31 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy

In the last post, you saw how the farm was squeezed betwixt a hurricane and a strong winter storm. This far inland, hurricane damage is rare although Hugo devastated the area in 1989 (and introduced new weeds, their seeds apparently borne on the winds).

Temperatures plummeted and it was as if the mercury was frozen in place: in almost two full days, the variation was from 32F to 35F. The winds were constant with high gusts; the sound of the winds roaring through the tree tops was akin to standing next to a passing freight train. The house made all sorts of Halloween-appropriate sounds for two nights.Monday the snow began before first light and lasted into evening darkness but due to the warmth of the ground, there was no accumulation.Only a few hundred feet higher in elevation, the ground was covered.

As best Mr. Fuzzy can tell, the damage is limited to downed trees. It can be said with fair certainty that no dead wood remains in the trees. Downed hard wood trees make good fire wood so there is no real loss. Tomorrow may see Mr. Fuzzy waltzing his Husqvarna 440e chain saw about the farm, beginning with this maple right in front of the shop. A shame to lose this tree as it was always one of the first to turn colors in the autumn; a lesson that nothing lasts forever, especially rare beauty.

This day finds a warming trend with today expected to reach 43F and tomorrow 46F. And no gale winds and perhaps a few sun beams.The lack of sun has been nearly total; it has been four days since seeing the solar disk even through the clouds.

Mr. Fuzzy offers his deepest sympathies to readers adversely affected by this mess of a storm  system.

28 October 2012

Mr. Fuzzy apologizes for the long break in posting news from Stratheden. He has been preoccupied with several projects and has been on the road a couple of times as well. As for Mrs. Fuzzy, she has become enamored of her fiddling and sewing, foregoing postings here and many other old activities for them.

If, dear readers, you live east of the Big Muddy, the only topic on most minds is The Weather.

This is what the radar showed about an hour ago: Stratheden Farm wedged between a deep and massive cold front and Sandy, The Her-icane. According to the prognosticators of such things, the cold front will win out here with snow possible in the next few days; the Tuesday high is predicted to be 24 degrees lower than at our dear friends in Vermont...

By comparison, the temperatures at sunset this week were Tuesday=71F, Wednesday=72F, Thursday=69F. Yet the first blast of low 40 degree weather was at least six weeks ago, which seemed to augur an early autumn but such has failed to come to fruition due to wildly fluctuating mercury.

Seasonal colors were erratic. Maples colored well and early, as did gums. Many tree, however, just turned their leaves brown. Three weeks ago saw some species entirely devoid of cover and yet the apples and ginkos (see the photo below taken in an early morning fog this week) are just now changing into autumnal splendor.

and it was hard to complain about the more common native trees:

The driveway was so deep in leaves some days that it was difficult to find the road bed; this is after two pickups and the UPS truck:

And some plants such as the Forsythia, are back in bloom again (this taken today):