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Showing posts from July, 2012

Take Your Weather Station Mobile:  Android Update

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In February, 2011, I posted instructions for creating a mobile app to display data from your personal weather station.  At the time, I was working with an iPod Touch so the instructions applied only to iOS devices.  Basically, the app will post the data you upload to your Weather Underground account.  They provide two URL's for accomplishing this:

i.wund.com for iOS devices (e.g. iPhones)

m.wund.com for other mobile devices

At the time, I wasn't sure how the second URL would work as I only had an iOS device.  Now, I have a Nexus 7 tablet so I can update the instructions for the Android OS.

At left is a screenshot of my Nexus 7 home screen.  The icon for my weather station app is in the red circle.  Screenshots are easy with the Nexus 7.  Simultaneously press the power and lower volume buttons.   It will go "plink" and put the image where you specify.


Since this was an Android device, I tried the URL m.wund.com first.  While it worked fine, the data from somebody else&…

Fog and Thunder

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8:51 AM, Temp 54.3° F, Dew Pt 53.7° F, Barometer 29.96 in, Wind Calm, Humidity 98%


South Fidalgo woke to fog this morning and to make it more interesting, it was accompanied by thunder.  I don't recall experiencing fog and thunder at the same time before.  It seemed very strange.  But lately, our weather has been strange in general.

Yesterday brought thunder and lightning to western Washington for the entire day.  More than 1,500 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were counted. ABald Eagle was killednear Lake Stevens when a lightning bolt brought down a big Douglas Fir.  Some areas got large hail and intermittent rain squalls rolled through the entire area.

When I lived in Iowa, this would have been normal summer weather, but for here, this is very unusual.  The cool Pacific Ocean nearby normally stabilizes the atmosphere and prevents the conditions required for electrical storms.

Driving home from work last night, I crossed the flat, open farmlands of the Skagit Valley.  I had a p…

Skywatch Friday: Liftoff

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From Wild Fidalgo, a Bald Eagle lifts off from a hunting perch on the western shore of Similk Bay.  The bird flew across the bay to Skagit Island where there may be a nest site.  I often see them heading over there.  The most interesting thing in the sky this day was the wildlife.  






Skywatch Friday:  Sunrise

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At the break of dawn over Skagit Bay, the early summer sun casts a golden light on the garden.


Red-flowering Currants Bearing Fruit

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This is Red-flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum), one of the great flowering shrubs native to the Pacific Northwest.  I captured this photo last March while hiking the Bowman-Rosario Nature Trail in Deception Pass State Park.  They love growing in the sunny forest edge along the bluff over Bowman Bay.  They can also be found growing at Lighthouse Point, on the sunny side of Deception Pass itself.  Like Oregon Grape, they begin blooming in early March.  Both are welcome signs of spring.  The flowers will persist into June.

Red-flowering Currants also grow in my yard as they are indigenous to the property.  I have both nursery stock ('Claremont' and 'King Edward VII') and wild plants that came up voluntarily.  They have been reliable bloomers enjoyed by bees and hummingbirds, but I had never seen them bear fruit.  Until this year...


For the first time, I have discovered fruits beginning to swell on the plants in my yard.  Both wild plants and cultivars are producing be…

Prunus Cerasifera?

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I believe I have identified my one remaining mystery plant:  Prunus cerasifera, or Cherry Plum.  Recall that this was a small, attractive shrub that came up wild in the yard (left).  I spotted a bigger one growing on the bluff further up the beach (right).  It is apparently happy with a seaside location in the dry, sandy, rocky glacial soil of South Fidalgo.  An arborist who will be doing some work on my big firs put me on the right track to get it identified.  As usual, if the ID is not correct, or if it can be confirmed, please let me know.


Click on the photos to view larger versions.  New leaves open red.  As they mature, they become more bronze, and later greenish. Garden varieties produce nice pinkish-to-white flowers in early spring, but mine has never bloomed.  The photos I found of leaves also show them more uniformly purple.  I think it is not unusual for random seedlings of cultivated plants to differ in appearance from the parent.

I have now learned from experience that pla…