30 September 2008

Leef Peepers!!! FAAAALLLLL!!!!!!

Fall Color Could Be Best in Years

Right combination of weather and terrain makes Missouri a popular destination for leaf peepers

Story written by Jeff Huffman
Story posted on September 30, 2008

The heavy morning dew and crisp chill in the air this morning was a sure sign that autumn is here. Many of you probably consider it your favorite time of year. And along with football, playoff baseball, and those bright yellow mums comes another spectacular sight - the changing colors of our foliage.


Missouri is one of the better states in the country to experience nature's kaleidoscope in the fall. We seem to have the right mix of hilly terrain and deep vegetation, along with just enough highway infrastructure to make it very convenient for leaf peeping. On average, our leaves in Mid-Missouri are the brightest in mid to late October; more specifically, October 20th. The peak usually occurs a bit sooner in the mountaneous terrain of the Ozarks (see map below), where the hilltops provide more shade and cooler nighttime temperatures. The right combination of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp nights we often have in the month of September really increases the chances for some post-summer splendor.

Map showing when the leaves are usually at their peak in color around the U.S.


The color in Mid-Missouri over the past two years has been rather disappointing, to say the least. In both years, drought conditions and extreme late-summer heat resulted in very dull color. However, this year, conditions seem to be favorable for a very vibrant display! The abundant rainfall during the latter half of our summer, combined with the cooler than normal temperatures we had in August, have resulted in very healthy vegetation this fall. The recent trend of mild, dry weather has allowed the process of change to take full effect. If we continue to see normal rainfall and relatively mild temperatures through mid-October, we should have one of the best shows from mother nature that we have seen in quite some time. There are only two obstacles I see that might get in our way of seeing this year's masterpiece: high winds and/or an early season frost. There are signs that the weather pattern may be quite active around the middle of October, possibly sending some high winds our way that would cause leaves to fall before they change entirely. They just aren't as fun to look at in a pile waiting to be bagged, are they? Another negative is that, along with the active weather pattern, may come an early season blast of cold enough air to produce frost. The weight of a frost or freeze on the leaves before they change color would also almost certainly lead to premature leaf drop.

As of today, we expect this year's peak to occur a bit earlier than normal due to the unseasonably cool weather developing over the next week or so. It is also possible that the color change will occur more rapidly than normal due to the anticipated cloudier days forecasted for the second week of the month (the more active period described above). Therefore, leaf peepers are encouraged to be on stand by during the week of October 12th for their annual trips, with the possibility of our peak occuring by the following weekend (18-19). However, different trees do change color at different times during the season making it possible to see good color spread over multiple weeks.

We will keep you updated on the fall foliage as it develops, along with the forecast, on our Stormtrack Blog. For more information on this year's statewide forecast, please visit the Missouri Department of Conservation's website.


Healthy leaves need plenty of moisture and sunlight - but not too much - for photosynthesis and chlorophyl production (which gives the leaves their dominant green color). As the days get shorter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can't see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll. The bright reds and purples we see in leaves are made mostly in the fall. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves turn this glucose into a red color. The brown color of trees like oaks is made from wastes left in the leaves. It is the combination of all these things that make the beautiful colors we enjoy in the fall.

Misty Mules

The mule team on a misty September morning. I fixed my blog! The side bar is now on the side where it's supposed to be!
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29 September 2008


Why is my side bar on the bottom? ...huh... BLOGGER, fix it!!!

28 September 2008


This is the book we're reading in my women's bible study (the one with the study guide though). I have to say it is very convicting and inspiring. Tozer wrote it to encourage his generation to passionately pursue God, because he saw how content and lazy his generation of Christians had become (hmmm...what would he say about our generation?).

Here is an exert from one of his prayers - he wrote it when he was ordained as a minister:
...Save me from bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house. Lay Thy terror upon me, O God, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping. teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Ug...did he write that with me in mind?

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My Boyfriend, the gentleman

My boyfriend is quite the gentleman. Today as he was getting in his car to drive back to Fayetteville, he noticed one of my tires was flat. So he changed the tire, and put on the spare for me. Then he followed me to Sams to make sure I made it safely. Poor fellow, he'll be late getting back to Fayetteville tonight!

First Stop - Eagle Bluff Nature Conservation area

We had a picnic!

The Missouri River

Critter 1

Critter 2
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Les Bourgeois Vinyard

Just outside of Columbia, there's this little winery. Part of it is called the A-frame...it's a series of terraces with picnic tables and gardens centered around a little A-frame building that sells picnic lunches. It overlooks the Missouri River valley. It's really pretty! There were butterflies flitting around.

