After the tornadoes. . .

April 29, 2011

We live 4 miles from the Alabama / Tennessee state line.  So yes, we were in the middle of all that tornado trouble this past Wednesday.  We had no electricity all day Wednesday (it went out sometime Tuesday night), and spent a large part of the day in a dark basement with little battery-powered lanterns for light.  I got plenty of exercise running up and down the stairs!  We’d think the storms were over, go upstairs, and uh-oh, the weatherman says another is coming and “take your tornado precautions!”  And there we’d go, back down to the basement.

There are toppled trees all around us.  Others have been split by the high winds or actual tornadoes, and part of the trees are broke off and on the ground.  The Bradford Pears that are so popular in subdivisions don’t fare too well in high wind.  That soft wood just can’t take it.  But there were oaks toppled or in pieces too!

We were very fortunate that we didn’t get a direct hit from the tornadoes skipping around the area.   We had a lot of tree limbs down, but not any entire trees.  (Well, we haven’t walked back in the woods… no telling what’s happened there.)  Our walnuts, oaks and elms lost a lot of small branches and some bigger ones.  One big branch fell off a walnut tree and landed right by the peafowl aviary.

picture of fallen limb by aviary

A Near Miss!

Of course, several smaller limbs DID hit the aviary and it looks a little worse for wear, but at least the netting didn’t get all torn up like it would have if the bigger branch had smacked down on it.

There were some branches blown into other odd places, like this one:

picture of branch through tree

That's a little strange!

And we had to move branches like these off the driveway so we could drive out.

fallen branch

One of many fallen branches!

Most of the day the guineas stayed out in the rain, even though they have shelters!

picture of guinea in the rain

One bedraggled guinea fowl!

I suppose if a tornado had went right through here, it would have ended up pretty fowl!  No telling where the guineas would have ended up.

Once the winds and tornadoes were done for the day, the water started rising.

picture of flooded road

Here comes the flood waters!

That’s not unusual.  After particularly heavy rains, the creek usually gets out of bounds and goes over the low part of the road.

But it didn’t stop there.

Nope, for the first time since we built our lovely spring-fed pond, the flood waters got up and over the berm, and flowed into the pond.

picture of muddy flood water getting into pond

And the contamination creeps in. . .

I took the above picture from the far side of the pond, between it and the creek.  I didn’t get to stay there long. The water just kept getting higher, and pretty soon it was where it had never been before and I had to MOVE!

The water not only flowed into the pond for the first time ever, it came on out the other side and flowed around behind it also, and into the bottom pasture.

picture of flood water coming out of pond

Flood flowing through the pond.


flooded area

The Farmer checks out his flooded pond.

Not only did the pond get contaminated and water flow through it and into the pasture, but the water got so high it completely covered the bridge across the creek.

flood waters over bridge

See the arrow? There's a bridge going under water there!

That’s something I’ve never seen in all the years we’ve lived here!  There is usually one high spot visible during a flood.

Yesterday we started cleaning up.  The critters enjoyed the leaves off the downed branches.

picture of sheep eating tree leaves

A usually unreachable treat!

And although we didn’t loose our roof, we picked up some roof and soffit materials from someone else’s house… who knows where.

picture of soffit blown off by storm

Wonder who this belonged to?

Despite the inconvenience of no electricity for a day and a half, we are much better off than neighbors to the south of us who will not have electricity for 5-7 days.  And maybe we’re all lucky Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant didn’t take a direct hit, but just lost all the feeder lines.

Just a couple days after the storm and it all looks pretty serene here. . .

picture of muddy pond in sunshine

There was a storm here?

We’ve pretty much cleaned up around the farm, and if it wasn’t for the muddy pond, you’d never know we had such storms.

Sadly, it will take many of our neighbors that took direct hits from the tornadoes a very long time to put things to right, and some things will never be the same.

Upon reflection. . .

February 16, 2011

I took this picture recently…

picture of pond reflection

Tree Portrait

Kind of looks like a painting, doesn’t it?  Well, it hasn’t been Photoshopped with any special effects.  I will confess, however, that I flipped it vertically, and the picture is actually upside-down.

Yep, it’s a picture of a reflection in our pond of some nearby trees.

You can tell it’s a reflection easier in this picture.

picture of pond reflection of trees

Tree Reflection

Same deal, no photoshopping, I just flipped the photo.  But you can see some of the weeds along the bank of the pond along the top of the picture.

