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Jun 21 2013

Mother Nature rebukes the trees

We’ve had a spate of ferocious weather here in Morris lately; a huge thunderstorm ripped through the area last night, keeping me awake with the constant rumble like freight trains rushing through my attic and the strobing light show of continuous consecutive flashes of lightning. I walked through town today and it was a scene of total tree carnage, with branches littering the roads and whole trees on every block shattered and lying broken. Nature was declaring that this whole countryside is supposed to be prairie, dammit, with grass that would bend before the wind, not trees that would break. She wasn’t very happy with those annoying houses, either.

But what she really hates are parking lots.

morrisparking

And cars. Yeah, screw those cars.

I don’t think she did quite enough yet, either. We’re under a tornado watch for tonight.

43 comments

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  1. 1
    evilDoug

    Have a look at what is happening in Calgary and points west. It will make you feel warm, dry and cozy, by comparison.

  2. 2
    Inaji

    Thunderstorm is still going strong next door to you. Earlier, the rain was coming down so fast and hard, visibility was…well, there wasn’t any.

  3. 3
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Clearly divine retribution against something someone did two States over.

  4. 4
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    We had three bad storms in four weeks two or three years ago in the Chiwaukee area. Massive power outages, trees down, roads blocked. Hardest hit was the south end of Zion, which was founded as a religious commune.

  5. 5
    David Wilford

    FYI, it’s a good idea to trim trees to reduce the likelihood of them losing branches or toppling over in storms.

  6. 6
    Glen Davidson

    It’s a sign that we should cut down as many trees as possible.

    What else could it mean?

    Glen Davidson

  7. 7
    PZ Myers

    I think Caine’s thunderstorms are just beginning to arrive here in Morris. The sky has gone dark and rumbly. I might want to go home before the deluge ruins my walk.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    thunk: y'all know ageism is a thing?

    In fact, “THIS IS A DANGEROUS SITUATION. THESE STORMS HAVE BEEN PRODUCING
    WIDESPREAD WIND DAMAGE ACROSS EXTREME EASTERN SOUTH DAKOTA. 80 MPH
    WINDS HAVE BEEN OBSERVED WITH THIS STORM. SEEK SHELTER NOW INSIDE A
    STURDY STRUCTURE AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.”

  10. 10
    Inaji

    PZ:

    I think Caine’s thunderstorms are just beginning to arrive here in Morris. The sky has gone dark and rumbly. I might want to go home before the deluge ruins my walk.

    Yes, home is good idea. The rain has quieted down here, but it’s still coming down. The thunder grumbling has been spectacular, as usual. A good day to curl up and read.

  11. 11
    Inaji

    Thunk:

    In fact, “THIS IS A DANGEROUS SITUATION.

    It’s also a fairly common situation. High winds accompany *everything* in ND.

  12. 12
    yazikus

    The thunder grumbling has been spectacular, as usual.

    Where I live we don’t have thunderstorms, really. I guess we had a good wind storm about four years ago… But I almost miss that feeling of the storm coming, when it gets still and dark, and then the wind and the rain and the thunder and lightening. Its all very dramatic and exciting (provided you are safe). Here I just get a little piddly rain, maybe one lightening bolt, and little farts of thunder.

  13. 13
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Dang, Caine and PZ’s storm looks vicious. That’s probably the storm they predict here for tomorrow. The storm PZ showed the picture of the damage from came through here about lunch time, but just heavy rain and barely any grumbles.

  14. 14
    Inaji

    Yazikus:

    But I almost miss that feeling of the storm coming, when it gets still and dark, and then the wind and the rain and the thunder and lightening.

    Heh. People who have never been here before just about have a heart attack when they hear the thunder here. It gets crazy loud on the prairie.

    Nerd:

    Dang, Caine and PZ’s storm looks vicious. That’s probably the storm they predict here for tomorrow.

    Stay safe, Nerd. The rats came out, sniffed and went back into deep hiding, so I don’t think we’re done yet.

  15. 15
    yazikus

    Caine,

    Heh. People who have never been here before just about have a heart attack when they hear the thunder here. It gets crazy loud on the prairie.

    I’m pretty sure I’d get scared shitless if I were to hear it now. I lived in Nebraska & North Dakota, but that was a long, long time ago. I’ve gone soft in my mild temperate climate zone where the most extreme thing that happens is that it gets really hot for a few days each summer. Oh, well, there is also stinky fog. It travels past a paper plant and a slaughterhouse on the way here- and smells like it.

  16. 16
    PZ Myers

    I have made it home, only slightly damp, while a pall of biblical darkness settles over Morris. Now I just have to worry about Mary, who might be on highway 9 on her way home through tornado weather. Or she might be staying in Willmar for the night. I have no idea since she NEVER ANSWERS HER CELL PHONE.

  17. 17
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    I woke up to my room being lit up with lightning and the house shaking from thunder as the power went out at around 3AM, which is always fun. It was too loud to get back to sleep, so I laid in bed with my eyes closed and counted between when the flash lit up the room versus when I heard the thunder, slowly tracking as it moved further away.

    It looks like we’ll be getting thunderstorms all weekend, but the worst of it will be spending itself off in Caine and PZ’s direction. Stay safe, everybody.

  18. 18
    jamesrook

    PZ, you know that car belongs to one of the Morris Freethinkers exec, right?

  19. 19
    carlie

    When I was a kid in the midwest, my favorite part of storms was how the windows of our house would rattle in their wood frames when the thunder hit. The tornado part… not so much.

  20. 20
    Lofty

    Caine, you naughty person, stop harassing PZ with your pet storm.
    PS I quite like storms, from a little distance. Nice storm, pat pat.

  21. 21
    PZ Myers

    Seriously? God is striking back now?

  22. 22
    PZ Myers

    Oh, crap. My wife left me a message 45 minutes ago that she was just leaving…so she’s a half hour from home at least and she’s driving in the middle of that bleak black chaos out there. Great timing.

  23. 23
    Rob Grigjanis

    Caine @14:

    It gets crazy loud on the prairie.

    Weather changes damn fast as well. I remember biking down a country road near Edmonton years ago, on a pleasant summer’s day. Five minutes later, scrambling under a bush for shelter from a hail storm.

    Give it another few years, and I bet we’ll be getting tornado warnings in Toronto on a regular basis.

  24. 24
    cicely

    Oh, dear.
    :(
     
    Best wishes for His Squiddliness and Mary, and for Caine, and Nerd, and everyone else on the wrong end of this storm.
    -

  25. 25
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    I’m a woodturner for fun. We’re a weird bunch. When we see photos like that, the first thought is, “Free wood. I wonder what kind of trees they are.” The hurricanes in FL in 2005 were a great source for me.

    Stay safe, midwesterners.

  26. 26
    Inaji

    PZ:

    I have no idea since she NEVER ANSWERS HER CELL PHONE.

    Well, you could always spank her. *runs away into the storm*

    Lofty:

    Caine, you naughty person, stop harassing PZ with your pet storm.

    It’s not my pet. Besides, it’s run off to bother someone else now. At least I think it has…

    Rob:

    Weather changes damn fast as well. I remember biking down a country road near Edmonton years ago, on a pleasant summer’s day. Five minutes later, scrambling under a bush for shelter from a hail storm.

    Oh yeah, that too. We get a hailstorm every July. Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes. Yep.

  27. 27
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Oh yeah, that too. We get a hailstorm every July. Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes. Yep.

    When I lived in Dah YooPee, it snowed in July. I have a painting the Redhead did of that in my Computer Room/Library.

  28. 28
    cuervocuero

    A prairie thunderstorm was my young teen intro to the power of stories over nature’s ferocity and how it could be scary or exciting.

