Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Windfall (not the monetary kind)

Wow, it was blowing dogs off chains a few days ago! If you live anywhere in the middle of the country, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  I’m not complaining, mind you. Compared to the blizzard conditions experienced in other places, we got off easy.

Wind gusts exceeded 50 mph in our area. According to the National Weather Service (From Jim Spencer’s weather blog on KXAN), Hays County’s highest measured gust was 53 mph.

I am amazed at how strong trees are, and how much movement and stress they can take. Looking out the window the other day at the trees thrashing about, I expected more damage. But those trees are tough. Our damage was limited to occasional broken Ashe juniper branches, though one of those was quite a large branch in a tree directly in front of the house.

Besides the woodpile, a few branches fell, also.
One unforeseen problem emerged. In a recent tree-cutting spree we stacked wood five feet high between several moderately sized cedars. When the winds started gusting, the trees started swaying – and a good bit of our woodpile toppled. Now we get to stack that wood twice. Live and learn.

Did you notice the noise of the windstorm? Even inside the house, I could hear a low sustained roar. Outside, the roar was intense:  an amalgam of wind whistling through branches, leaves rustling, limbs crashing against each other, and trees creaking and groaning – for miles around.

“Awesome” – though overworked – is just the right adjective!

Favorite spot in the garden:

The violets have begun blooming, few and sparse right now. These little darlings appeared without my help and began proliferating under the roof overhang and live oak tree. According to the Wildflower Research Center they are “Good for the moist but well-drained woodland shade garden.” Well, that’s not exactly what I’ve got, but I’ll take ‘em! I think they are Missouri violets (Viola missouriensis).

For some reason, I thought of poetry when writing about the violets, and I found this sweet little poem to share.

Who hath despised the day of small things?
By Cristina Rossetti

As violets so be I recluse and sweet,
            Cheerful as daisies unaccounted rare,
Still sunward-gazing from a lowly seat,
            Still sweetening wintry air.
While half-awaked Spring lags incomplete,
            While lofty forest trees tower bleak and bare,
Daisies and violets own remotest heat
            And bloom and make them fair.


  1. Wind like that IS amazing, and we've had nothing but drying wind all winter. Just what we need out here with normal spring winds and no rain many March-June periods! So, it's the junipers that are the most weak-wooded?

    Enjoying your mix of events, favorite spots, and poems...very cool! I keep forgetting to e-mail your brother-in-law Will about finding your blog...

    1. That wind was a little scary also - we were under a red flag warning for wildfire danger. Luckily, nothing big erupted. I was surprised, but yes - the junipers seemed to show the most damage, at least here.

  2. We too had the 50mph gusts, but luckily little damage was done in our area. There seems to be more high winds in the last year than ever before.

    I look forward to the violets of spring. Right now they are under the snow. We were lucky to get snow this year for all the drought we had last year. Hopefully his year will be a good gardening year. Thanks for leaving your link too.