As a Midwest gardener I need to keep up with the weather. Do I need to water today? Do I need to stake up some plants because they're likely to blow over shortly? Should I quickly take a bunch of photos before the hailstorm shreds all of the lovely large leaves?

Although not strictly part of my garden, I love taking photos of what's above it. I love clouds!

Because of the slope of the land and view-blocking trees, we can only see the sky directly above us, and through this one gap to the Southeast. This cloud was reflecting so much light that it was impossible to look at -- much too bright! The camera could handle it though.

We do get to see a lot of really impressive clouds during the summer. Sometimes they're scary and threaten to damage the garden, but often they're just isolated storms that form in the distance.

Stormclouds like this that form east of us usually won't come our way (it's very rare to have storms or strong winds come from the East, but it does happen).

It's really interesting to see the storm in these photos change over time. Each of these was taken about 15 minutes apart.

Here are a couple of other recent cloud photos taken in the last month or so through this same gap in the trees. The first is a stormcloud catching the last rays of the setting sun:

This one is of a strong storm that came through:

It always freaks me out slightly when I see clouds like this -- they look so close to the ground!

I've got dozens of really interesting cloud photos taken over the last few years, and I'll probably put together a post of them later this summer... maybe when one of those big storms hits us.

Now I'll abruptly switch from looking up to looking down...

MoleMeter 2010 mole capture count: 11

This was a small one -- I suspect it's a young mole that's just recently struck out on its own.

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