Saturday, July 28, 2012

After the Big Storm

Starlight, in her pink bunny ear mask, evaluates an uprooted oak.
Before I got on the plane in Calgary, to head home after a business trip, my husband told me I might be driving through tornadoes when I reached New York State.  I landed in Hamilton, Ontario, and started driving toward the US border.  When I checked the weather on my phone, I saw the line of storms heading toward the Twin Tiers.  

It was tough to be so far away and watch that purple dot of a tornado on the weather radar as it headed right toward our home.

Well, that tornado did come right by our home, but we were lucky.   Nearby, others weren’t.  It made a direct hit on Elmira, a city nearby, and did a lot of damage, but apparently caused no injuries, which is fantastic.  And during the ensuing power outage, there were no reports of looting, which really says a lot about the character of the people in Elmira.

She stepped through these logs like a champion trail horse.
When I got home, our hay wagon, filled with 3000 pounds of hay, was in a ditch. It had rolled over its chock and traveled about 30 yards, pushed by the wind.  I’m glad that ditch was there, because as it picked up steam, the wagon was right on line to go through our bedroom.   And I really didn’t want to have to sleep in the hay wagon.

Our horse trailer, on the other side of the barn, was untouched, thank goodness.  Besides debris ending up in odd places, one of the only other sign of high winds was that the wood pile I had stacked under our deck, about seven feet high, had toppled over.  It was more than a topple, actually.  It looked like something powerful had given it a mighty shove, as some of the pieces were several feet from the original stack.

A branch down in the path.
Today, Starlight and I rode up on the hill to see what damage the high winds might have done in the woods.   

Starlight has become one of those great ponies who can sit idle in the pasture for a couple weeks and go right out on a trail with very little drama.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate a horse like that!     

She did get a little anxious when we came upon our first major sign of damage – two large oak trees uprooted across the path at the top of the hill.  She knew the trail most certainly had not looked like that the last time we were there, and horses don’t forget how things look, and notice changes immediately.  But she soon figured out the 10-foot-high roots were benign, and gamely worked her way over and around the debris.

I'm afraid I see a chain saw in my husband's immediate future, but overall, we were lucky during this powerful storm.

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