Mother Nature seemed particularly mean-spirited this morning as she shook our little piece of paradise.
I hadn’t been up long when the skies began to darken and Channel 9 kept interrupting GMA to show us a rather ugly band of storms headed our way. There was plenty of red in the storm, so we expected it to be a bit rough.
The storm was traveling at 50 mph, and we were advised that high winds were in store. They were not wrong. The winds picked up quickly and we were rushing around shutting the effected windows. Suddenly the wind went really hard. I was sitting on the couch, when a planter that sits on a post went flying away. Then within seconds a huge tree branch landed across the front of the house.
I yelled for the Contrarian to get out of his office where there is one west facing door with glass. He came in just about in time for things to go really wild. We have a very huge maple about 25 feet from our front window. The wind was blowing the rain so hard we could see nothing but a veil of grey; we couldn’t even see the tree.
I’d never seen wind that high. Reports are that winds reached into the 80 mph range or better. These gusts subsided so that we just had “high winds” in the perhaps 40 mph range. We could begin to see the damage.
Our bird feeder was partially dissembled. The top portion was gone as well as two hanging planters. Our porch railing was gone. A chair was destroyed, metal and plastic. A huge wooden chair had a section of the armrest sheered off. Planters were tipped over, rolled around. Our weather vane is missing.
Finally the storm passed and we could get outside. Three branches from a tree to the west are across the entire length of our house. Nothing hit the house, thank God. These branches are some 4 inches in diameter and maybe 15 feet or better long. These are off of very large trees. The tree in front lost one major branch and several smaller ones. They are scattered around.
To the east, we have a tree that fell over. It was dead and it just uprooted. It fell parallel to the lane. On the right side, another huge maple is deeply wounded and will die no doubt. It is partially into the lane.
I walked up the lane to the top of the hill. We will have to chainsaw our way through a couple of big branches that now bar the way. I saw a bit of tree damage up top, but I think we got the worst of it low.
We can look around and see damage to probably twenty trees, splintered and some with branches still hanging. There are still cracking sounds now and again as the weight of broken branches continue to pull on the affected trees.
Our garden is in shambles, and it’s not clear what will be saved. Most of the early crop corn is down, we don’t know whether it will come back up. Many tomatoes are down as is broccoli. All our hoops are torn out. There is nothing to be done.
Our power was out for more than two hours. Luckily the storm didn’t dump a lot of water, so the sump didn’t over flow. We are thankful where we can be. Most of our power cables are buried through this timber so if we have an outage, it’s not just us. That isn’t because we want others to share our misery, but that as long as the outage is wide, we are going to get service back soon. If we are alone in outage, we’re at the bottom of the fix list.
Our friend is one of the latter. Most everyone where he is is out of power, but he sustained damage to his hookup from road to house. His ex-wife called to say that three cabins along the Wapsi had been hit by falling trees. We consider ourselves lucky.
We could hear the sound of chain saws soon after the storm passed. There was an eerie silence for some time after. There really is a “silence after the storm.” No doubt many birds died, being blown out of trees and smashed into others. It takes a while I guess. Slowly, they began to sing again, possibly calling to each other, assessing their own damaged lives.
The Contrarian is running the chain saw, clearing around the porch so the dogs can get down the steps. He’s repairing the railing as well. We’ll work on cutting up and hauling the rest of the branches that are across the house probably tomorrow, as well as see about the ones down in the lane. Perhaps some can be pushed out with the tractor. We didn’t suffer any vehicle damage.
We are always in a tense friendship with nature. Today, she got rather pissy with us. But we are alive and well, and the house is intact. We have some extra work, and we lost a lot of work in the garden. Such is life in the meadow today.