Monday, January 25, 2010

The Omen

I posted this to my facebook account when it actually happened, but I figured I'd share on the blog the good omen I found while eating at El Toro Mexican Restaurant (best mexican food in town, and a must eat when back in Champaign-Urbana). It feels like an Illinois kind of year... it just has to be... and this omen was sent my way. While feasting on chips and salsa waiting on my pair of burritos to come out, I pulled this guy from the pile in exactly this condition:

That's pretty remarkable if you ask me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Freezing Fog Day Two

After shooting the freezing fog yesterday, I was thinking all night about how cool it would have been to get some blue sky and sunshine to really light that ice up. I woke up this morning, and almost as if mother nature heard my calling last night, the fog and low level clouds eroded quickly over northern Illinois and the sun was shining in the bathroom window as I woke myself up. I threw a couple brown sugar and cinnamon pop-tarts in the toaster and downed some orange juice and was out the door for another poke around the country. Much different today as I could actually see ten feet in front of me. Yesterday was spent driving around much of the area that is covered by the new large wind farm in southern DeKalb and Ogle Counties, however I only actually saw two of the windmills with my own eyes yesterday. Today was much different!

This would be, walking over a ditch and not realizing it, and then having the snow give way under your feet.

Puma's, while excellent shoes, are not the proper foot ware for traipsing through snowy ditches.

It wouldn't be right without at least one wind mill shot. It just wouldn't.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Freezing Fog in northern Illinois

Day after day of dense fog conditions with temperatures in the upper 20s is now making itself known in northern Illinois and I'm sure surrounding areas. Didn't seem to be freezing in central Illinois, but I made my way back north last night and things are different up here. I had planned on getting up around sunrise to set out before things melted. Once my alarm sounded, it became apparent that freezing fog is not on the level of importance that a storm chasing day, or class might be and did not warrant my early rise and I quickly shut off my alarm and went back to bed. I woke up on my own a few hours later, and decided it did not look amazing outside anymore with no substantial accumulations but decided to head out anywhere. As per usual, I picked up a 32 oz. coke, gassed up the car and was on my way out. I quickly realized things were more interesting than they had appeared out my front window. I spend about an hour walking around the Northern Illinois Univ. campus here in DeKalb, but even that did not do it justice. I then hopped on I-88, and then I-39 south a few miles to the Highway 30 corridor in Ogle and DeKalb Counties were I had quite a bit of luck finding some incredible accumulations from the fog.

Looking south down the road into the fog, with substantial freezing fog accumulations to the left.

This was one of the coolest sights. The fog accumulating on little grass blades on the side of the road.

Pretty cool old building that I stumbled upon.

The pine trees really piled on the ice.

Perhaps I'm weird, but I just find this really fascinating. How much time it must take FOG to accumulate this much on a branch.

Kind of like an ice storm, but not.

Western sides absorbed the brunt of the moisture in the light west winds, while eastern sides were shielded.

Unharvested corn from the fall getting in on the action as well.

Nice little 4 hour local "chase" and saw something new today, at least to this extent.