Tag Archive | storm damage

Crystal Glaze

The ice storm two days ago left everything on the farm glazed in a layer of shimmering crystal.  Every twig and blade gleams in the sun, a fantastic winter landscape.  The slightest breeze sets the branches swaying against one another in myriad musical chimes.

The day after the storm was warm and some of the ice melted.  An ice coating about 1/4″ thick remains, bending limbs and boughs dangerously toward the snapping point.  Every so often, an overloaded branch breaks with a resounding crack.  The supple birch trees bow to the ground with the weight.  Most will never stand straight again.  We will probably have to cut this birch as it leans right over the driveway now.

We lost power for over two and a half hours during the storm.  Some still have not gotten their electrical supply restored.  Dinner the night of the storm was ham and cheese sandwiches by candlelight instead of the turkey stroganoff I had planned.

The day after the storm I drove to town.  In one place, a downed, dead electric line snaked across most of my travel lane.  The stressed-out utility workers merely cut the line and left it to collect later.  Large trees were uprooted and hung dangerously over the road in other areas.  Our neighbor lost several major branches from his pine that fell close to the road.

Although the ice can be dangerous and a serious inconvenience, for a brief time it turns even the most mundane landscape into a glittering wonderland before the temperatures rise and the glaze drips away into memories.

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A Violent Day

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Yesterday’s weather was violent.  The day started off hot and humid with the sun pounding down through clear blue skies and not a breeze to be found.  The weather service warned we might get strong thunderstorms.  Turns out they were right for once.

By midday clouds moved in.  Thunder growled far away, just at the limits of aural perception.  Soon a line of storms hit us, one after the other, with respites of twenty to thirty minutes of sun between.  The first two storms were not so bad.  A few rumbles of thunder in the distance and smatterings of rain.

Storm three was a different matter.  As it came overhead, everything grew very dark.  The lightning strikes were much closer.  Gusting wind threw heavy rain against the windows.  Then loud pings began to sound on the metal roof.  I looked out to see hail, some the diameter of quarters, dropping all around.a2

I rushed into the pouring rain, lightning and hail to rescue my tomato and pepper seedlings and to turn my fig tree so its leaves would be sheltered from the ice chunks.  It hurts when large bits of ice hit you at a good velocity!  The hail kept on for ten minutes, mixed in with heavy rain.  I was so glad to have not planted my garden yet.  The tiny plants would have been devastated.  After the hail storm passed, the sun came out as it continued to rain, making a lovely double rainbow over our farm.

Storm number four was even darker, with high winds and the hardest rain yet.  The power flickered three times from lightning strikes.  The animals quailed in terror.  All three cats stayed by my side and I had to settle the poor dogs.  Finally, the last storm moved away.  I watched its dark malevolence close in on the city of Waterville, seven miles south of us.

This morning’s local paper has photos of flooded streets and downed trees in Waterville, damage wrought by that last storm, I’m sure.  A good portion of the city lost power for several hours.  The band of storms we had yesterday are the sort that sometimes spawn small tornadoes.  There were no reports of twisters.  The straight winds were more than sufficient to uproot tees and even tear the roof off a building to the south of us.

The story is the rainbow symbolizes peace between deity and mankind, a promise that no storms will ever again rise up like the ones fabled to have flooded the entire earth.  For me, rainbows are a reminder that although Earth’s weather is usually benign, there are times when the turbulent atmosphere becomes dangerous and threatens all we hold dear.a3