Life in a cabin on a mountain in southern Pennsylvania
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Hurricane Sandy was a pretty nasty visitor here at my cabin on Roundtop Mtn. Fortunately, she’s gone now. The hurricane left me with more work than actual damage. Still, I hope I never have to hear wind like that again anytime soon. The wind didn’t howl, it roared.
I also think I was in the eye of the hurricane, which might have been a cool thing to see if it had been daylight. Here’s what happened: The wind was roaring, trees were bending like blades of grass, the torrential rain was whipped horizontal. This was going on for at least several hours from just before dusk through evening, all the time the wind building and gusting. Then around 10 p.m. (perhaps a bit later) on Monday night the wind died. I waited for a few minutes, hardly believing my luck, and then decided to run the dogs outside—who’d been inside for hours—while I had a respite.
Outside, the wind was indeed nonexistent, and the rain reduced to a sprinkle, almost a mist. It was quiet and still. The dogs taken care of, I headed back inside. Perhaps 10 minutes later the rain started increasing again. This time the rain came from a more southerly direction. In perhaps another 10 minutes the winds began again, too, but throughout the night they never reached the fury of the earlier hours of the evening. I still had some substantial gusts, but they were fewer and the sustained winds probably a good 10 mph less than earlier. I’m pretty sure the winds were southerly, too, but I wasn’t outside to determine that. So was that the eye of the hurricane? When I look at the hurricane’s path it seems that it might have been.
Yesterday was a clean-up day for me. You’d never guess that I’d just spent hours on Sunday and Monday cleaning gutters and sweeping the decks free of leaves. Today it looks as though I’ve never done either. Virtually all the leaves are down now, and it feels like a raw mid-November day, still with some rain.
In my photo today, if you look past the downy woodpecker and the squirrel, you’ll see that the mountains to my west are visible again after disappearing into the leaf canopy for the past nearly 7 months. The table under the bird feeders is leaf-covered and messy. That wasn’t the case on Sunday—everything was cleared and arranged or put away. And my lovely, new yellow-topped finch feeder is empty of the pine siskins that seem to be filling the feeders everywhere but at my cabin.
I’m just glad I’m safe and the storm is gone. That was a doozy.
I live in a cabin in the forests of Pennsylvania. I write about what I see and do in the natural world around me. I've been a hawkwatcher for more than 20 years, a birder for longer than that, and a crayfish-catcher since I was a polywog.