"But on the twenty-fifth of May, at sunset, a violent wind howled madly,Except for the fact that it was the 24th of May and we actually had no rain... this describes our weather yesterday pretty well. It looks like our yo-yo season has passed and summer is here to stay, even if it is still officially a month away. Two weeks ago we had days in the upper 60's and mid-70's... nice, low humidity, great weather for working outside. This week? We hit 90 for the first time and yesterday it was up to 93 degrees and 80% humidity for a while. In the late afternoon while the tornadoes were gearing up in Oklahoma, a cell developed over western Virginia and sped off to the east... our direction. I came down to let Miss Daisy do some business outside before the rain hit and suddenly the skies darkened and the wind whipped up...no, it didn't "whip" up... it hit like a sledge hammer. The hot tub lid started to levitate so I ran out and grabbed the handle with my left hand and grabbed the only thing tied down with my right... the short garden hose attached to the faucet. I tied the lid down as best I could, but a lot of debris had already gotten in.
Battering and rending my plants;
Rain poured down, Pounding the vines and flowers into the earth.
It was so painful
But as the work of the wind, I have to let it be ..."
~ Ryokan (1758 - 1831)
Inside the sunroom, I heard pelting pinecones on the copper roof and another thud and started seeing several plastic objects sliding across the deck and the yard. Then broken limb pieces and leaves and what looked to be flying logs at times. The grow box with my lovely little midget tomatoes was blown off the deck and turned over down the stairs. Little lost tomatoes spread across the patio and multiple tomato branches were broken off. I managed to get it back up near the sunroom and out of the main wind... but I saw the huge dead tree top broken off into the yard.
It didn't hit anything but really made a mess....that I have to clean up. Two limbs fell behind the fence and I already tossed them back into the preserve. The strangest thing of all was.... while other areas around us were getting torrential downpours at the rate of 3 inches an hour... we got nothing...NOTHING! At most a few sprinkles... but not even enough to wet the sidewalk or deck or patio or even the roof. Just the wind. Now is that fair? If it makes this mess for me to clean up, it should at least water the yard and plants for me.
After the lightening quit, I started the clean up. I salvaged the grow box, put the roller back on, swept up the lost soil and pressed it all back together. I tied up the plants and set it back in place. Limbs and twigs are all over the back yard and I am going to start on that in a bit. The huge tree top is dead wood, not that heavy and I think should be easy picking for the hand saw, although I e-mailed the yard guy and he said he would take care of it. He had the top of a live old oak tree snap off into his property as well.
I noticed a strange splatter pattern on the patio and up the side of one of our planters that stretched from the middle of the rose garden to the edge of the patio... about 12 feet. It was a red sticky material and since pathology is my life work and since I have watched way to many CSI episodes, my first thought was that this was from an unfortunate bird...yes, blood splatter patterns! But, no bird. What is it? Sweet. Ah, ha! The wind was so strong that it blew the nectar out of the hummingbird feeder and sent it flying all across the patio. Don't ask how I know... I won't admit it.
Anyway, another band went through late last night and when the wind kicked up, I thought, "Oh, no. Not again!" So I tied down the hot tub lid and moved the tomatoes and a couple of other pots and then the wind died down. "Right! Now that I prepared, it's not bad." But... it DID rain!
(end of post)