Wednesday, October 31, 2012

After Sandy


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.

12 comments:

SHG said...

Great to know you are safe.

Carolyn H said...

Thanks, Sam! it was a rough night, no doubt about that. I'd like to think that's the last worst storm I'll ever have to deal with. Probably not, but I'd like to think that.

Cicero Sings said...

So glad you are safe and that your cabin was not damaged! Interesting to read of the storm from your perspective.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

I do think there was a southern wind that was roaring across your state and also W. Virginia and Ky. Probably not as stiff as yours but eerie just the same. I stood out on my covered porch for a while while it was at its height and marveled at the power of mother nature. Why so we challenge her so I thought while I stood there. She will have the last word. -- barbara

cathy said...

Carol I' m doing good. Generator is on now and I just found out I have internet. But power won't be back until Monday for my area, But do hope it comes back sooner. Also might see snowflakes today or tomorrow.

Carolyn H said...

Cicero: Not damaged at all fortunately. I won't say that it looks like a war zone here--it's not that bad. But it sure looks like a rough neighborhood.

Carolyn H said...

Barbara: Grandmother Nature always wins in the end.

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: i'm surprised and sorry to hear you will be out of power for so long. THat's not much fun. I've been there and done that far too often. I did see a few snowflakes (I think) on Tuesday morning. Take care with that generator--there's been more than a few deaths since Monday from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Scott said...

Carolyn: Good to hear that you made it through with minimal damage. We were without power for 2-1/2 days, though the power company was extremely diligent about working to get the power restored. Kudos to them! Kali and I camped out in the living room (the only room with a wood stove) and kept the cats and parrot safe and warm. It'll be good to be able to take a shower tonight, though, especially because I'm a little stinky from three days of helping the crew clean up all the downed trees.

The preserve sustained many, many downed and uprooted trees--some very large and very old trees. They're the ones whose loss is the hardest to take. If we were in an intact forest, the loss of some trees would serve to open the canopy and provide fresh ground for seedlings, but here in the Mid-Atlantic, such openings only invite a host of horrible invasives. We're going to have to be really careful over the next few years.

Carolyn H said...

Scott: i'm glad to hear you came through the storm okay, even though you lost power. At least it wasn't mid-January! This time of year it doesn't take too much to keep a place warm. I'm sorry to hear about all the old trees that were lost. Keeping the invasive plants out will be a challenge for some years to come. I'm sure you won't lack for work doing that.

Cynthia M. said...

Glad you made it through the storm safely. Nothing freaks me out more than severe wind. I can only imagine how you must have been feeling. We were really surprised (and lucky) not to get any major damage here.

Carolyn H said...

Cynthia, Wind freaks me out, too. I'd be happiest if the wind never topped 15 mph ever again in my entire life.