Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Storms We Didn't Get Yesterday. . .

. . .We are making up for today.

I was awakened about 3:30 this morning by rain coming in the window at the head of my bed.  Dreaming about getting a shower is one thing; actually getting one while you lay in bed is another.

After shutting the window, I went back to sleep, and slept really well.  For some reason, I have always slept better during a stormy night than a calm one.

The next thing I knew, it was six a.m., but still very black out, darker than the sky had been even at 5:00 a.m. for several weeks.  I thought I had just beat my alarm clock by ten minutes, then I realized that what had awakened me this time was a change in the sound of the storm.  The wind sounded differently, it's howl had changed pitch.  I decided to get up for the day, and check things out for myself.  I even briefly thought about waking up DD2 and sending her to the basement, until I realized she wasn't home, having spent last night at a friend's house.

Clouds were whipping by outside, driven down from the north.  Their bottoms were suspiciously unflat, even pointed in areas.  I kept an eye on them while I brushed my teeth and got dressed, looking for any points that might start extending ground ward.  A sign that I, myself, should probably retreat to the basement.

None did (and so I didn't either), in fact within a half hour the brunt of the storm had passed by.  Now the sky looked more like morning.  A gray, dreary wet one, but at least it resembled morning more than pre-dawn.  Time to head out to feed the horses down at the farm.

It only rained about twenty more minutes in the next two hours, which allowed me to get most of my animals chores done without the aid of my raincoat.  (Side note: that raincoat is probably the best 25 cents I ever spent, purchased at a garage sale in 1993 for a quarter, I've been wearing it for outdoor work in rainy weather ever since.)

the 25 cent raincoat,
a bit grubby on the sleeves but still waterproof

We had about a five hour reprieve from any stormy weather; then, mid-afternoon, the black clouds rolled back in.  They came from the west, but as the front hit, the wind abruptly changed to be from the north again.  This little place here was swiftly enveloped in the storm.  It seemed like the clouds wrapped around the property in a giant bear hug.

to the northwest,
over the hay field

low-hanging cloud bottom over hay field

to the west,
going to come over the orchard and the duck/turkey/goose pen

looking south southwest,
over the garden

over the field

due north

Then the rain hit, suddenly and hard.  No warning sprinkles, just a sky that burst open and down came the rain, so thick you could hardly see through it.

the field and oak tree

The temperature has dropped ten degrees in the last thirty minutes, since I began snapping pictures of the clouds that were moving in.  It's a decent storm; I think the eye is overhead at the moment, as the sky has lightened, the wind died to nothing, and the rain is a steady gentle patter on the roof.  Just a few minutes ago I had to have every window in the house closed, as the wind was pushing rain in from every direction.  The leaves on the trees were all belly up in the rushing wind, but now they hang quietly, as if asleep.  Thunder rumbles and echoes, not quite dying away entirely before it increases in volume again.  I'm ready for round two; the backside of the storm.

I love storms.  They fascinate me.  I think in another life; or rather, had I been born a girl-child in the nineties instead of the early seventies, I might have become a storm chaser.  As it was, I was married with four kids before I was aware that such a career even existed.  A little too late for me.  So, I am content being a storm observer from this little place here.

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