Thursday, September 27, 2012

Downed Trees and Battered Squash

Hollow, fallen tree trunk.
You can see right through it.

Tuesday night started out pretty good.  It was overcast and I was hoping for a nice 10 minute rain shower so the garden would have a cool drink.  I must have wished a little too hard because we had one heck of a storm.  I was on the front porch when I saw a gust of wind- yes, saw- coming towards me.  The trees on the North side of the ridge began bending and twisting, leaves blowing directly in my direction with intensity.  Our side was still calm at that point but based on the rumbling, it was due any  minute.  I quickly backed into the house, shut the door and called to my husband to get ready for a storm.  We lost power about 5 or 5:30 just as a pot of spaghetti noodles were done boiling.  I figured the power would be back on in a few minutes so we at by candle light in the dining room with it's front yard view.

What is left of the tree.

It wasn't long before the trees were blowing round and round in erratic circles.
Leaves were being carried directly upwards, not blowing to one side or another as if a vacuum cleaner was overhead house sucking up debris.
A super cell was developing directly above our house.
The National Weather Service called out for storm spotters from Robertsville.
Tom manned the radio providing condition reports:  

Tremendous amounts of rain
Power outages
High winds- up to 60 mph 
Incredible lightning strikes
Waves and waves of hail (lasting hours)
We were fortunate that the hail was small.  Other communities were receiving hail the size of ping pong balls.
Tornadoes formed across the state line in Illinois.

Woodpecker?  Some type of bird lives here.
This is the base of the fallen tree.

We lost a couple of trees, one hardly a tree after all.   The photo at the top of the page shows what is left of the tree trunk- it's hollow!  I should have suspected after seeing the bird damage.
Fortunately I had already put the birds up so I didn't have to trudge out in the intense lightning and hail which came down for hours and hours.  The poor little stray cat in the garage was crying as the hail pounded the metal door.  The other cat is no help, she's deaf and not bothered at all by the noise. 

Tree top in back lost.
The top is big but not unmanageable. There are plenty more trees where this came from.

Tom lit the lanterns and I brought out two fat candles, a couple of flashlights plus my book light.  He had his transistor radio that our daughter had given during his hospital stay.  I was able to read for several hours between wondering if the house was going to blow away, how many trees would fall  or how I would manage looking decent at work without power.  
How would I wash my hair!  No power means no water since we have a well.
Would the cars have hail damage? The roof or siding? I wasn't sure since I leave before it's light outside.

Tree top in front lost, crushing split rail fencing.

By 9 PM we decided to go to bed.  Still no power and the storm is raging.  How long can this last?
I checked for power all night long so neither one of us got much sleep.  
By morning the power was still not on. 
Oh oh.
I start to get ready and then, without warning, we have power.

I did notice that a tree top fell on top of our split rail fencing which is at the driveway but we were lucky it did not block the drive.   We will deal with this over the weekend.

Second view (from front)

The same tree from a front view.  That's our place in the background. 

Hail damaged sweet potato vines

When I got home I found hail damage everywhere
except the cars and house (I think).
The poor flowers are shredded.
The garden is a shambles.
My reign as Squash Queen has come to an end.

Hail damaged pumpkin patch

We can salvage the pumpkins if nothing decides to walk on them.
As you can see, the vines are gonners.

Hail damaged zucchini plants

I  did manage to save a cucumber, two yellow, three spaghetti and one acorn squash.

Even the birds laid only 2 eggs today.  And this after we had a little talk the other day about broken eggs and stepping up production. They must have been stressed by the storm as well.

Our light for the evening.

The lanterns came through for us again flooding the living room and kitchen with a warm, glowing light.

This weekend will be garden cleanup and tree removal.


Carolyn said...

Glad that nothing serious happened at your place. Mother nature sure can be scary at times. Time to make some pumpkin pies before the pumpkins go to waste I think.

Kristi said...

Another great reason to be prepared--and it sounds like you were. Good luck with the clean-up.

Candy C. said...

Yikes, glad ya'll didn't have too much damage! I'm sure the chickens were a little stressed by the whole thing and the poor little stray kitty. I can't believe you even TRIED to go to bed in the middle of that! Looks like you have your weekend planned for you!

Yahoobuckaroo's Blog said...

Just bad lightning and sheets of rain here. Does that make me God's favorite?

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

If you are, put in a good word for us!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

My granddaughter will be here today (Friday) and we're going pumpkin picking! I know at least one will be carved.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Thank you! Basically prepared except the water situation. We really need to get the well modified so it can run off of a generator.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

LOL, I was IN bed but very little sleep!