Since 2004, I have created a paper-based Washington weather calendar for family, friends, and a few loyal Capital Weather Gang readers. Every year, I include recent weather photos that I post on this blog.
For the second year in a row, I have created an eCalendar version of the paper calendar. The eCalendar can be downloaded here. It’s a PDF calendar that has text labels for Washington’s historic weather events and also has scrollable text fields for data entry. The text fields are embedded within each day in the eCalendar and are invisible until you select on the day and start entering text.
I realize most people prefer hanging paper calendars on a wall but an eCalendar allows you to type and edit an unlimited amount of text into each day of the year. Thus, it can be used to manage daily to-do lists or it can function as a simple daily planner. The calendar pages fit into an 8.5×11″ form-factor so they can be printed and stored in a notebook. Note, the text fields in the eCalendar work best with the free Adobe Reader XI or Adobe Acrobat.
When creating my weather calendars, I try to use photos from the previous year that match up with the same month. For example, January 2014 has a photo from January 2013 (see above).
There are additional goals for the calendar. Below are the criteria that I try to satisfy when creating the Washington weather calendar:
1) The calendar must have at least two months that feature snow. Most of us love snow. Even during the bleakest snow years, such as last year, I can capture a few snow photos. I’ll always include as many snow photos as possible in the calendar. After a big snow year, I’ve had four months in the calendar that feature snow.
2) The calendar must have one cherry blossom photo for the month of March or April, depending upon the time of the bloom during the previous year. Over the years, I have shot the blossoms with rain, snow, lightning, and sun. I often make the photo trip with CWG’s Ian Livingston.
3) The calendar must have a fireworks photo for the month of July. I know that fireworks is not weather but this is D.C. and people expect to see fireworks. So, every year, I make the Fourth of July photo trip with Ian Livingston and we snap photos of fireworks over a D.C. monument or landmark. The fireworks photos are quickly posted on the blog and one photo will make the calendar.
4) The calendar must have at least one lightning photo or dramatic storm image. For the first year since I started producing calendars, I did not take a calendar-worthy storm photo. I gave it a good try but we did not have a stormy 2013 and I mistimed my storm chases. I decided to go back to 2011 for a lightning photo. The 2011 lightning photo was used for the month of May and it is the only image in the calendar that was not taken last year. Darn!
5) The calendar must have at least one fall foliage photo for October and/or November. I have learned that the Tidal Basin is a perfect place to shoot fall foliage.
6) The calendar must have a snow-covered Christmas tree for December. The trees of choice are the National Christmas Tree and the Capitol Christmas Tree. This photo goal is often difficult because accumulating snow in Washington during the month of December is not a given. I often go back to previous years for a December snow photo. This past year, however, it snowed in December and the calendar photo is from December 8, 2013.
I created the eCalendar with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign. I know the Adobe publishing tools fairly well so building the calendar is not difficult. The real challenge is trying to capture a calendar-worthy image every month. The calendar is a year-long project and the photography is my motivation.
For next year’s calendar, if you want to preview the photo for January 2015, it might appear in this post about our recent January 3 snowstorm, or in this post about a Great Falls sunrise under a Polar Vortex, or in a future post this month if we get another snowstorm or historic cold wave between now and January 31. Time will tell…
Let me know how the eCalendar works for you and if you have any suggestions for next year’s calendar.
Here are a few past calendar posts that appeared on this blog: