Monday, November 11, 2013

Mother Nature Can Be Cranky

Our early morning temperature was a mere 9°.  That's our coldest so far of the season.  But we had lovely sunshine so it didn't feel too bad.

Then about mid-morning, the wind started blowing.  And, boy howdy, did it blow!

When we were eating lunch, we heard a "noise" out somewhere around the east side of the garage and wondered what had blown off, down, or away.  Upon investigation, we found the insulator on the electric pole where our grid power comes into the house was twisted off its moorings and hanging halfway down the pole.  We also found our phone lines (yes, we still have a land line phone, dinosaurs that we are) had been ripped out of the box attached to the house.  Peering through the woods, we could see electrical lines some of which were drooping in an unusual formation and some were lying on the ground.

About that time our neighbor on the east came hustling over through the road we keep open between our two places.  "I knew I should have taken down that big spruce!  I just KNEW I should have taken it down!" were the self-chastising words coming out of his mouth.  He was in the middle of a machinery crisis which frustrated him even more since he couldn't stop everything and help.

The wind had blown the tree over onto the lines coming from his property to ours and created the tangle of electrical wires and phone lines.

Being Veteran's Day, we couldn't rouse anyone at our public utilities office or our phone provider.  Long story short, we called one of the linemen who lives within a couple miles of us, told him the situation and asked who we should call to report the problem since everyone seemed to be unavailable on this holiday.  Good guy that he is, he said he'd be over as soon as he could to check out the situation.


This is the trunk of the toppled tree left after Kind-Hearted Lineman and Papa Pea got it cut up enough for repair of the damage.


It's hard to get the perspective of how big this lovely old spruce was, but it was a big 'un.

The surprising thing was that neither we nor our neighbors lost grid power during this little incident.  (We were operating on solar energy when it happened, but tested grid power and were happy to find it still working.)  

Papa Pea finally was able to get a live body (albeit one in India) to talk to about the sad state of our phone lines and the phone being inoperable. We were told a repairman would be out to look at it "sometime" tomorrow.  Never one to be stymied by a situation, my dear hubby fiddled with the wires until he got them jury-rigged so that we now have phone service again.  (We're still hoping the phone repairman makes an appearance tomorrow though.)

A beautiful, sunny, clear day and then Mother Nature decides to add high winds to the mix . . . and the picture changes.  You certainly can't be prepared well enough for any and all kinds of weather nature throws at you, although good neighbor D really wishes he had taken that big spruce tree down before Mother Nature did.

24 comments:

Sunnybrook Farm said...

We have only been down to 22 so far but not with any wind. We had wind yesterday but it was warm and after two derechos in two years, there isn't much that hasn't already been blown down. At least you have some firewood now.

Tombstone Livestock said...

Hmmm ... high of 78 here today, low was 42. And still no rain, no rain in 7 day forecast either, normal average for now would be 2 inches. But at least we are not having the problems of the Phillipines.

Anonymous said...

It is JERRY rigged

Nancy said...

Glad you are alright and warm. Glad your lineman came. I can tell that was a huge tree. I'd like to hear about your solar power please.

Mama Pea said...

Sunnybrook Farm - We've certainly been experiencing more high winds around here in the last few years. But I know weather all over the States has been more "violent" than usual. Guess we all just have to batten down the hatches! And, yes, since our neighbor doesn't heat with wood, he wants us to take the wood for our stash.

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - Boy, what do you have to do to get some moisture?? But as it is with the rest of us, it sure could be worse.

Mama Pea said...

Anonymous - I questioned myself on that. But according to Dictionary.com the definition for jury-rigged is: To assemble quickly or from whatever is at hand, especially for temporary use.

Mama Pea said...

Nancy - We've had solar panels on a tracker (it follows the sun) since we moved to this piece of property 'bout 17 years ago. However, coupled with our battery bank for storage of solar power, we are able to produce only about 50% of the electrical power we need. Our alternative energy guru/friend has recently obtained more panels (used) that he has offered to us at a very reasonable price so our ability to produce sun power will be increased shortly!

DFW said...

Glad it didn't do any 'real' damage. We have mostly North winds in the winter. I always wonder why it can't blow from that direction in the summer time.

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

I'm happy to hear there was no major damage and everyone was alright at both homes. Good thing you have someone (a lineman) in your neighborhood.
The weather is getting cold here 29 last night and dropping as I type. We took trees down a couple of days ago to avoid incidents like your neighbors tree.

Lisa said...

THAT was a HUGE tree! Living the country lifestyle, there is always a new um... 'adventure'... 'round every corner it seems!!

Carolyn said...

Can a jury be jerry rigged?
(tee-hee)

Mama Pea said...

DFW - Yes, the little inconvenience was no big deal. Luck was with us. The wind that took it down was from the north. They can be pretty powerful, can't they?

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - We are so fortunate to live in the small, caring community that we do. Even slight acquaintances will jump to help you when you need it. Our area has a reputation for attracting strong individuals with personal opinions and beliefs, but if there is a problem nearly everyone drops every thing to help.

Because we live in the middle of "the woods" we're constantly having to take down trees that look "dangerous." This was a reminder for us that we must find the time to take down two on our property, that we've been looking at for too long, that would do real damage if they blew over.

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Isn't that just the truth!? This morning we had planned on going outside to get a bunch of things done. The telephone repairman showed up before we could do that and Papa Pea has been out there with him since. We just have to learn to go with the flow!

Mama Pea said...

Carolyn - Don't cha think the saying originally came from "rigging a jury?" Or was it "rigging a Jerry?" ;o)

Susan said...

Looks like Ma Nature had a hissy fit! I'm glad you weren't knocked off (grid, that is) and your land line held. I always hate to see a big tree come down, especially on my power lines...you have awfully nice neighbors.... :)

Mama Pea said...

Susan - The telephone repairman did show up this morning. Really nice guy and he put everything back to right including removing a line (telephone) that he had no idea why it was where it was!

Yes, we do indeed have the most wonderful of neighbors on our east side and the landowners on our west are great people, too. We're so appreciative of what can truly be called good neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so glad you have a lineman living close to you :) That was one massive tree! Glad there was no major damage done. Miss you bunches!!!

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Sparkless said...

That looks like a big tree to me. Glad it didn't hit anything solid like your house or car. We still have a land line too. I like that even without power it will work while cell phones will run out of power. One day we'll get rid of it but not yet.

Kristina said...

Wow. You are lucky to not lose power.

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - Luckily, there was nothing (other than the overhead lines!) that the tree could have hit. Good thing as the tree was so darn big it could have done some damage!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - It was on our neighbors property, but far away from his house or vehicles. He has a heavy equipment business so there's lots of machinery over there . . . but luckily out of reach of that tree!

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Yes, those lines supply power to first our neighbor and then us and I was amazed that the power was still coming through. We had the solar power we could have fallen back on (actually we were on solar when it happened) so it wouldn't have been hard on us.