Out in the Outdoors

Michael V. Calcagno Photography

On a recent weekend in Massachusetts’s Berkshire County I spent some time hiking in the hills. I rediscovered an abandoned Hippy bus from the 60s that had sunk into the ground a foot or so since its demise. The engine had long since been removed and most of the windows either smashed or boarded up. It’s rusting green paint and fading words still remain. A surprising lack of graffiti but abundance of empty beer bottles and cans. Devoid of life, it nicely mirrored the yet to blossom trees as well as the roads and houses waiting to be populated with vacationing families and tourists.

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Signal Hill

Raising the Bar Strength & Conditioning

It was an almost magical, perfect afternoon up on Signal Hill. Chilly, mind you, but lovely. We headed up to find a geocache and I took the camera and tripod along for the ride.

The clouds were fluffy and full and the place was crawling with people. It was gorgeous, though.

We have a couple of geocaches in the area that needed spring maintenance (new log sheet, new swag or a complete replacement) and took the opportunity to grab a couple of new hides that we’d not yet found. It was a lovely walk and the clouds were just breathtaking. Got some caches tidied up, too, which was something ticked off my “to do” list.

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Jolene's Life in Focus

I feel like I’ve been weathering a storm since around St. Patrick’s Day. One thing after another has gone wrong, but I have to take accountability for my actions. I could have made some better choices. Ultimately, I keep letting people into my life who end up hurting me. I end up losing my temper instead of holding my tongue. I say out loud what everyone else keeps to themselves. I create the storm.

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March 18, 2012 Tornadic Supercell Thunderstorm

Life Through the Lens

As a long-time meteorologist and professor, I have been captured by the beauty and awesome power of thunderstorms and severe weather. While I don’t storm chase as much as I have in the past, I still take a few opportunities each storm season to venture out across the Great Plains of the United States to personally view the fury and beauty that can be unleashed in nature.

A recent, successful venture occurred on March 18, 2012 which included a slight risk of severe weather across western Oklahoma and northwest Texas. I was a passenger along for the ride with Mason Rowell and Doug Crauder. We intercepted a slow moving and slow developing storm near Hollis, OK and watched it evolve from an unorganized conglomerate of individual updrafts into a consolidated, strong, rotating updraft and supercell thunderstorm.


As the storm moved northeast we redeployed east and eventually to a point northwest…

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