Monthly inventory

Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis genera). Boca Raton, FL, October 3, 2014.

October is a month of transition here in south Florida. The wet days of the rainy season start to taper off, giving way to the first few cooling breaths of our short-lived autumn, eventually to be followed by the drier and steadier days of our wintertime dry season (which usually arrives around November). That doesn’t mean it won’t rain; we still get appreciable rainfall in this last month of the wet season, but the rains are punctuated by spells of drier, cooler weather, that is much welcomed after the long, hot days of summer.

The first […]

Tropical Storm Isaac: warm and wet, but not bad. At least here.

All week long I’ve been watching the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac, waiting, holding my breath, hoping that I wouldn’t have to put up shutters at two houses. And today, at long last, the track is clearly going elsewhere.

History of Tropical Storm Isaac, from Wunderground.

This morning was actually so nice (at least, it was nice until the tornado watch was posted) that Daniel and I went puddle-jumping between rain bands. Our neighbor has the perfect driveway: concrete, slightly below the street paving, so the puddle there gets a good couple of inches deep. Just right for splashing.


Hunter’s Moon 2011

October 11, 2011 Full moon

October’s full moon this year, the Hunter’s moon, occurred at 10:06 p.m. EDT, about 9 hours before it reached apogee (Oct 12 7:44 a.m. EDT, distance 406 434 km). Local conditions here in south Florida were a bit of a challenge; I had to set up under clouds and hope for a break in the clouds near the time of full moon, which is when I wanted to take the picture. After all, it isn’t often that the moon is exactly full at a convenient time for picture-taking.

Some things fell in my favor: I had completed my field battery […]

It’s all a plot…


Every now and then I take a look at the data in my weather center to see how things are going. Have we gotten a lot of rain this year, or a little? Has the weather finally cooled off?

One thing I hadn’t done before is just look at the overnight data and see what happened. When I did so, I noticed that something interesting occurred between 2 and 4 AM. The data in the plot below should help you figure out what it was. (You might need to click for the full version to really see it; the legend […]

International Observe the Moon Night — except here in south Florida

I take full responsibility for our area being unable to participate in today’s International Observe the Moon Night. I had been trying to set up my battery-powered telescope mount for last month’s full moon when I discovered that my battery would no longer hold a charge. So I scoured the Internet for plans, found lots of good ideas, and eventually cobbled together a deep-cycle marine battery and a 12V outlet strip, so my scope is fully capable of observing whatever there might be to observe. Now here’s a satellite picture of my area:

Sorry, guys!


And this was a small storm…

Fallen tree, crown. Boca Raton, FL, June 30, 2011

I’d been complaining about the lack of rain at our house recently, while the rest of the state, it seemed, was getting their fair share. Well, yesterday we got our fair share. 1.65 inches of rain according to my weather station, and wind gusts of 50 mph.

That’s not too bad, you say? Well, my next-door neighbor might disagree:

#gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } Fallen tree, base. Boca Raton, FL, June 30, 2011 Fallen […]

Is it really here?

What a difference from Monday to Friday:

Temperature: 69°F Relative Humidity: 47% Heat index: 67°F

More rain in the 2 days preceding this cold front than we got in all of October, and now the weather’s turned beautiful.

Looks like autumn has finally come a’knockin’!

November 1 update

Temperature: 87°F Relative humidity: 67% Heat index: 95ºF. Feels like summer, but we only got .34 inches of rain in October. By the thermometer, it’s the wet season. By the rain gauge, it’s the dry season. Which one is right? Or, more to the point, when will autumn begin?

Weather station humor

According to my Vantage Vue weather station,

It’s raining cats n dogs

Pretty technical lingo, huh? Here’s the radar picture that accompanies it:

I guess Davis Instruments has a sense of fun, in addition to making some really cool gadgets…

The in-ixorable march of progress

People often wonder how they can help reduce their consumption of resources. Whether this question arises out of a laudable desire to help conserve our planet, or an equally laudable desire to help conserve one’s financial capital, the answer, at least sometimes, is to go native. This January, for example, we got a good lesson in the value of native plantings. The picture below is a non-native, but very pretty, flowering shrub in the genus Ixora.

Beautiful, isn’t it? Here’s a close-up of one of the flower clusters:

These flowers attract countless bees and other pollinators, […]