Friday, June 08, 2007

Garden Adventure

Gardening is supposed to be a relaxing, low key pastime... then there was yesterday. Strong storms had been predicted for yesterday afternoon; in fact the weather forecasters sounded almost frightened for us. The temperature was to rise 40 degrees, then fall the same amount in about 24 hours; an 80 degree turnaround. Also, as they say, the cap was gone, and aloft wind shear factors were off the scale over eastern Iowa. I knew it was coming, and indeed, the day began ominously with gusting, hot, humid winds from the southwest. Like the grasshopper, that morning I went blithely off to the nature preserve to shilly-shally around, rather than buzzing out to the garden to batten down the hatches. The weather radar was completely clear so I had lots of time... and time was what I needed, for I have about a hundred tall lilies that needed to be staked if we were to have, as predicted, sixty mile an hour winds. Also, our life-size gargoyle, named Uboughtwhat, needed to be tied down, lest his spread wings cause him to take flight, so that we would have to change his name to Uhadwhat.
I got back from the woods at noon, had a nice leisurely lunch, then ambled out to the garden. By this time the wind was coming in gusts, and the sky had turned grey, but all seemed well; a thin line of storms had formed halfway across the state to our west, but that was over a hundred miles away. Staking a hundred lilies (as well as a few other plants) may not sound like much of a job, but it all takes time to do properly, for a poorly staked lily is worse than an unstaked lily. I was barely half done when I went back in and checked the weather radar. The line of storms was now only 50 miles or so away, and we were under a tornado watch... the storms were moving sixty miles an hour. I ran back out to the garden, and began staking like crazy. All the while a robin sat on a branch overhead maniacally singing; it was if he was singing Chirrup Chirrup Faster Faster. The clouds overhead began to thicken, then boil, and thunder was rumbling to the west. By now I was sweating in spite of the strong wind... then the tornado sirens began to sound. Strangely, they only sounded for a minute, then went silent; this was almost more worrisome than if they had continued wailing, for I had no idea what was happening. However it soon became obvious that the initial part of the storm was passing just to our west; scud clouds streaked towards this part of the storm, along with all the moisture and energy in the air, and the storm over us just fell apart... it was like letting the air out of a balloon.
So, panting and sweaty, I got everything staked and tied down, only to have the massive storm fizzle and just give us a gentle sprinkle.
This morning is clear and cool; I guess I could go take some of the Bungee cords and rope off of Uboughtwhat.
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Great picture! I really like your blog!

Over near Madison WI we had the same dire weather prophecy withe the same fizzling result. Checking the radar online sure helps make gardens decisions. I watered the containers anyway. The winds were still pretty fierce even into this morning.

I admire your dedication to batten down the hatches with more than 100 lilies.

Verdant Heart
herbs... thanks; glad you like it... i certainly enjoy bopping along with it.

Verdant... it's odd; they were predicting storms all week, then abruptly they now say no cance of rain for a week... another big fizzle!
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