This week we weathered a tornado. What a way to get all hands on deck! Everyone pulled together and we’ve managed to begin patching things up.
On Wednesday afternoon without much warning the skies went dark, hail pounded down, and the house began to quiver. AJ and Harry were outside and I could see them pelting down the road to get into the house just ahead of the precipitation.
The storm ended after a few minutes, and I was puzzled as I looked out the rain-smeared windows because nothing seemed right. The visual reference points were changed. First I noticed the missing trees, then I realized one of the chicken coops wasn’t where I left it, and looking farther out back I was shocked that the turkey shelter and dog house were nowhere to be seen.
Everyone scrambled out, changing into rain gear about as expeditiously as firefighters suiting up. We found one of the chicken coops had been scooted across the ground, turned in a right angle from where it had been. This is impressive, because a pickup truck strains to move this coop. As with many tornados, there are often strange variations across short distances, with the chicken coop being pushed across the field while an empty cardboard box nearby remained unmoved. We quickly worked to stabilize the chicken coop, and then moved on.
We found the turkey shelter flattened and the dog house next to it, smashed to bits. Both were thrown clear of their pasture and into the hedgerow. Despite the deep gouges in the field indicating where the wreckage had cartwheeled past them, none of the turkeys were killed. We brought the tractor and dragged the turkey shelter out, flipped it over, picked up the loose parts, and towed it back in with the birds to give them at least some shelter. It looks frightful, but it does provide some protection from the rain.
As we rushed to sort out the mess, I was pleased to see in one of the trees that had split in half a woodpecker busily eating ants from a newly-exposed rotten part of the trunk. I suppose if I were writing this as a short story, this would be the place to use the woodpecker as a symbolic counterpoint against all of us busy humans working so hard to control damage, while the woodpecker just saw new opportunities to eat ants. But I’m not writing a work of fiction, so I’ll refrain…