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Smoker wasn't near what the 2nd years made it out to be. We didn't really get hazed, but there was a lot of beer. They sat the first years down and showed some slide shows, poked fun at our professors, and passed out beer after beer. I only drank one, which tasted roughly of watery bread. Gross.... After the video, everyone went outside and smoked cigars. They gave bubble gum cigars to everyone who refused to smoke (ie...me and some friends). However those that did smoke and drink....Some of my classmates were pretty trashed. I suppose Saturday wasn't the best of days for them. Before I left Smoker, someone was already throwing up in the bathroom...and the tradition of someone stripping at Smoker had been upheld (BLEH!!). There are some people who are going to be mad at themselves when classmates show them pictures of what they did. Just say no! Poor kids...

Bubble Gum cigars

Chase came! Yay!

My lab group!

It's a fun group.
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26 September 2008


Here's another layout using Tara Dunstan products. I still need to upload it to DST, but I can't make up my mind if it's finished or not. Mostly used the So Tweet Kit..also Colourful Coasters, Chalky Checks (alpha), and Another White Alpha. Font is of course DJBkatieM.

I'm so happy it's Friday! This week wasn't bad at all, but I feel behind again! I'm starting to think it's impossible to keep up. One DAY of Anatomy puts me WEEKS behind. Studying the heart makes my head spin. However, Chase is coming to visit and that makes it all better....hehe...except I won't get as much done this weekend. Tonight is Smoker....I suppose if it's not to traumatic I'll blog about it later. I'm not really looking foward to it, but they (the ambigous they) tell the us (the VM1 students) it isn't that bad....
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25 September 2008

Week 5 layout!=

Of course I used mostly Tara Dunstan products for this (because she's the best designer out there). Full Credits in DST

I'm about to run off to the anatomy lab today. I hate anatomy! I like the lecture part ok...but then the actually memorizing every single structure just seems ridiculous and overwhelming. It looks like I'm more of a physiologist than an anatomist. From what I can tell, the two groups don't always get along. My physiology professors are always saying something along the lines of "well, here's the physiology lesson in anatomy" and this is normally only a summary of structure instead of the in depth crap I have to learn in anatomy. Ugh...looks like I'm not going to be an orthapedic surgeon (not that I wanted to). But who knows...maybe I'll catch on to this anatomy stuff yet...
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23 September 2008

This Week

So it's almost Wednesday, and despite my solemn vows to keep up with material this week...I find myself just getting behind again! Monday night I went to Wal-mart and cooked dinner. Tonight I did my bible study stuff. When you get out of class at 5, it makes it hard to fit everything in the evening. I need to go to bed at ten in order to stay awake through my classes. That leaves only 5 hours for walking and feeding Gary, taking a shower, cooking dinner, and eating. 5 hours goes by so quickly! GEEZE...how can I fit everything I want to do in one evening??

In other news, I rocked my physio test. Phyiology is one of those things that makes sense. Thank goodness something in vet school does!

21 September 2008

Test tomorrow...

Well, I hope I'm ready for my physiology test. I really need to learn how to keep up with my material. I feel like I'm only putting out fires instead of preventing them, but it's hard to keep up with the sheer volume of material presented! So I'm going to try really, really hard to keep up! "Do or do not; there is no try" However, I'm not sacrifing my sanity and every minute of every day to keep up. Hopefully my best will be good enough! Ug.... how come I start the week already tired of studying? Thank goodness for Fridays!
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Random Scrapping Chatter (study break)

I've basically been studying all day. I've been keeping track of the time spent studying just like you would check in and out of work. So I can see just how much time I really study (and waste on "breaks" that last a little too long). In other news, I just turned 22. Twenty two...I'm getting old!! I treated myself to some more scrapping supplies, which is a major obsession. I need more scrapping supplies about as much as I need a hole in the head. What a really need is more hours in the day and a corresponding increase of energy, but you can't buy more time!

So scrapping chatter...Lately I've been in a Gina Miller mood (link to the side). Her papers are just gorgeous. I bought her newest fall kit, " Spiced Pumpkin" which I have hopes of using for the Young Professionals church group's fall outing to the pumpkin patch (http://www.callawayfarms.com/) . Yup...YP will be making a trip to a local pumpkin patch. HOOORAAAYYY!!! Pumpkins and gourds are some of my favorite things along with corn mazes, hayrides, and bonfires! I can't wait!!! Fall is my favorite season :)

The beautiful papers...

The fun elements.

