17 June 2013

A Hard Blow

On the 13th, in mid-afternoon, a squall line appeared with little notice to the northwest. The skies blackened, the winds raised and the rains hammered the earth. The storm was brief, perhaps 17 minutes but for about two minutes of that, the winds must have been in excess of 65 mph. The pressure drop was extreme - causing Mr. Fuzzy's ears to pop twice. When the storm passed, the sky returned to blue and all was serene. Damage was all about, however. There was a distinct band of downed trees and large limbs about 200 feet wide, stretching from the garage into the vale below the house. Otherwise, there was little or no sign of the storm on the remainder of Stratheden.

The only causality was, ironically, the wood cart. Can you find it in the center of this image? Bent like a banana...

The chicken coop sustained a direct hit with little consequence except for two walls being driven an additional inch or so into the ground.

A fully laden apple tree between the house and the garage was sheared off at the ground and tossed upended against the garage.

There was no egress from the farm as both the driveway and the path to the pasture were totally blocked. Mr. Fuzzy spent the rest of the day light hours waltzing his chainsaw to provide exits.

The strangest part of the story involves two turkey hens. Immediately after the storm passed, Mr. Fuzzy and his erstwhile canine companion, Rocky, emerged to reconnoiter and the damage and prioritize response. As they walked toward the valley below the house (where walnut and locust trees lost major limbs) two turkey hens began walking toward Mr. Fuzzy - with Rocky standing about. They approached so close that it was not possible to capture both within the dame field of view. The species is not known for intelligence but they are canny and very elusive. It can only be assumed that the storm rattled their tiny little bird brains. After inspecting Mr. Fuzzy, they ambled away. Should any reader have a better idea of the back story, Mr. Fuzzy would be most grateful to hear it.

06 June 2013


"I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree..."
 Joyce Kilmer

Stratheden's trees serve many purposes, not the least of which is beauty. The shape, color, or placement may just be stunning - and the blooms as well. Some tree blooms are inconspicuous but others are Nature at her best.

Other trees are heavy producers of nutritious foods as nuts or fruits and nourish man and wild beast equally. The Mutsu apples trees appear to yield every other year, and this is the year. The blooms were innumerable this spring and all seem to have been pollinated. The ground was becoming a tad dry but the farm received an inch and a quarter of rain today with more on the way. Perfect timing for the apples and peaches. We are grateful for trees which feed the body and the mind, and the conditions which keep them in sound health.

01 June 2013

Farm miracles

The wild Virginia iris continue to put on their annual show. Here is the Stratheden mailbox surrounded by what was three years ago, a few transplants. Right on the dirt road, these get no care whatsoever. What a wonderfully rewarding plant. Please note these colors are right from the camera, the sole adjustment was to re-size the image for the web.

As Mr. Fuzzy drove in Statheden tonight just after sunset, there stood a doe and her new baby. Mom has already leapt away but the baby wasn't sure what to do and struck a fine pose. Apologies for the color but the light was very weak.