Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stormy Weather

Friday, September 5, 2014  
We got walloped with a humdinger of a storm on Friday evening. Banks of clouds rolled in quickly in the early afternoon, bringing gusts of winds, thunder and lightning. I listened to the thunder and the driving rain and thought about my friend, K.B., who absolutely loved a good thunderstorm. Seriously, she would act like a child at Christmas.

It seemed to clear out as quickly as it came, and we were getting ready to eat dinner when our younger son came in and told us he was going to get the hacksaw so he could help clear the many trees that had fallen on our street.

That's when I grabbed my camera.

As I snapped pictures, I chatted with our neighbours -- many of whom I'd never met before. There was the tangible excitement of having narrowly escaped a "close call."

Looks like lightning damage.

If you look closely, to the lower-left of centre, you will see that there is a car under that gorgeous blue spruce.
And yet, two doors down from this spruce tree, there was this: a completely undamaged dead tree.

I've been looking at this tree all summer, wondering when it would come down. Then I turned to look at the park.

Notice how small the woman looks beside that root ball.
Oh, my poor park! Most of the trees that were felled were among the tallest. The shorter trees looked like they'd all been struck by lightning.

Note: there are no shrubs here.

Many people in the neigbourhood were out checking the damage. Here's a close-up of that split trunk from the picture above.

Pretty sure that's lightning damage, too. (This tree was much shorter than most of the other damaged trees.) The light was fading fast, so I called it a day.

By the next day, some clean-up had begun. There were even people who seemed to be scavenging the wood.

The owner lives in the neighbourhood and, perhaps, was doing a service, but it still seemed like looting.

Up close, some of the damage had its own beauty.

The forest had also seen plenty of damage.

We walked under this one. I barely had to duck.

Ouch! That looks painful! (I kept my distance; it doesn't look very stable.)

That path is completely impassable.

Not sure whether the tree was already dead or whether it was struck by lightning. Either way, the storm is what brought it down.

But, despite the downed trees, the forest still offered up gifts of beauty.

I love the little "halos" around the leaves.
By Monday, the crews were out in force, clearing pathways. (The roads had all been taken care of more urgently, on the weekend.)

Everywhere we walked, we heard chainsaws and wood chippers. It was so sad to see those giants thrown down like twigs.

I can't help but look at a tree and think, That represents decades! The only consolation I have is that trees do die. Every one of those trees would eventually have died anyway.


  1. Wow! Mother Nature is both beautiful... and powerful. and dangerous. I have a big ole pine in our backyard that makes me nervous every single storm. and it's so big it will take out our home and probably one on either side depending on the direction it falls. we lost a couple of bigger limbs in a summer storm too... hopefully she holds her ground until we can come get someone to trim it back, or take it completely down.
    thank goodness no one was hurt though!

    1. Yikes. We've got one huge maple in our front yard, and I do worry about it, too. Hang in there!


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