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Squirrel antics

Posted on April 7th 2010 by Amy in Funny, Nature, Weather

I can’t believe it, but the forecast for tomorrow is calling for a wintry mix – that means SNOW! Why, just last week our neighborhood squirrel was too hot to even stand up straight!

We watched this cutie scoot around on the ground for a while, foraging and eating while remaining flat on its stomach.

In the end she scampered off, so we think she was just trying to keep cool.

If you think this is cute, you won’t believe what I got to do last week – feed a baby squirrel!

Cold winter

Posted on January 8th 2010 by Arthur in Life in America, Weather

We’ve been having a couple of cold weeks here recently, with temperatures some days not getting above 15°F (-10°C) during the day and getting below 0°F (-20°C) during the night. In the last 24 hours we had over a foot (31 cm) of snow here. We just spent a good half hour clearing our driveway this morning, which was a lot of fun. 🙂 I hope the mailman can reach our mailbox today.

We’ve lived here for a year now and I’ve been comparing our utility costs to what we paid for gas, electricity and water back in Holland when we lived in Leiden. We have our heater on a lot more here because of the cold weather, but we still use about the same amount of gas here as we did in our old house. The reason for this is that our old house in Leiden (which was built in 1915) had lots of leaks and our current house is very well insulated. But, our total gas costs are about five times less than what we paid in Holland!

Another big difference with utilities here is that our gas and electricity companies (two different companies) come by once per month to read our meters, which are on the outside of our house. In Holland our gas and electricity came from the same company and they only came by once per year to check the meters. They calculate the average and you pay a fixed monthly price. At the end of the year you’d have to pay the difference or get money back. Our utility companies here come by 23 more times in a single year than they did in Holland, yet gas is 5 times cheaper and electricity is quite a bit cheaper too. It’s also quite nice to get a monthly bill for exactly how much we used. The bill has a historical graph on it too, and we can even see how much the previous tenants used over the last years to compare.

Spring Snowstorm

Posted on March 29th 2009 by Arthur in Illinois, Weather

Just as we thought we’d seen the last snow for a while, we wake up to another winter wonderland. One week into spring and we had an overnight snowfall of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) here in northern Illinois. March had been very mild until now, with temperatures in the 70s (20oC+) in recent weeks, but it looks like we have to get our shovels out one more time. Springtime snowstorms are hardly out of the ordinary in Chicago. The record for total snowfall in March is 23.1 inches in 1926 and the record for total snowfall in April is 13.6 inches, back in 1938.


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Bing! Six More Weeks of Winter

Posted on February 2nd 2009 by Arthur in Illinois, Weather

Woodstock Willie, Chicagoland’s most famous weather prognosticator, saw his shadow today in Woodstock and predicted six more weeks of winter. 🙁 The ceremony on Woodstock Square took place this morning shortly after 7am, after several days of events including a tour of the filming sites. Willie emerged from his tree stump (after we saw his handler put him in 15 minutes earlier, and the groundhog almost escaped!) and gave the bad news to Woodstock Mayor ­Brian Sager.

Mayor Brian Sager finds out if Willie saw his shadow

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It is way too cold

Posted on January 16th 2009 by Arthur in Weather

We are having more record cold weather. It hasn’t been this cold here in northern Illinois since 1996. Schools are closed and they’re advising people to stay inside. Right now it’s -17oF / -27oC with wind chills hovering as low as -35oF / -37oC. I haven’t felt this cold ever, it’s quite extraordinary. We just did a little experiment outside with boiling water. From a spray bottle the water instantly evaporates in the dry air and some of it shoots out as ice. Boiled water thrown out from a pan gives the same effect.


Deep Freeze

Posted on January 5th 2009 by Arthur in Photos, Weather

We have another cold front coming in here in the next few days, with several snow showers. Also in my native country of the Netherlands they are having very low temperatures these days. There’s a great post on The Big Picture today of all things frozen around the world, which includes this nice picture of Dutch skaters:

Skating in the Netherlands

Bird Prints

Posted on December 23rd 2008 by Arthur in Birds, Weather

It’s been snowing here all day and the forecast is more snow until 6pm tomorrow. Not so great for all those people that still have Christmas shopping to do! The roads around here were a mess today. When we got home we found hundreds of little bird prints on the porch. Looks like they had quite a party while we were gone. 😉

Bird prints

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Arby talks to starlings

Posted on December 21st 2008 by Amy in Personal, Weather

Arby discovered a small group of Common Starlings perched on a wire close to the house. The temperature outside is hovering 0 °F around so the birds are probably huddling close to the house for warmth.

When Arby gets really excited he chatters. It’s like he’s trying to talk to the birds. Here’s a short video of him chattering:

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Snow Day

Posted on December 19th 2008 by Arthur in Life in America, Weather

Everything outside is beautifully white and quiet from the 20cm blanket of snow that fell this morning. The normally busy road outside the house is much more quiet as fewer cars are carefully driving on the slick roads. I don’t think that I have seen so much snow since our trip to Evenstad in 2002.

We just made a fun walk to our nearby grocery store. What follows below is a series of photographs with highlights from that same walk this morning:

Not so busy road

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Posted on December 18th 2008 by Arthur in Personal, Weather

We drove around with our new car today and went up to an outlet mall just over the border in Wisconsin. We each bought some nice shoes at the Columbia store there. 🙂

We had lots of little icicles on our car this morning:

Car Icicles

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