I also bought these...super pretty semi-solids.

and the rustic gingams which remind me of fall.

Gina Miller just had another baby (baby Grace) and so she's having a sale to celebrate. So there's my birthday present for myself. Unfortunately, my scrapping budget is about used up for the year. That's ok...it's not like I don't have plenty to keep me entertained!

Just FYI - most of the link for my favorite scrapping stores are in the sidebar - Gina Miller, Tara Dunstan... You can get some great free kits from Shabby Princess too. They are high quality and good to start off with! http://www.shabbyprincess.com/downloads.asp

**Edit: Looks like the rain got the pumpkin patch. Darnit! I guess the maze will still be fun...
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17 September 2008

This Breaks My Heart of Stone

http://www.redmountainchurch.org/rmm/alb/HOSclips/Track01.mp3 <-- listen We sang this at church and I thought it was just beautiful. The lyrics are so powerful.
Jesus let thy pit’ing eye
Call back a wand’ring sheep;
False to thee like Peter I,
Would fain like Peter weep;
Let me be by grace restored;
On me be all its freeness shown;
Turn and look upon me, Lord
And break my heart of stone.
And break my heard of stone.

Savior, Prince enthroned above,
Repentance to impart,
Give me through thy dying love,
The humble, contrite heart.
Give what I have long implored,

A portion of thy love unknown
Turn and look upon me Lord,
And break my heart of stone.
And break my heart of stone.

Look as when thy pit’ing eye,
Was closed that we might live;
"Father” at the point to die,
My Savior cried, “Forgive”.
Surely with that dying word.
He turns and looks and cries “Tis Done”
O my loving, bleeding Lord,
This breaks my heart of stone.
This breaks my heart of stone.

my little poetry book..

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re-did the quitting page..didn't like it before

Tara Dunstan's Foxymoron kit and Melissa Bennett's scalloped mat
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Keep Your Dreams

Yeah...I don't know what's up with the poetry phase...
Gina Miller's kit "Wonderland" and scalloped mat by Melissa Bennett.
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On a Certain Religious Argument

More poetry by...Edgar Guest

On A Certain Religius Argument

Argue it pro and con as you will,
And flout each other with words,
But the rose will bloom and the summer still
Will bring us the song of birds.

How was He born who came to earth,
With the Godlight in His eyes?
Wrangle and quarrel about His birth,
And yet you shall not be wise.

And what does it matter? The clover blows
And the rose blooms on the tree,
And only the God in heaven knows
How these things come to be.

You take the flower though you cannot say
Why this is red or white,
You accept the warmth of the sun by day
And the light of the stars by night.

You joy in a thousand mysteries
Which your wisdom can't explain,
The green of the grass and the rolling seas
And the gold of the harvest grain.

So why do you bother your heads at all?
And why does your faith grow dim?
You take the flower on the garden wall,
So why will you not take Him?

15 September 2008


So how did my anatomy test work out today? Well I studied all of Saturday and Sunday and I think I squeaked by with a passing grade, but not much better (C maybe?). The lab part was more difficult than I thought, but the lecture was easier. I completely froze on the muscles of the lower limb...deep digital flexor, extensor carpi radialis....yuck they all blended together. Unfortunately most of the test consisted of naming those darn things. I don't know how I did on those, but I don't expect to recieve a good grade on the practical. The lecture I know I made at least a C..so that means I'm in good shape for passing anatomy. I think I'll do better on the next anatomy exam. Although I didn't do as well as I would like on the first one, I learned from my mistakes. Next time I'll keep up w/ the lecture and be more aggressive learning structures in the lab. Now to move on to the next exam on Wednesday....Microanatomy. I'm just glad I don't have to have a rabies shot this Friday too! It would stink to have to have a rabies shot on my birthday!

More Layouts I can finally post

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Scrapbook pages

So I can finally post these! Tara Dunstan is now selling at Funky Playground too. Go Tara! Full credits for these are available in DST...or they will be soon.

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14 September 2008


So the panic regarding anatomy has for the moment subsided leaving a quiet determination in its wake. As long as I continute to ace the quizzes I need a 75% exam average for a B, 63% for a C, and a 51% for a D. Anatomy will not be the end of my vet school career. I will persevere!

Another poem

Scallops =Melissa Bennett, papers = Vera Lim, Elements =Bren Boone
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Poetry to get me through...esp the first one

Gina Miller papers. Tara Dunstan elements...and melissa bennet scalloped frame thing

M. Bennett frame, everything else from Tara Dustan..I'll put better credits up at DST when I'm not about to be slaughtered by an anatomy test.
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