It’s been a tumultuous week.
For me, it started with that big bang … that explosion that happened at 3:00 a.m. a week ago today.
You’ll recall, I wrote that in the moments after the big bang, many thoughts crowded my mind, until I could determine where that explosion and fire originated, and how close to home it really was.
Then, there were a few angst-filled nights as firecrackers exploded every which way. From inside the house, I imagined them whizzing by and plopping smack onto the crispy grass, or perhaps catching fire on any gutter debris.
Alas, the 4th of July was over, but the firecracker extravaganza lingered on, though not as active as around the holiday, but still there, nevertheless.
Just call me a worrywart – that’s okay, I’ll accept that moniker.
But, as the week meandered along, the turbulence was still there … this time in the form of the deadly incidents in Louisiana, then Minnesota.
Then, the killing of five police officers in Dallas, Texas.
Would there be no end to this horrible week?
No … violence of another kind was on the agenda, in a storm, in the wee hours of Friday morning when Mother Nature decided to provide a tumultuous event of her own. “You wanted rain – I’ll give you rain!” Mother Nature cackled, sounding very much like the Wicked Witch of the West when she addressed Dorothy and her pals. It rained so much that flooding occurred as the pelting water could not settle quickly enough into parched grounds. I was unscathed by that storm – others were not so lucky.
For anyone who pranced around in a rain dance fashion, it worked.
But, wait – there was more to come.
We knew last night’s big storm was coming as the meteorologists had been crowing about it all day, and this time, unlike other times, the severe weather was indeed going to happen. At 7:25 p.m. there was boisterous thunder and the mottled gray sky opened with a torrential downpour and tempestuous winds that raged at over 55 miles per hour.
The storm lasted about 30 minutes and then it skedaddled to Canada.
In its wake, there were power outages, toppled trees and downed wires. Once again we were lucky, but in neighboring cities, there was extensive damage and a young boy was electrocuted. Clearly, Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with, and, we should respect, if not fear her.
On my walk this morning I headed down to the River, stopping along the Boulevard several times to take a look at some tall pear trees that had been sliced in half from those wicked winds. In one case, half of the tall and leafy tree remained; the other half had been snapped off and now was resting across the driveway, having taken down several bushes and hanging baskets as it fell to the ground.
I could smell the fresh wood where the massive branches had snapped off.
Leaves and small branches littered most lawns and sidewalks, as the wind first pummeled, and then stripped, them from the trees as it raced through the subdivisions.
Given the heat this past few days, I think we were lucky the storm was not more volatile.
On a happier note, the birds were in their glory. There were puddles galore to explore, baths to be had and drinks to be savored. In fact, the robins were pretty savvy about where they could quench their thirst today, as well as this past week. I watched them make do, with not enough birdbaths to provide fresh water, and gutters crammed full of elm and maple seeds and no measurable rainfall, thus that resource, too, was gone. Those birds were innovative, as I saw several robins basking in the spray from the sprinklers, wetting their feathers, burying their beaks in the grass blades to sip water droplets and trying to dredge up some worms from the moist lawns.
The robins and their brethren are all set now – for a few days anyway, ‘til the temps reach the 90s again on Tuesday.
I returned home after my four-mile round trip and my neighbor Jeff hurried to catch me before I went into the house. “C’mon, I want to show you something” he said. We went over to a magnolia bush and peered through the branches. A robin was sitting on a nest and all we could see were tufts of downy feathers beneath her belly and the dark nest of twigs and mud. Her eyes were wide open and stared straight ahead and I can only imagine she was probably quivering, thinking we were there to harm her and her brood. We stepped back a bit. Jeff whispered “she has four babies and is sitting on them to keep them safe and warm and the Dad’s nearby” and, as if on cue, a scowling male robin redbreast alighted on a nearby bush to warn us to stay away. We quickly backed off.
Jeff sent some pictures of the babies, one which is above. I like the little guy who is whining “more worms please” if Mom or Dad were within earshot to hear his cry.
Yup, Mother Nature has her tender moments too ….
That raging storm last night shook the house, the kitchen light fixture was creaking and the lights dimmed a few times. I held my breath. I was scared, as we have big, old trees behind us, and, if one comes crashing down, it would be the end of this house I am sure.
But, if I was scared, can you imagine that fearless Mama Robin with her brood tucked safely beneath her, while that raucous storm rocked the magnolia bush with winds clocked at 56.4 miles per hour?
Mother Nature – you’re powerful in some ways and tender in others.