    Had young kin sibs in my care without adults around and the storm was a black, booming shaker with us in the house at ground zero. The kidsibs were scared spitless, shrieking. I wasn’t bothered by the weather but I needed to calm them down as we sat there in the dark. I didn’t really make shit up per se but I turned my adolescent comprehension of the causes of lightning and thunder into a story of the clouds overhead bumping into each other as they all crowded together being clutzy and fuzzy.

    And it worked better than I hoped, which took a big load off me. Before the storm was over, we had all the curtains pulled back and were watching the incredible show with them shouting and giggling and falling down themselves every time the thunder went off.

    Good times, but these days when I remember it, I wonder how many stories in eons past were told like that and then they stuck and became religion.

  29. 29
    madscientist

    Oh – CAR-nage. I was just going to suggest ‘arborage’ since there wasn’t any meat in there, but cars will do.

  30. 30
    AlanMac

    Still pissed off about those figs , I guess

  31. 31
    PZ Myers

    OK, now it’s been over two hours since she said she was leaving. No word yet.

  32. 32
    PZ Myers

    Nope, just got word. Like the sensible person she is, she heard the tornado sirens, turned around, and is staying in Willmar overnight. Whew.

  33. 33
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    PZ:
    Glad to hear that Trophy Wife™ is going to be okay!

    I’d send you some of my weather (80° today, low humidity, sunny), but sadly weather patterns don’t work that way.

  34. 34
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    I’m glad that you got word, PZ, and that Mary is safe. It is no fun to be out of touch with a loved one in foul weather!

  35. 35
    tynk

    I am in the cities and we just got your storms.

  36. 36
    cicely

    Nope, just got word. Like the sensible person she is, she heard the tornado sirens, turned around, and is staying in Willmar overnight. Whew.

    Huzzah!
    -

  37. 37
    evilDoug

    Alexandra, I can haz nice weather please?
    Weather-caused events around here in past 24 hours or so:
    75000 people in the city evacuated from their homes
    entire town of 13000 evacuated
    600 people rescued by helicopter
    1200 troops on standby for aid
    at least 4 people dead
    Trans-Canada Highway washed out
    Property and infrastructure damage probably into $billions
    We haz too much damp. It may get worse.

  38. 38
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Happy to hear the Trophy Wife™ is safe and sound.

  39. 39
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith is a Spocktopus cuddler

    Good to hear about Mary staying out of the storm.

  40. 40
    Azuma Hazuki

    It’s storming and thundering and lightning and shit-scaring-out-of as we speak right now in Madison. I was sweeping out the basement. Which quickly became, er…mopping out the basement with an armful of soppy straw. Bloody stupid bloody squalling bloody thunderstorms…

    I’m really glad to hear The Squid Queen is okay though :) Smart lady. Everyone stay safe and don’t take risks, okay? This could continue through Monday according to some of the weather reports I’m reading.

  41. 41
    rq

    Stay safe, both/all of you!!

  42. 42
    twas brillig (stevem)

    re Caine@ 26:

    Oh yeah, that too. We get a hailstorm every July. Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes. Yep.

    5 Minutes? I thought it was bad here in N.E. where they say, “Don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes.” Dear, oh dear, I thought 10 was bad, but 5 is twice as bad.

    re Mrs “Squiddy”:
    When she heard the tornado sirens on the highway she didn’t have to turn back to Willmar; just duck under the next overpass and let the tornado pass. That’s straight from the Superman himself, from his Pa, actually. And he grew up in Kansas where they get tornadoes every other day. What better place to get advice from? {errata, that advice is NONSENSE. Sorry, still pissed at that movie} Glad she turned back, and safe for the night. What a sensible “trophy wife” you paired up with, Prof. (unlike those “real” trophy wives, who are little more than “eye candy” for their bloated, overage “menfolk”)

  43. 43
    methuseus

    Nerd, sorta creepy to know you’re in that area. I grew up there, and knew many in that religious community. Parents still live there, and I visit from time to time.

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