I like checking out the pond this time of year.  There’s no algae clouding up the water, and it’s easy to see the bottom.

Checking out the pond bottom.

Of course, there’s all those leaves on the bottom from the now bare trees reflected in the water.  And the lousy sweetgum balls!  At least I can’t step on them if they are on the bottom of the pond.

Guess I’ll just reflect on that.

I need a memory upgrade!

December 14, 2010

I wish I could buy more memory, like you do for a computer, and install it in my brain.  Cause boy!  I sure could use some!

For example, yesterday I totally forgot about any post for Rural Ramblings.  Never even crossed my mind.

And I usually fix The Farmer’s lunch the night before for him to take to work the next day.  Well, last night … you guessed it!  I totally forgot it.  Once again, never crossed my mind.  Not even a “I’ll do it later” then forgot, just flat out never even thought about it.

Then this morning I noticed a big form in a stack of mail that I need to fill out for a family member.  It needs done by December 17th.  Oh yeah, that’s THIS Friday!

I’m sure it’s the cold weather.  My brain cells are in stasis, temporarily frozen.  Yeah… that’s it.  It’s like our pond…

picture of ice on pond

Almost Frozen Over Pond

See how it’s almost totally frozen over?  But there’s one little bit in the lower right hand side of the picture where you can see it’s still ice-free.  The reason that part doesn’t freeze so easily is because the spring comes out there and keeps the water moving a little bit.

My brain is like that pond.  Mostly frozen over, except for one little section that keeps moving because it HAS to keep working so I eat and sleep and move and all that stuff.

So that’s why I’m so forgetful lately.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Friday’s Farm Fotos

October 8, 2010

Time for a round-up of photos from around the farm this week.  We’ve had some beautiful weather, and critters and people are all enjoying it.

The guineas are done nesting for the year, and back in one big flock.  Here they are in our front yard. . .

picture of guinea fowl

Foraging Guineas

They hatched a lot of keets, but made a poor showing for keeping them!  There are only two survivors.  Guineas will NOT be winning the mother of the year award!

The chickens like to forage in the grass too.  It’s a nice buffet of seeds and bugs.

picture of red rooster

Strolling along. . .

They not only forage in the front yard and fields, they go down around the pond too.

picture of chickens

Grazing by the pond.

And they are often near the birdbath, since they like to use it for their local watering hole.

picture of polish silver laced rooster

The Patriarch Rooster of the Chicken Clan

While the chickens are running around, the goat and llama are taking a break and enjoying the sunshine.

photo of goat and llama

Resting in the sunshine.

Since the weather was cooler, Toby and I decided to walk in the woods.  In the bottom pasture, there are still some butterflies flitting around.

picture of Gulf Fritillary butterfly

Gulf Fritillary butterfly (Agraulis vanillae)

There are still white flowers blooming in the fields and woods.

picture of plants with white flowers

Anybody know what these plants are?

Since ya’ll are so good at identifying birds, how about trees?  There is a pretty tall tree in our woods with purplish stems at the top.

photo of tree

Name this tree!

And to help with the identification, here is a closer look at the leaves of the tree . . .

picture of tree

A closer look at the leaves. . .

And now, a closer look at those purple stems at the top of the tree. . .

photo of tree

Looks like there was fruit here?

So how about it, anyone know what the tree is?

And now, it’s time to jump into the week-end!

picture of chicken

"Gotta Fly!"

Hope ya’ll have a GREAT week-end!

Turtle-ly Awesome Weather

September 30, 2010

We are having some wonderful fall weather right now, with cooler days in the 80s instead of high 90s (F.).  The sun is shining, there’s a nice breeze… it’s beautiful out there!

Even the turtles in the pond are enjoying sunning themselves…

photo of turtle

Floating in the sunshine.

But wait!  There wasn’t just one turtle, or even one KIND of turtle!  There were two turtle youngsters right close to each other.

picture of turtles

Together in the pond weeds.

I’m not sure what sort of turtle the one on the left is.  The shell is covered with stuff, so it could be a Painted Turtle or an Eastern Chicken Turtle.

But this one I’m pretty sure is a snapping turtle.

photo of small snapping turtle

Snapping Turtle

We see a big snapping turtle in the pond once in a while, or going walkabout.

picture of snapping turtle

"Places to go, turtles to see!"

This turtle is pretty easy going.

picture of snapping turtle head

Hey, I'm easy going.

Not all snapping turtles are mean and aggressive!

At any rate, we end up with little turtles in the pond from somewhere!

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