A truck stands idling in front of the café, spewing diesel fumes, while its driver is having lunch inside. That scene from John Steinbeck's novel, "The Grapes of Wrath," won't be playing out with city-owned vehicles in Oakwood. This Hall County community has been making intense efforts toward resource conservation.
Going from air conditioning to heating, and back again, is common in North Georgia's changeable weather. The problem with this is the fact that chilled air behaves very differently than heated air.
Nov. 1, 1755, started out with a fine morning. Bright sunshine and balmy temperatures greeted churchgoers as they prepared to celebrate All Saints Day.
Vacationers at the Florida Coast and at the Great Lakes had a good chance to see a waterspout this season. Because of its close resemblance to a tornado, a waterspout can look really frightening. What makes it so distinctly visible is the column of water that's hurled upward by the swirling wind.
An emerging trend across the nation is the designation of "blueways." In spring 2012, the Department of the Interior initiated a system of waterways with boat launch points and camping sites, intended to protect the natural landscape while at the same time allowing for recreational uses such as paddling and kayaking.
Anybody hoping for another dry, parched summer this season must have been disappointed.
Residents of Calgary, Alberta, will be digging out from the mud for weeks to come. Torrential rains resulted in massive flooding that started on June 20. Some areas, including the Saddledome, a popular hockey venue, were submerged to a height of 15 feet.
Railroads are an excellent means for experiencing the scenic beauty of mountain regions. Suitable for an afternoon excursion, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is within two hours' drive from Gainesville. Board the train in Bryson City, N.C., for a trip deep down into Nantahala Gorge.
Among the video footage of the Moore, Okla., tornado of May 20 available online now, some scenes shot while the twisters were touching down are disturbing. You see cars on the road and traffic patterns that look quite normal, except for the huge funnel approaching in the background.
Boats leak from the bottom. But a house can leak from the top or the bottom.
North Georgia's summer climate is often called "hot and humid." But that's not really accurate. There are times when it's warm and humid, and other times when it's hot and dry.
Among reports of the massive destruction that the May 20 tornado unleashed on the towns of Newcastle and Moore, Okla., some stories stand out as a message of encouragement. With a reported width of up to 2 miles, the massive twister destroyed two elementary schools. Nine children died at Plaza Towers Elementary.
May 17 was a day of odd contrasts. At Cornelia's beautiful old railroad station, three train enthusiasts were standing next to the track with top-quality cameras, waiting to take photos of the approaching northbound Norfolk Southern. The familiar mustang logo on the lead engine rolled by, followed by additional locomotives and a very long chain of flatbed cars carrying containers.
California Highway 58, east of Bakersfield, presents some truly astounding sights. It's still a rare occurrence here in Georgia to see more than one wind turbine. At Tehachapi Pass on Cal. 58, there are 5,000 of them.
Spirits were high but clouds hung low during graduation ceremonies on the Brenau campus a week ago. Commenting on the light rain that was falling, Brenau President Ed Schrader said, jokingly, "according to the weather radar on my computer, these rain clouds don't exist."
You're doing your Christmas shopping. Traffic is heavy. On the main streets, two or more lanes are completely filled with cars. Slow forward movement in your lane ensures a stop at every traffic light.
Most North Georgia homeowners have had this unpleasant experience. You step into the garage or some other room with outside walls after a cold night, and are greeted by a waterfall coming out of the drywall. After turning off the water supply at the meter and using every available towel to mop up the lake that has formed, there are two immediate goals: Fix the damage, and do something that will prevent this from happening again.
"This place is awfully cold. I hope it's not like this all the time."
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