Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tornado Wannabes

Overnight, intense thundershowers roared through town. Yesterday's high temperature was 98° F (36° C); today's high temperature was 85° F (29° C). That's a powerful storm.

When I pedaled out to gawp at survey the storm damage, the first thing I noticed was the amount of debris on the ground. Torrential rain tends to deposit silt and gravel along the road – not in the gutter, but maybe a foot or two out, right where cyclists ride. While absorbed in negotiating the treacherous patches and avoiding the tree branches lying in the road, I suddenly realized the shade pattern was different (cyclists know shade patterns, also pothole patterns)... (!)... because quite a few trees were down. Then I saw a fleet of PSE&G trucks and lots of yellow and orange hazard tape, and could go no further.

Trees and telephone poles down

Thankfully, no one was hurt and property damage is limited. The area of damage is remarkably small, leading some meterologists to conclude that the culprit was a microburst. That hasn't been sitting well with some folk roundabout Exit 151. Westchester County had a small tornado last week and maybe another one last night. We're jealous  very competitive  insane. We want our own tornado! Bigger than Westchester's!

The many fallen trees meant traffic was often diverted from main thoroughfares onto quiet side streets. That didn't sit well either. Some folk put up signs indicating their street was impassable when actually they had no trees down at all. Conversely, I saw an SUV drive right through some hazard tape, only to be stopped by the great mass of a still-mighty oak lying across the street (plainly visible from where I was) – and several cops. An animated discussion ensued. [Eyeroll] We're selfish  stupid  insane. I can't imagine what would happen if we got our own tornado.

Some of the fallen trees had been uprooted and lay stretched out – leafy crown, branches, trunk, and roots. Some were snapped at about a third of their height. Some were snapped near their base. This one had a hidden treasure, now revealed – a beehive.

Beehive inside fallen tree trunk

I'd never seen wild honeycombs before. They're intricate and beautiful. The bees were surprisingly mellow about my presence – clearly sweet-tempered honeybees, the gardener's friend. Now that they're exposed and lying on the ground, I'm worried some small or large honey-loving predator (ants? a raccoon?) will make a snack of them. I hope they can find a good new home.

If all that weren't enough excitement for one day, a choice parcel from generous Lisa arrived in the mail. Thank you, Lisa!

Socks That Rock

Inside was a sweet note with the bluebird of fiber happiness, a Socks That Rock micro-skein keychain, and a big skein of STR in colorway Cobblestone. It's gorgeous! I love it!!

Did I mention that people roundabout Exit 151 sometimes can be a bit, um, insane? Well, I'm no exception. Generous Lisa was visiting the Modern Yarn SnB the evening I told my tale of jealousy and woe, otherwise known as being deprived of STR at MDS&W and being closed out of the STR club. I think almost anyone but a fiber person would call for the men in white coats. I think only a fiber person would respond as Lisa did. Fiber people rock!


xtina said...

That weather was crazy! I got trapped in Montclair today when I was trying to get home. Even the officer at one of the millions of those road blocks couldn't figure out a way for me to get out. Took me two hours before I finally got back home. My fav vendor at MDSW was The Fold, I plan to catch them again at Rhinebeck, but I don't think I'm ambitious enough to try and brave the other people going for the Socks that Rock.

Lisa said...

I'm glad you liked your package! Enjoy!!

The houses in my parents' part of town weren't so lucky. I just talked with them and one of the old trees in the yard went through their roof. The same thing happened at the neighbors house. At least no one was injured!

--Deb said...

I heard about Montclair getting hit by that storm, and . . . wow!

But now I'm feeling really badly for those poor honeybees....

amanda said...

What a storm! And the STR is beautiful. Enjoy!

inky said...

Here at Exit 140A, we had a microburst, too, and all I thought was "That was it?" But no downed trees here, just a lot of kindling.

Awesome photo of the honeybees and their comb!!

The Purloined Letter said...

Amazing pics! Glad you are OK.

Katie said...

Thanks for the LJ comment! The fact that you're concerned about the fate of the little honeybees just proves that you're the nicest person ever. :]