"Cows are my passion. What I have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a farm and live entirely surrounded by cows–and china." Charles Dickens

March 7, 2012

During the Storm

Heading up the hill towards the farm to feed the calves: timing not so great.

The water tower on our ridge, about a mile from our farm.
This was that funny, pinky sky you hear about.
We realize our good fortune in escaping what could have been a very dangerous bullet. The storm last Friday, March 2nd that thickened and swelled and danced over our farm went on to create a large funnel over Somerset, our Pulaski County seat ten miles to the southeast of us, and then turned into a killer tornado less than an hour due east of us in Laurel County.

We had been storm-watching all day (see Before the Storm blog post) and by 6pm it seemed imminent. We still had to feed our two bottle-fed calves and went over together to our farm to do that (our doublewide, sans storm shelter, is across the street). I dropped Temple and Eli off at the cattle sorting building and waited in the car. As I did the sky darkened to almost night-like and the rain started. Then it hailed. Temple came out and told me to move the car under the shed (which was in vain–he had to do it!). Then the storm passed almost as soon as it started. I was glad to see the moon.

Before we got hammered.

We returned home after taking some photos and gathering some hail (Henry had done the same at the doublewide). The house was dark as we'd lost power so we sat with our flashlights for a bit, had another brief burst of wind and rain, and then decided to go see if our Mennonite friends, Melvin and Anna were OK over in Casey County. They were fine and had experienced more of a blast two days prior when they had a hard hail storm. We returned home, able to sleep a bit easier, but unaware of the tragedies that were unfolding in other parts of Kentucky and Indiana.

I will always be fascinated by tornados but I have a healthy respect for their power and randomness. It is possible to observe and see the weather here before it arrives, to be as prepared as possible, and to enjoy the awesome beauty–and ferocity–of nature. It is exhilarating in a strange way because you realize that, despite our best intentions, we are not in control.

There, but for the grace of God, go I.

Definitely trying to be a funnel cloud: view of the clouds over the southern part of our farm.

Trying to be funnel clouds.

All of our farm buildings were spared: we really just had a bad hail storm.

The cloud formations were amazing and all going in different directions and at different speeds.

The bad storm that hit us and moved along to the east.
The background was so black it appeared blue.

I was glad to see the moon above us, even as the clouds continued to move around us.

The view to the west after the storm at our farm: this passed over us.
Thickened tornadic layering over our knob after the storm passed through.

You come back when you're ready!


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