My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Friday, October 11, 2013

SkyWatch Friday: Altas Aftermath: The Beauty

As anyone who visited my last post, "Atlas Aftermath: The Destruction" knows,  we experienced an unusually early, heavy snowstorm last Thursday night and Friday that devastated trees, knocked out power, and was responsible for a fair bit of property damage. (And as anyone who viewed this startling slideshow knows, it was even worse in places just east of here, especially in western South Dakota where they got four FEET of snow and 70mph winds, killing tens of thousands of cows. :'-( And as it continued to travel east this same weather system spawned tornados, record-breaking rains and flooding, and more destructive winds. So our town was relatively lucky!) 

Despite the tragic loss of so many trees (not to mention all the still-blooming flowers), I have to admit the altered scenery wasn't also without its beauty, which I did my best to capture during Friday's storm and Saturday's warm sunshine. It also wasn't without its humor and resourcefulness, as these two photos taken by our friend Jackie illustrate! (Some of you may remember Jackie and Al's beautiful property from my "Accidental Garden" post last summer). They lost a lot of limbs and branches from their many mature trees, and though they're consulting with a tree service to see if a couple of their larger trees can be saved, they took matters into their own hands when it came to the mortally wounded maple by their patio...

Photo by Jackie 

As Jackie said, "We figure duct tape can fix anything!" Especially when it's inventively paired with rebar and twine...

Photo by Jackie 

Jackie also said Al thought her idea was crazy but has been married to her long enough to go along with it (smart man!) :-) And who could argue with her logic that they have nothing to lose by trying? I hope it works! (Thanks for letting me share these, Jackie!)


Meanwhile, back in our neck of the snowy woods, this was the view out our front door early Friday morning before they cancelled school...

Looks like two out of three ghosts were as dismayed by the weather as we were! :-)

Cemetery snowscape

While photographing some of the destruction to Sheridan's trees during the storm Friday afternoon, I drove to the cemetery which has a lot of big old trees (and no traffic or downed power lines to contend with!) Fortunately, most of the trees there are spruces, which are better designed than the poor fully leafed-out deciduous trees to handle the heavy, wet snow and ice...

Snowy cemetery spruce

Early Saturday morning I took photos of the storm's aftermath from our front porch...

One of our garage lights transformed into an avant garde snow and ice sculpture

While photographing the snow from the front porch, this noisy and chaotic flock of Canada geese and smaller birds flew overhead, apparently as disoriented by the early snowstorm as we were - since they were flying north! (They were actually headed to a nearby pond)...

"Screw this crazy American weather, we're heading back to Canada, eh?" :-)

And here are a few shots of the freshly snow-covered foothills and Big Horn Mountains from our porch...


Look closely and you can see the snow blowing off the mountain's upper ridges 

13,000' Black Tooth Mountain is the peak directly beneath the street light 

After I took these, we took the dogs for a walk and saw a lot of the trees that were damaged in some of the nearby neighborhoods. So when we got home I took my camera and car and drove around the surrounding area, photographing them. As I returned home to our own subdivision (which is still new and therefore still lacks large trees), I stopped to photograph this wider perspective of the Big Horns...


And just as I was photographing this kind of interesting thin, horizontal cloud, another flock of Canada geese turned it into a much better photo...


And then obliged and thrilled me by flying right overhead (heading east this time!)...

So beautiful!

There's more beauty to be found overhead - enjoy a big dose of it at...


And enjoy a fun and storm-free weekend!

30 comments:

  1. Hope your tree repair works.
    Lovely to get the geese photos!
    Happy Sky Watch Friday!
    Lea

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    Replies
    1. It's not my tree repair, it's my friend Jackie's. But I hope it works too (I don't quite have Jackie's faith, though!) :-)

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  2. Really enjoyed your photos, and love the inventive use of duct tape!!

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    1. Thanks, SP&P! And I agree that even if they're not successful, Jackie and Al were indeed inventive!

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  3. brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    Magnifiche immagini :)
    Myriam

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    Replies
    1. Molto grazie, Rosa! (And I agree - I think "brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" is the same in all languages!) :-)

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  4. Beautiful - and I so hope that duct tape saves that tree.

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    1. Me too, Ellie C - though I have to admit to holding out little hope, stranger things have happened...

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  5. I'm feeling chilly just looking at your photos. I think we had early snow in Upstate NY, and sometimes a little in Wis., but this seems like an excessive amount for early Oct.

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    1. It's absolutely an excessive amount for early October, and we have more on the way starting tonight through Tuesday morning! They're predicting 7-9" in this one, and I sure hope I can get Joanne safely up to Billings to catch her flight home on Tuesday! What an October so far! Maybe it's getting the cold and snow out of its system and we'll enjoy a mild winter - but I doubt it.

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  6. We had two SnowTober storms the past two years over Halloween... maybe this year will be a third... dunno, it has been a strangely warm autumn so far... LOVE the duck tape!

