Tag Archives: NOWM2015

Sights, Sounds, & Smells around EIU’s Woody Panther Trail #SOL #NOWM #EIU


The perfectly blue sky after a midnight thunderstorm.

The sound of a gentle rain–not from clouds but rather from the two fountains in the pond.

A small tanker truck pumping maybe water out of the baseball dugout–EW! Nope, it’s pumping out the porta-potties behind the dugout.

The standing water on the low sides of the trail trying to escape into the already swampy grass; the footprints that I am following sunken into muddy middle.

The whistle blowing to start the football players on their down and back runs.

The metronome clucking the beat for the hundred drum majors learning a new cadence.

The encouraging high five from a friend and fellow jogger; the smile and “Good morning!” From a fellow walker who I only see during summer laps around the trail.

The pin pricks of pain on my calves from the sunny dry gravel that I kick up after walking through the shady wet gravel.

The buzzing chirps of the summer locusts, and my relief that it isn’t the din of the thirteen-year cicadas.

The startled caws of the crows as the grounds crew attempts to mow the swampy grass.

The drum majors practicing high steps and precise 90 degree turns.

The friendly wave from another groundskeeper making me feel welcomed and safe.

The gentle rain of the fountains framed by the perfectly blue sky.


How humid is it? Let me tell you! #NOWM


Last week, I wore jeans. Twice. Early July in the Midwest, and I wore jeans TWICE. Those of you in the Midwest and the Mississippi River valley understand how astounding this was. And, tongue-in-cheek, we’ve had 100% humidity most of June and the first weeks of July because it has rained most days. But yesterday, summer arrived. Mother Nature whipped her head 180 degrees to switch off the Seattle-like weather and body slam us with a stereotypical Midwest summer. Honestly, you open the door and walk into a curtain of thick heat. One does not do a ladylike glow; one does a very manly dripping sweat within moments.

So how humid is it? The picture of my kitchen window is not of dirt streaks. That’s condensation between the fifty-year-old storm window and untempered-glass window. My entire back wall, kitchen to family room (my fifty-year-old house was built as an open concept long before it was trendy), is nearly floor-to-ceiling windows that face into the woods behind my house. It’s a wonderful view that’s easy to take for granted until we see a deer, or a fox, or a turkey, or our cat hunting voles. Or until I walk downstairs on a very humid day and cannot see clearly out the window. That window is my barometer to the humidity.

Here’s hoping to clear views very soon!