After a Dark and Snowy Week…

The sun comes out to blind me to brighten our days.  But the snow, and ice (which is still snow to Texans) was a fun and dramatic change from our sunny 60’s (sometimes 80’s!) winter.

The Dallas metroplex is one of those areas when the weatherman says, “Snow.”

We say, “Yeah, right!”

And when he still says, “SNOW!”

We say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Well, we believed! We believed last week and we believed this week. The magical ice and snow and allllll the blustery cold things happened. We broke out the gloves and scarves. We made chili (well, my sweet hubby made super, yummy, delicious chili). And most of the household had many wonderful snow days away from the office and school.

Except for me…because…I work for a travel agency. Even better, I supervise the EMERGENCY SERVICE Department of said travel agency. And what do you know? Snow storms and flight cancellations seem to top the #1 EMERGENCY of travelers. Huh.

But you know, with the skidding and sliding of planes off runways and such. Yeah, that. It’s kind of important that they CANCEL these precarious flights, lest you end up crashing into a ditch, screaming as you plunge down a blow-up slide while highly flammable jet fuel LEAKS nearby. So not the winter vacation you were hoping for. This is why I am happy to work snow days and keep you extra safe. You’re welcome.

But fingers crossed, someone has snuffed out that darn ground-hog and it WILL FORtheloveofGODplease be Spring real, real soon.

In the meantime, enjoy my lovely (and rare) SNOW photos. It happened. It really did.

Deep in the Cold Heart of Texas

It’s the great flash freeze of December 2013.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

And when this happens?

This happens!

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

And even though, I work from home and don’t get any “ice” days. I do get to enjoy my kids and pets on their “ice”. It is amazing what one can accomplish during a lunch hour.

These two cuties never fail to amuse.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

Cable lines, and no, our cable, nor electricity went out.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

You can’t have an ice day without our furry friends. Clothed in love, and maybe embarrassed a bit, but hey, that’s okay. They were compensated for their troubles with lots of snuggles and treats.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

Anna in her Santa hat. You think she is cute now; you should see her in her elf suit.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

Salem in her ugly sweater.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

Nothing says, “Texas”, more than sliding down the yard and driveway on a cardboard box top. Sleds? We don’t need no stinking sleds!

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

The girls had so much fun.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

Hours upon hours of playing outside.

And that box top? Well, I found its remnants on the floor of the garage. It wasn’t pretty. May it rest in peace.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

The flash freeze left color in full bloom.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

And happy children.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

This slick stuff has lasted four days and the store shelves are empty. But fear not, I bring tidings of good news….the icicles are finally starting to melt.

I guess we will stay on the map after all and we should be open soon, ya’ll.

The Cold of Winter

Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while. ~Kin Hubbard

Yes, it’s still winter.

It will be still be winter tomorrow, and the next day. No matter how many sunny and 70-degree days happen to tease us come our way…..

It’s still winter.

© Angelia's Photography

And it’s still cold.

DSC_8470 copy

A blast of ice and snow hit the metroplex yesterday morning. It surprised me awake at 6am when my husband says those magical words we don’t often hear in Texas, “It’s snowing outside.”

Which means….I jerk awake, and jump out of bed, because I don’t want to miss it before it is gone. Plus, I might get some more snow pictures for my collection.

© Angelia's Photography

And I will admit, the snowfall itself is pretty weak, but the sleet…..THE ICE… is fierce. Thankfully, it doesn’t last too long. AND, it is not below freezing. Right at freezing, but not below.

© Angelia's Photography

Still…..I feel pretty bad for all the commuters. Iced overpasses are a real nightmare. And not many can drive across them, they more or less, skate and crash. Or go super slow and get stuck. It is quite the dance on sleety mornings. Trust me, I have done my time. Almost twenty years of commuting across the city. It is not pretty.

© Angelia's Photography

But the white crystals are pretty, at least, I like to admire them when I don’t have to commute. I have a new appreciation for the freezing rain and I view it through my lens.

I took photos in the ice and snow….before it melted away by noon.

Project 52 - Week 3 - Mini

And it DID melt, but not before I got my Project 52 photo. It’s a mini-snowfall for the mini-theme this week (and look there are mini-berries too). Lots of great entries this week on Flickr Ellenburg Photography Group for Project 52. Stop by or join in on the fun any time.