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    1. We usually enjoy lovely weather during most of October and then get a pretty respectable snow storm at Halloween, but this year's been very unusual. (And last Halloween it was in the balmy 60s, which brought the ghouls and goblins out in record-setting droves! At least we got to see their costumes, usually we just see their winter coats, hats and mittens and have to take it on faith they're costumed underneath all those bulky winter layers!) :-) Enjoy the warmth while it lasts...

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  7. i feel chilly, too when looking at your images. such heavy snowstorm early october. hope the tree can be saved.

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    1. Me too! But another snowstorm is bearing down on us already - I fear for more trees! Hope everyone has stocked up on duct tape! :-)

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  8. Hiya, TW! Winter in October.....why not! Makes you wonder what's in store when the real Winter weather sets in. We've been having spectacular weather of late, and I truly feel a bit bad for you. But our time will come ;-).
    Great repair job your neighbor. It's true....duct tape and rebar are an unbeatable combo.
    When we get a good snow, I'll send you a pic out our front window. Something will look strikingly familiar ;-). I remember years ago when I told you we'd moved to across the street from an elementary school, you told me, "No way we're ever doing that!".....lol! xoxoxo

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    1. I know, you midwesterners have been enjoying some incredible weather! Jo's been keeping track of the balmy temps back in Michigan and in Indiana where one of her daughters attends college. Enjoy it! At least we've had good weather for watching movies and baking - and have gotten a couple of nice long walks in with the dogs and also explored the cemetery during our fairly pleasant (though short) weather break.

      Yeah, my mom always told me, "Never say never, you'll eat a lifetime of them!" :-) Looking forward to your photo, but don't want to rush "a good snow" on you!

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  9. So much chilly beauty! Those blue skies are amazing.

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    1. They really were, especially in such contrast to our skies the day before! They haven't been that blue since.

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  10. Hi! Very beautiful sky shots. The Canada geese photos are very nice too. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Minoru, glad you enjoyed them! The Canada geese are always wonderful to see and hear...

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  11. Yikes! guess you had to dig out your winter clothes to go out shooting. Nice images, but too early a reminder of what lies ahead--sigh-- Meanwhile, we are enjoying splendid fall weather -- I swam outdoors the last two days [heated pool at the gym]. Stay warm...

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    1. It seems a large chunk of the country was enjoying beautiful Fall weather while we were shivering and shoveling! But that's okay, we had a comparatively nice summer while other's were dealing with violent storms and heat waves and fires. I guess it all evens out in the end! We continue to have a mixed bag of weather, but I think our summer-like days were over a while ago. Now even the sunny days are usually nippy and blustery! Enjoy that heated pool for me - have to admit to a wee bit of envy, there! :-)

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  12. Wow, I can't believe winter weather is hitting you like this already! I'm going to pile on another blanket just out of sympathy!

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    1. Thanks, that extra blanket you piled on did help at our end. :-) We've had more snow and sleet since this storm, but no accumulations that were noteworthy. It has been quite a strange Autumn! Tomorrow we're supposed to get a very nice window of warm sunshine, and we plan to take full advantage of it - long walk with the dogs and some outdoor projects!

      And thank you for noticing and commenting on my new header! It's a photo of a gorgeous barberry bush in a nearby neighborhood that I photographed last year - had to blur it quite a bit for my header, but aren't those colors amazing?? Sure took me long enough to switch from spring to fall (I'm not nearly as fast as Mother Nature when it comes to changing the seasons! LOL)

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  13. I'm glad you could find some beauty in this storm, at least. I think I'd still be traumatized by it!

    That's a pretty genius idea that Jackie had to help their tree. Hopefully it works!

    The pictures of SD were crazy. SO. MUCH. SNOW! Maybe this means that the winter will be mild?

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    1. I didn't have to look hard or far to find the beauty, but even now, 2 1/2 weeks later, it's still traumatic. I took the girls on a long walk on the Pathways System, starting in one of the parks with huge trees, and the storm's destruction was unnerving. There are still HUGE piles of tree limbs piled up everywhere - a lot of people piled them on the curbs and sidewalks the day after the storm, and there they still sit! Do they think the Tree Limb Fairy is coming to haul them away? The city/county is apparently unable or unwilling to do anything except put up a notice about the two places (at and beside) the county landfill to take all the limbs and branches to. Gonna be a real mess if it's still all sitting there during our big snows later in the season!

      I don't know when Jackie will be able to tell if her "splint" worked, but I imagine it won't be till spring. I'll have to ask her and let you know if it worked!

      SD was insane. That amount of snow is insane at any time of the year, but barely 2 weeks into Autumn??? Nuts.

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  14. Brrrrr! I'm sure you're glad to see those crisp blue, sunny skies!

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    1. They were good to see, along with the warm sunshine! The two days after the storm were just gorgeous, the way early October is supposed to be! Made us all shake our heads and wonder just what that storm was all about and if it was really necessary! :-)

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"