patootie, you were opening your doors because it was too hot! Well, last night the rains came, and as often happens here in the Seattle area, when it rains, it warms up. So I slept with my slider open and kicked off the extra blanket I’d thrown on my bed the week before. Still too warm, so I pulled of my nightclothes and slept in the buff. I have a huge bouquet of bright yellow forsythia and vivid pink quince branches in a large vase on my kitchen counter, reminding me that spring is just around the corner.

    Reply

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