Tag Archives: trees

blue boat getting away?

The big wind of ’14

i sit here in the dark tapping out this post my ole reliable ipad. thank god for battery powered devices. you see, tonight is, said with the proper booming voice, the  big wind of ’14.  before losing power the local tv station broke in giving a update of the storm every commercial break. then a flicker and another, then we plunged into total darkness.
i’m going to take this opportunity to tell some wind stories of mine. I don’t think they are too scary, but you might want to cuddle up with your teddy bear, just in case. it never bad to cuddle with teddy, anyway.
i first encountered wind as a young child, less than 10 years old. when ever we had a big wind, i would shiver violently in fear. the noises scared me and I had fear that some nearby tree would come crashing downing my bed. of course, the nearest tall tree stood probably 60 yards away. those trees couldn’t even do any damage because the prevailing winds wouldn’t even blow the tree towards our house. tell that to an eight year old. so, I lived in fear of big winds.
i normally slep up stairs. on windy nights I sought the comfort and solace of one of the down stair bedrooms until I could finally shiver myself to sleep.
until one windy night. it was a dark and stormy night. I had had it with fearing this wind. That night, I made a pact with myself to show strength and stay up stairs, all night. i shivered violently just like any of the windstorms before, but this time, I stayed up stairs! wind never had power over me in my childhood years, ever again.
step forward some twenty years as we moved into our new and current house. there are two trees that concern me. they are both to the south of us and big storms around here kick up winds from the sound.  one would wreck havoc, landing on the foot side of the master bedroom and the other would do damage, landing on our garage and cars. The first tree has enough heftTo do major structural damage and scare the bjezes out of us at the same time, especially if we were peacefully resting. the second tree doesn’t have near the heft of the first tree so I believe its damage would be rather minimal. the fact that we live in a well wooded suburban neighborhood ends up offering us protection. there are enough trees to the south of us to rob just enough of the wind’s energy to keep our trees standing, hopefully for as long as we live here.
which brings us to tonight. the power is out and the only light in the house comes from my ipad or flashlights as we move around the house. I find amazing the amount of light that all of our electronic devices and appliances give off. The  blacks are a little more blacker this evening because of the lack of power.
the winds continue to howl outside, sometimes as loud as a double fortissimo. for you who don’t know music terms, that means very loud, where triple fortissimo generally gets recognized as playing the loudest the instrument will play. when it the loudest, it reminded of the sound at the end of the runway as a plane comes in for a it’s noisy landing. the sound kicks up my fear, not like my childhood uncontrollable shiver fear but more like a putting a sizable knot in my stomach. thankfully, the wind, and with it, the sound, has died down, more like a mezzo forte, medium loud, to forte, loud.
which brings me to my final realization, which i recognized last year, that I will share about before signing off for the evening. take a small branch and whip it through the air. it will create a relatively high pitched sound. now take another larger bow and wave it through the air; it will create a lower pitched sound. as you wave even larger bows the sound will get lower and lower. now, imagine a wind blowing through the trees. everything from flutes, the small branches, to bases, the largest bows, play their song. the wind in the trees creates a full blown orchestra! The higher the wind speed, the louder and more intense the orchestral movement becomes. sometimes I try to use the orchestra to calm and sooth my nerves trying to loosen the intricate knots that resides in my now tired mid section.
postscript: our power came back on about 2:30 am. as mary drove out of the neighborhood heading to work this morning, she called me with an update. just over two blocks from our house, the neighborhood still remains without the electrical juice that our society has so come to rely on. What a difference two blocks can make.

a night campin’ with the boyz

my wife went to kansas city to visit her older sister. i stayed back with the boyz. one night, we headed out to a local county campground, flowing lake. we’ve been there before. it’s a quick escape and has a nice feel to it. for just a little while, i can feel just a little less depressed.

upon arriving, we got our bearings and got our humble campsite setup.

lookin' cute at the table

lookin’ cute at the table

boyz in the tent

this is were we sleep tonight? were’s the queen sized bed??

after that, we headed out for an afternoon walk and saw such things as this.

salmon berry bloom

salmon berry bloom

I enjoy this time of year. the salmon berry blossoms are so much more delicate than the other flowering berries, especially the black or himalaya berries.

after getting back to the campsite, dad futz with the fire. the firewood had been seasoned for nearly two years, but still a little wet from recent rains. that made it all the more challenging. eventually, the boyz got bored. nothing like a stick to keep then entertained.

we got bored so papa gave us sticks

we got bored so papa gave us sticks

sherlock kept wanting bigger and bigger sticks until settling on his gateway drug, small logs!

sherlock graduates to small logs

sherlock graduates to small logs

papa continue to futz, then he saw the boyz dinner time had past! maybe that’s why they were eating stick! whoops! papa forgot the dog bowls. guess a newspaper…

papa forgot bowls, dinner served on a newspaper

papa forgot bowls, dinner served on a newspaper

…and a log…

papa forgot bowls, dinner served on a log

papa forgot bowls, dinner served on a log

…will have to do!

papa had dinner himself and finally got the fire going well enough to produce heat.

keepin' us warm

keepin’ us warm

the sounds of our fire

we ran out of wood, let the fading fire burn down and headed off to bed.

jimmy sleeps cool, so he joined me in the sleeping bag. sherlock sleeps warm, so he either slept on a nearby blanket or the crook of my bend legs. for almost the entire night, we had the frogs serenading us.

frog serenade

at one point, the frogs had pretty much settled down, the chirping nearly disappearing. i heard a train whistle in the distance. the frogs did, too. i think they were afraid they were about to be run over, because there croaking kicked up a notch or two. I think they responded similarly to the who’s is horton hears a who, “we are here! were here! we are here!”

things that go bump in the night, or howl. whats the difference.

at some point, early in the night, we heard what could best be described as a banshee cry. if you have seen the movie up, it sounded kinda like kevin, the bird calling for his lost birdettes. jimmy, being the curious type, wanted to go check it out.  i would have none of that since he is my protection. in a few minutes, i got him to settle back down.

now what’s that sound?

later on, we heard yet another sound, it started as a load crackle, following by natural crashing sound, followed by a swoosh. somewhere near the beginning of it, i figured a tree had pick that time to topple. kinda strange since no breeze of any kind existed. I remember early on in the sound stream thinking, “man that’s close! I hope that doesn’t land on my tent!” thankfully, it didn’t. again, jimmy, being the curious type, wanted to go check out what made that sound.  i would have none of that since he is my protection. in a few minutes, i got him to settle back down.

evening came and morning followed, the next day

i knew dawn couldn’t be that far away, when the birds greeted me with their  varied calls. they wake up and first light and let everyone and anyone know it’s about time for the sun to come up.

wake up time

eventually, we had to get up, too. we went on a morning walk. we couldn’t find the tree that nearly smashed our tent; it must have been further away than i thought. now, you might be thinking i must of hallucinated about hearing the tree fall. if i did, jimmy hallucinated at the exact time as me as he too jumped to attention at the sound.

i also got some more pictures:

a common occurrence around here, young trees grow on a stump using the nutrients of the decaying old tree

a common occurrence around here, young trees grow on a stump using the nutrients of the decaying old tree.

go to my flowing lake album to see more pictures.

eventually, my time there came to an end. i packed up and headed for home. it ended up being a brief respite from my current nemesis, mr. depression. on my way home, unfortunately, i felt my thick fog beginning to return. i am thankful for my short get away lifting the currently dark mood if only for a brief time.