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Makin’ the Scenes 19/04/2018

Posted by zoidion in Climate, Event, forecast, Hellenistic, History, homesteading, Long Emergency, Mundane, Photography, Weather.
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When I announced a book project — Scenes from a Tapestry — on the Capricorn solar ingress, gittin’ ‘er dun by the Aries ingress seemed a reasonable expectation. That would have been neat, in more ways than one. Alas, I had not sufficiently considered the cosmic indications in relation to my own nativity. January was a no-go month. In February, I got into it in earnest, and revved it up in March — even more in early April. Noting the approach of the initial publication date, I shifted to no-days-off mode.

Take it from me: Putting together a book is an intense mental and emotional process. “In the zone,” I called it. There are so many decisions to make, and at a certain point a phenomenon called “decision fatigue” is apt to set in.

That point was at hand — or, more properly, at brain — on 15 April: the occasion of both a Mercury station (concluding the main part of a three-week Mercury retrograde period) and a New Moon in close conjunction with Uranus. The pressure and accompanying inspiration of that late-March / early April stretch were a necessary part of the process.

On that date, I found myself dancing and shouting: I did it! I did it! (Fully cognizant of a great deal of help along the way.) I at last had settled on final versions (second-guessing still ahead) of the text, written an introduction, generated the seventy-five charts, and chosen and tweaked twelve accompanying photographs. I was now ready to turn over my accumulated work — in the form of a preliminary layout — to my designer and typesetter: the one between writer / photographer and printer.

Most likely, I’ll experience a great deal of relief when that vast collection of 1s and 0s is converted to intelligible ink on paper. What I can share with you now is the full table of contents, the bulk of it divided into two sections (as indicated at the Capricorn ingress announcement): articles previously published on this blog, revised and edited; and new material to fill in perceived gaps in the previous material, along with perhaps worthy additions.

And so, without further adieu:


Roots to Branches

Reused and Recycled

1. Eclipsed
2. Surviving the Future
3. Shadow across America
4. Storm Watch
5. The Storm that Stopped the Boom
6. El Nino
7. Angry Flood
8. Dilma’s Downfall
9. Green Revolution
10. Peak Oil Power Play
11. Lovely Day
12. The Year without Summer
13. Indexing Weather
14. Golden Days
15. Every Day
16. Fracking Awful
17. Death of a Shalesman
18. Failure to Forecast
19. Rain Bombs Away
20. Planets and Civilizations
21. A Marked Life
22. Life of a Muse
23. Passing of a Challenger
24. Drought to Deluge to . . .
25. Derecho
26. Sandy Lands
27. Kaleidoscopic Journey
28. Season Shift
29. Zombie Ideology

New and Improved

1. Season summaries
a. Spring (2014)
b. Summer (2017)
c. Fall (2017)
d. Winter (2016)
2. Where the Wild Winds Were
3. Sahara Snow
4. Comes a Chastening
5. Fearful Prelude
6. Dark, Light
7. Back to the Future
8. Repression and Renewal

Key to Photographs


Spring Snow 02/04/2018

Posted by zoidion in forecast, Weather.
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By some point in February, the snow was knee-deep in a lot of places where one might want to walk. It was the season of pathways, which gets me to feeling a bit crazy and restricted: Walking strictly on pavement just doesn’t do it for me. So around that time I started an alternate tromping path through the back yard, in part so I could assess how much damage the rabbits were doing to the raspberry patch: a lot.

As March arrived, the snowfall eased off, and with a higher sun angle the melting could proceed. That month provided a good, gradual meltdown, allowing much of the water to go into the ground. Some years the paved path through the backyard has been an inch or two under water during the melt.

By late March I was starting to see biennials and perennials coming to life in the patches of bare ground: sorrel, mullein, Culver’s root. Then, a few days later, comfrey. Every morning, it seemed, the cardinals were issuing their piercing chirps at the very first light. Happiness: renewal.

Through much of March, there were enough clear skies to afford frequent sightings of planets: Jupiter, Mars and Saturn before dawn, Venus and, once, Mercury after sunset. Plus the waxing and now waning of Luna.

The weather at the moment of the Aries solar ingress was a harbinger: light snow, a light north wind, temperature at the freezing mark, solar radiance visible.


The return of snow came on the Full Moon of 31 March, which occurred locally a little while after sunrise, with Uranus exactly on the ascendant and water zoidion Cancer on the lower meridian. That is a sure astrological prescription for colder, wetter weather dominating the week ahead.


The back yard received about three inches of heavy, sticky snow, much of which melted under a day-and-a-half of sun that followed, though the temperature attained only a few degrees above freezing. Areas about an hour’s drive north received as much as eleven inches. There’s been a whole lotta grumbling going on: This is too much like an old-fashioned winter.

Today, tonight, tomorrow: more snow.

The week following the fourth-quarter Moon on the fifteenth looks no more to the liking of would-be gardeners: Venus at the lower meridian promises moisture, as a cluster of Luna, Mars, Saturn and Pluto rises in cold Capricorn.

It’s looking like we may have ourselves an April such as we had in 2013: very nearly eighteen inches of snow, more than in any of the previous four months. I remember some of the weirdness: reports of large flocks of migrating birds on the ground on whatever bare, south-facing slopes they could find.

Looking some more at the season chart, I suspect it will be a slow-warmup season, with little in the way of surges of heat around here before mid-June: New Moon on the thirteenth on the ascendant. Mid-April brings a New Moon conjunct Uranus, which is at the midpoint of upper meridian and ascendant — I take that as a signal for a late cold wave.

Some weather watchers look at the bigger picture of the Northern Hemisphere, and point to the continued warming of the Arctic region. Whatever cold air there is has to go somewhere.


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