Friday, October 30, 2009

Sunshine/Fall Festival/The Twilight Zone

Wednesday was the first day in quite some time without rain. Actually, it was a beautiful day. Knowing Thursday and Friday were expected to bring more rain, Buddy and I took advantage of the nice break and rode all over the "saturated" ranch, taking in the Fall beauty and fresh air.

What is this???? The sun is trying to shine????

It was a very peaceful afternoon...until I had to rush around to get ready for our church Fall Festival. The theme was cartoon characters. I was working the Cake Walk with the "Three Stooges", so I decided to be the Mad Scientist from the episode where he was looking for a brain. That is, until Stuart informed Sarah that he needed a costume. So, Stuart became the Mad Scientist and I quickly threw together the "Femme Fatale" the Stooges were always fighting over. However, as you can see, I think I ended up looking like Bonnie without Clyde.
(cue the music)
"You are traveling to a land that is different, bizarre, unexplainable...a place between science and
theory. It is a wondrous land whose boundaries lie between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. You are moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You are about to enter...The Twilight Zone."

As promised, Thursday indeed brought more rain and this is when the journey into"The Twilight Zone" began. This valley we live in is famous for brutal, straight line, west much so, we have trees that have forever leaned/grown eastward from the relentless pounding of the west winds. Strangely, I took this picture less than a week ago.We fight a constant battle of "staking down" all the trees around the house to keep them upright. Some of the trees have been staked for 3 years. This land is also famous for "dry" lightning strikes and has often been called - Tornado Alley. We've witnessed some very strange weather situations up here, and Thursday rated right up there at the top!

The early morning began as a drizzly, rainy old day...mild wind out of the west, where the radar indicated the front to be coming from. Mid-morning from out of nowhere, a furious "east" wind blew up, lasted less than a minute, then stopped dead still - as suddenly as it had begun.

VOILA! We had a straight tree for about 30 minutes!
This incredible battle of the East vs. West winds and rain lasted most of the afternoon. Dark, swirling clouds were moving in from both directions...colliding and mingling, threatening to create severe weather any minute. The torrential downpours would blow from the east, then suddenly switch and blow from the west. My poor trees were so confused! So was I! Words really can't describe what the weather was like - it was just so bizarre. Several times the water in the pool looked like a swirling mass of confusion...unable to determine which way to flow.

There were brief periods of quiet, with no rain, which gave me opportunities throughout the day and evening to waste water out of the overflowing pool and scoop out gallons of leaves. The skimmer baskets were full of leaves, frogs, moles and one giant tarantula! Sarah was here when we discovered that evil creature! He was saturated and we thought perhaps half-drowned, so we put him in a "critter box" I keep on hand, just for these special moments.
This morning he was Mr. Cranky Pants. So,I let him go.
As of today, we are inching our way toward breaking the 1882 rainfall record in a one year period. If my Dad was still alive he would find this fascinating, as he was the ultimate "weather guru." If you wanted to know what to expect of the weather - he would always know. He could out predict even the best of weathermen and meteorologists all across the state. Sarah used to be a "storm chicken" and would always call her Grandad for advice on whether or not to expect severe weather. Truth be told, I think she wishes she could still consult with him. He was known to frequently contradict the weathermen. Weather Forecast: Severe thunderstorms, at times very heavy winds and damaging hail. Sarah calls - "Grandad, will there be bad storms tonight?" Grandad - "'s going to miss us. We might get a little rain and some wind, but nothing severe." He was right 98% of the time. Daddy was quite fascinated by the weather. He was also one of those I'll-stand-outside-and-watch-the-tornado-go-by kind of men. I have to admit, I am my father's daughter. I do the same thing. Yesterday was pretty freaky and I enjoyed every minute of watching the weirdness unfold...wishing Daddy was here to watch it with me.


  1. Yes I do still wish Grandad was here to contact about the weather. Truth be told...I am still a terrible storm chicken. I am the one who wakes up and begs Stuart to turn on the tv at 4:00am to make sure we aren't under a tornado warning or anything.

  2. Sarah,
    I thought it was Spanky and Scrappie who do that! Poor Stuart - 3 storm chickens to deal with!


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