Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Surprise, Surprise

7:01 darkness falls. Just that quickly. The bats come out of the haymow to flutter, confused, or maybe looking for lingering insects as the wind picks up. I am glad we still have bats, a handful here, a cluster there, big browns, not the little browns that are so endangered by white nose syndrome, but bats at least.

The wind kicks up as cell phones chitter. Liz’s text message tone is a chirping bird (which drives a certain birdwatcher mother nuts). You’d think it had found a whole stash of sunflower seeds or something the way it is going on. But no, friends to the west are sending messages of doom. Trees down, power outages, rain falling in torrents.

But wait a minute. We came over to the barn in sunshine and heat, after a muggy day of turning a bushel and a half of Amish tomatoes into tomato sauce against the winter. What is up with this stuff?

More wind and then the rain. Liz suggests that we stir our stumps and get the cows out of the barn soonest. 

As if in echo the lights go out. It is not fun to be in a barn full of cows, some of them loose and on their way outdoors, when it turns suddenly midnight.

As quickly as they fade, they rise again from the gloom and we really put on the hustle. Milk the bucket cows, get everybody to pasture. Let Bling stay in, poor gimpy fool. She is safer from her own idiocy in her stanchion than out in the storm. Fans off, pumps plugged in, hay down, calves fed. 

Wash the pipeline, hurry to the house, umbrellas down all the way. Better to get wet than to stroll through all that lightning with a metal thing pointed at the sky.

As the rain slows to a steady rattle, and the thunder moves away, a drowning yellow sunset offers a soggy glimpse under the edge of the clouds to the west. In the east the last night of the fair looks almost exactly the same.

Another storm starts to grumble its way nearer, as we race to put the tomato sauce in the freezer and get some supper cooking. 

When we are finally brave enough to plug the electronics back in, a friend’s Facebook video shows what sure looks like a small funnel cloud, just a couple of miles to the east. It’s going to be a long night.


A. Montgomery said...

I saw a small funnel cloud right over Amsterdam when I was shutting down the computers. That sauce looks good! Love, Mom

Woodswalker said...

Ah, the tempestuous relationship of farmers and the weather! I love a good thunderstorm, myself, but all I have to worry about are 5 frightened cats who head for the cellar, not a barnful of cows.

Rev. Paul said...

I hope all are well, after that rough evening.

threecollie said...

Mon, isn't it crazy how many of them there are these days! Sauce tasted good even barely seasoned. Looking forward to using it! Love you too! Give me a call when you have time to talk.

WW, I too enjoy them on one hand. So interesting and exciting. Love to try for good photos. However two of the places I have lived over the past couple-three decades have been in the path of lightning strikes and serious wind. That can be scary. A couple of years before my mother-in-law passed it struck the power box in the attic and sparks and flames shot out of the electric outlets here in the kitchen. Arghh!!!