Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘tree damage

Much Quieter

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Thank goodness it was much quieter last night than it was Tuesday night with all the stormy weather. There were two rounds of thunderstorms that actually disturbed the wee hours of Wednesday morning. It was around 1:00 a.m. that Delilah and I woke up to the rumbles of thunder. Then the rain and wind picked up and Delilah was barking ferociously at the flashes and booms.

Eventually, one of the strikes got close and the energy of the dog, of me, and of the storm all perked up considerably. I certainly didn’t need what came next. BANG! My least favorite aspect of a thunderstorm. The flash and boom were simultaneous and my first impression was that the lightning bolt hit our house or a tree right next to it.

I didn’t feel like the electricity of the lightning shocked me but the adrenaline shooting through my body was causing about the same reaction as though it had. In the darkness between flashes, I couldn’t see how severe the wind was so I relied on sound to help me decide whether any action was required or not.

The fact that there were suddenly emergency vehicle sirens wailing didn’t provide much comfort. I scouted every window for a possible view of emergency lights flashing but saw none. With no useful information gained, I decided to return to bed where I updated the radar views repeatedly while waiting for the storm to run its course.

By the time the second storm woke me, I was too sleepy to worry much. It looked less intense on the radar, the thundering was much less, and Delilah must have decided not to bother even barking. I fell right back to sleep.

When morning arrived and I got Delilah out for her first walk of the day, we quickly arrived at the first evidence of the intensity of the storm. The top of a tree with a 12-inch diameter trunk snapped clean and came down across one of our trails.

There were smaller branches down everywhere. A tree in our woods fell and got hung up on the trunk of another tree so it is now at a 45° angle.

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There was a branch down in the paddock under the willow tree and several branches from a cottonwood on the southern edge of our property flew all the way into the hay field.

I spent most of the morning cutting up and hauling branches away, all the while keeping an eye out for any sign of a direct hit from that closest lightning strike. Never spotted anything telling. A fuse blew in the controller of the electric fence. Imagine what it must have been like for the horses. They were remarkably mellow when we showed up to serve their morning feed.

The most mysterious feature was the large swath of tall grass in the drainage ditch that was pressed flat to the ground in the opposite direction of the water flow. Must have been a downburst of wind that flattened it that way.

Thankfully, there was never any hail that I heard. The lack of any residual shredding of leaves helps support that perception. As for rain, the gauges had barely an inch captured.

The part of the noisy night that sticks with me most is the intensity of that loud clap of thunder and how it was soon followed by sirens.

Sleeping last night was infinitely more restful.

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Written by johnwhays

August 4, 2022 at 6:00 am

Acknowledged Risk

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Yesterday was supposed to be the day I took Cyndie back to where her surgery was performed, for an appointment to get her stitches out. We ended up rescheduling, when the risk of severe storms loomed large for the time we would be on the road. It turned out to be a smart decision.

Our dog, Delilah, has been demonstrating an extreme anxiety over rumbles of thunder. Unfortunately, the thunder-booming storms started here on Wednesday evening, and her panic-barking kept me up until well past midnight. I was at the veterinarian’s office yesterday to pick up some new tick repellent, since our previous product isn’t doing the trick, and when I happened to mention Delilah’s anxiety, they asked me what we “give her” for it.

Hadn’t entered my mind to medicate her. Their first recommendation was Benadryl, but they also reminded me of the “thundershirt,” a hugging body wrap that calms dogs. Good idea.

Shortly after I returned from the vet visit, our predicted rough weather rolled in. I’ve been through worse, but we did receive a blast of wind, small hail, and heavy rain that more than convinced us we made the right decision to stay home. If we had gone, Delilah would have been trapped outside in her kennel during the worst of it. The folks at the vet’s office said dogs can, and do, injure themselves in their efforts to escape whatever is causing their anxiety.IMG_3734e

That wind would have probably put her into a tizzy, especially when it picked up and rolled over my woodshed, which is located right next to her kennel.

Lesson learned on the heartiness of simply standing the structure on stones in the ground. That was the design I chose, even though I knew it was a risk. On the bright side, it gives me a chance to try building my second structure ever, using what I learned on the first one. I guess the next one will have posts buried well into the ground.

I’ve discovered an interesting fact about how I see our woods. No matter how familiar I think I am with the views, after a big wind storm, I have difficulty identifying what is new damage, and what is old. There are plenty of downed or leaning trees and broken branches. In the area near the up-turned woodshed, something doesn’t look right to me, but I’m not certain if it is damage from yesterday’s event, or something previous.

Actually, with another inch of rain increasing the saturation of our ground, it’s a wonder there are any trees left standing at all.

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Written by johnwhays

May 9, 2014 at 6:00 am