Monday February 15th 2021
After rain overnight the day began cloudy and dull. The forecast called for the weather front that had been hanging around to the north and west for a couple of days to pass through the area in the evening. The day was supposed to be dry with a few sunny breaks. They got the sunny breaks part right, but they seemed to usher in a brief and heavy storm. There were two half hour cloud bursts during the afternoon.
Tonight the area is under a tornado watch and a severe thunder storm warning. As I’m writing this blog entry I can hear thunder in the distance, but the rain hasn’t arrived yet. Areas to the north briefly had the tornado watch changed to a warning, but it expired quickly. I’m watching the weather radar on my phone. I haven’t been in this area long enough to interpret the TV weather people. If you don’t know the weather talkers tendencies or track record it is very difficult to tell if they are overselling danger. Some get real excited about wind and lightening while others only seem to react when their fancy weather software identifies a possible tornado from the radar images. Others seem to operate on the theory of “it is better to scare people than risk being accused of not providing readily available information”.
I began my day with another post breakfast visit to the observation tower. The park is still in holiday weekend mode, so there were more people competing for a place on the tower than I like. I spent long enough to scan the prairie. Only a single wild horse was near enough to be sure what I was looking at. Other people were looking at bison that I’m pretty sure were bushes. Hopefully tomorrow the crowds will be gone and I can hang out watching for more animals.
Between the showers I got in two walks to the day use area at Lake Wauburg. A pair of photogenic herons entertained my camera both times. Here are a couple of pictures of each.