With the last sands of August slipping through the hourglass, the winds of September have already arrived in full force. And this afternoon, following an alarm on my phone by only a very few minutes — enough for me to rush around the house battening down windows and doors, and enough to quickly hustle Carley out for a pre-downpour potty break — the sky darkened dramatically and an end-of-summer weather burst blasted through Essex. Although the entire dramatic affair last only minutes, the storm damage was significant.
The photograph above and the next one below capture the startling aftermath of a large, old maple tree growing just west of the old tennis court. I was aware that fairly significant rot had begun to compromise the tree, but I grossly underestimated how little unrotten trunk the grand old tree was relying upon to stay upright.
Pushing my fingers into the spongy interior I was struck by what a miracle nature has been performing maintaining this towering maple, and I now know how fortunate we’ve been. And how fortunate we were this afternoon. I’ve included the second photograph from the perspective of the hammock huddle because it shows that a similar storm arriving from the northwest would have likely crushed the icehouse. Spared by fate!
The vengeful blast also snapped this large ash tree, slamming it so suddenly that it lifted part of the root system right out of the ground.
This immense stem from the ornamental maple in our front yard was unceremoniously trimmed from her high perch as were countless branches and limbs from many of the trees on our lawns. Tomorrow we’ll venture into the back meadows and forests to see how they fared.
Adding a dose of drama to the storm damage, another large ash (I’ll confirm variety tomorrow after the power lines have been addressed) came down, this one across the power lines, and indeed partially across NYS Route 22. It’s difficult to see in the photo, but the tree caught fire, several times flaring up quite fiercely. Then a series of small explosions, starting at the hung tree and then popping down toward the ferry dock in a dramatic series of bangs appear to have deactivated the wire. No more fire. Just smoke.
Fortunately we received virtually damage to buildings. And — the consolation prize, I suppose — it looks like we will have a whole lot of firewood soon!