Thursday, September 2, 2010

natural disturbance...

In the West, natural sources of rapid environmental change (disturbance) include earthquakes (a few), and wildfires (a lot). Also floods (some).

In the Midwest there are also floods (lots). But the Midwest is where one is tutored in lightning and wind.

My first summer in the Midwest had three tornado warnings. A LOUD siren, starts low, and ascends and ascends and ascends until its a high, powerful whine of anxiety; spooky. Makes everyone stop what they're doing. I'd never heard a siren before that is loud enough for the whole town.

These people take tornadoes seriously.

And they have mind-boggling storms out there. I've seen the most rapid-fire, non-stop lightning of my life, strangely enough, during a storm centered over Hell, Michigan. Yup, a tiny town called Hell. Anyhow, it was night, the power was out, but you could have read a book (had you not been transfixed by the rioting sky), everything was SO lit by lightning. Stunning.

And tornadoes. This is the only place I've ever seen deep, dark, olive green clouds, pulling down like cotton candy. Mind you, I LOVE wind, but I now know when it's time to head for the cellar.

Peaceful place, a Midwestern farm. Not far from where the tornado touched down.

These people were lucky. And they are grateful.

Not so lucky:
Trees defoliated and/or ripped out of the ground by the tornado.

  Was a building (probably a sheet metal shed), now just a cement pad.

Sheet metal of exploding sheds has to go somewhere...

Apparently this tornado tossed a truck 1/4 mile, and an engine block 1/2 mile.


I call that disturbing.



  1. As I was going to say earlier (ahem), my grandfather who grew up in Illinois, but later moved to California, said he preferred earthquakes to tornadoes. If an earthquake knocks your house down, you at least know where everything is. With a tornado all your stuff might end up in the next county (and you with it). Midwestern pragmatism at its best.

  2. =) Ah, that's a riot. You are so right about Midwestern pragmatism. Love them! =) Thanks for persisting re: commenting. Glad it's finally working!


Cool people write inside rectangles....