That is our week so far.

How is yours?

If you chase a storm, be prepared to catch it.

Tuesday night in Texas, the weather spiraled out of control. Dark descended during the daylight hours. A tornado watch was in effect, and to Jason and I, it appeared to be just a wee bit to the North of us. By wee, I mean, across the freeway. But we were totally safe from that, right?!? We decided to pick up some BBQ a few miles from the house. We kept our eyes on the dark, and noted the wind whipping the trees leaves, uh, up – straight up.

The dark and light wanted to mix, but it wasn’t quite there when we entered the BBQ place. However, the news on inside big screen showed several rotating masses a little north, and a little west. TORNADOES! Whoa.

We weren’t too worried. I grew up in Oklahoma. I knew tornado skies. As a child, and young girl, I had made many runs to the cellar, and even saw one touch down from a hill about five miles away. This was close, but outside was not green, nor tinted in any way. It was dark across the street, but not a funny color.

After getting our order to go, I noticed the outside coloring had changed. It was GREEN. It was tornado color. The clouds were churning above us, but still the black stuff was a road away, however the light poles in the parking lot shook, and creaked with the straight winds. I would not want to be parked under those.

The feeling in the air was just eerie.

We checked the sky again. We checked the radar on our iPhones. It was incredible to be this close, and on the edge of such a massive storm that developed out of nowhere. And it was mean.

Tornado clouds

I did not have my big guns camera, nor my big guns lens. I had my first DSLR and it had a 35mm prime lens on it. I carry it, because it’s small and light.

Tornado Clouds

That said, the pictures really don’t do it justice. There was so much more detail with the eye. You could see clouds moving west and the clouds moving north at the same time.

What happened next, I really can’t explain. We got in the car and drove toward it.

Driving into the storm

Marveling at the colors and the air; marveling at the storm that was right there. We could have turned around and headed towards home (run to the light!), but we didn’t.

We kept going.

Just to see.

See what?

The light. The clouds. Maybe a tornado?

Jason took this picture out the car window. It’s not the best photo, but does represent what we were seeing as we traveled into the storm.

I’ll admit. We felt like storm chasers. We watched the sky. We watched the road. When I asked if we should turn around, he said to keep going just a little farther. That’s when we saw a cloud start to knit together – right in front of us. Slowly, it churned as it built a funnel wall. A tornado was descending before our very eyes (and car). I was so busy watching that, I didn’t notice we drove into a debris cloud. I didn’t notice other swirling masses going vertical. Don’t worry, I was definitely turning around at that point. We were in dangerous territory. Thing is, there wasn’t a PLACE to turn around. I was officially FREAKED out. A funnel was over our heads, dirt and trash, flying all around and above us. The air looked like we were in a war zone. You could barely see in front of the car.

We got to the turn around in the median, at this point, my hair was standing end. We drove (quickly) the other way about a half mile and stopped with the other crazy people storm chasers. All of them were on their cell phone taking pictures.

We found the tornado(s).

Funnel Cloud

I was a little shocked we did. I mean, we haven’t storm chased before. I don’t even watch that TV show. Although, the movie Twister was one of my favorites. But we caught up with it – for real.

Funnel Cloud

These were not well-organized or large tornadoes (they were trying). They were over the city dump and picking up a lot of junk (heh!).

Funnel Cloud over dump

And don’t get me wrong, I was glad to be south of them and not UNDER them.

After they moved on, the masses departed from our storm watching party. As we headed home, the rains came. When you see live tornadoes and raging skies of hot and cold, you get something else……hail.

The raindrops were HARD on the car and i knew it was coming. We pulled into driveway (with our BBQ) and ran for the door.

Not much after that, a few minutes, we get these raining down, and thankfully, they were very small compared to other parts of town that got baseball to softball size hail (broken windshields and all).

Hail Storm

Our backyard in the hail storm.

Hail Storm

The storm moved on after the hail. I believe it’s the same system that gained steam and hit Oklahoma. We were very lucky. I have never seen anything like it.

These storms systems and weather patterns seem to be getting worse and worse.

Is mother nature taking revenge? Did the Japan earthquake shake her up?

All I know is, if you chase a storm, be prepared to catch it. I think we may eat-in next time.