Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Heck of a Show!

"It was a dark and stormy night," or so Snoopy writes endlessly.

Yesterday was a whirlwind of changing weather here at the Aerie. After several days of strong winds we finally had a calm morning but that was accompanied by thick, thick fog across the land. Water was dripping off the roof from the condensation of that fog alone for a few hours. Then, as the fog (remember fog is no more than clouds in contact with the ground) lifted, it began to rain. That continued fro a n hour or two before the clouds thinned and the ever elusive sun started to sneak a peek between them.

Still the wind was virtually nonexistent. The windmills across the way would occasionally spin lazily and then pivot to face a new direction only to spin slowly once more. High above, it was a different story. Way, way up there, clouds appeared to be on separate layers of swiftly moving air. Air moving in different directions as well as at different speeds. They would slip and slide over one another in a scene reminiscent of the battle between Kirk and Khan in the cloud of ionized gas. Watching, you kept waiting for a collision forgetting to think in 3-D.

The clouds continued to get thicker and darker and more ominous while still having huge gaps of blue(ish) sky between them through which the sun would occasionally blaze. Around 5:30-6:00 in the late afternoon, the clouds suddenly let loose and the rain poured forth in torrents so dense that the windmills were lost to sight. Now the water did pour off the porch roof--in a sheet! Water pooled everywhere it was flat enough to do so and, sometimes, even where it only had a small obstacle blocking its way down hill. Above the cascading waters you could hear a distant rumble of thunder and sometimes see a flash of lightening.

Meanwhile, off to the west, northwest, the sun suddenly began to shine beneath the clouds and through the rain. It was low enough on the horizon to get a sneak peek under the clouds. I imagine, somewhere over in Mansfield or Wellsboro, folks looking this way were going to see one hell of a rainbow! Despite the favorable conditions, I didn't. See a rainbow that is. The best view is 180 degrees from the sun and that would be Armenia Mountain on which the Aerie is perched. Oh well.

That rain lasted about an hour and things were calm again by 7 PM. Not dry, not clear, but calm. That didn't last long, however. I used the break to get the bird feeders in.

By 8 PM the sun had set but the sky was darker to the west-northwest for another reason. Thick, dark clouds filled the horizon. Beneath them it must have been pouring rain for the hillsides were obscured. Then the lightening began in earnest. Cloud-to-cloud lightening like nothing I have witnessed before. Every few seconds bolts of blazing white and yellow light snapped and zig-zagged their way across the sky. Not down or up, but across. And at different altitudes. One could imagine the old gods at war. Zeus, Odin, Thor, Vulcan smashing their hammers and tossing their lightening bolts at one another as the clashed in battle royal for domination.

It began to rain around the Aerie, but nothing like what we had earlier. The electric lights flickered a time or two but--except for the hypersensitive microwave, nothing lost power. (I had unplugged a few things, including my 'puter in a precautionary move.) The sound and light show continued in spectacular fashion for a couple of hours before it toned down enough for me to fall asleep around 10 PM.

This morning the sky is mostly clear. The windmills are facing southwest and spinning happily. The ground is thoroughly soaked. The onions I put in the other day have had the soil around them tamped down. The sunflower seed hulls beneath the feeders has been washed across the lawn and lies in little dike -like structures retaining pooled water behind them like miniature rice paddies. The robin who built his nest under the eaves on the top log end of the garage is probably feeling pretty damn cocky right about now. HIS nest remained high and dry during the entire storm.

The temperature outside was 67 when I came down this morning. It had reached 75 yesterday. I believe I shall have to get a few screens out of the attic and think about putting them in before too long. Meanwhile it's just 65 inside the Aerie. A temperature inversion has occurred. Perhaps one that signals the arrival of summer?


Tina Marie the Willow Witch said...

We can only hope, I will happily skip this soggy spring and hop right into summer....mud, mud, mud...

Rev. Paul said...

Your descriptions are wonderful.

Of course, how could I not like a scenario painted with both "The Wrath of Khan" AND Asgard?


joated said...

Well, I could have included either Gandalf's Firetop battle with the wraiths or the bridge scene vs. the Balrog. But that might have been over doing it. ;-)

Rev. Paul said...

Nah ... too much is NEVER enough!