Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stormy Weather

On Monday night we had a unexpected severe weather storm.  When we watched the evening news, all I remember hearing was there was a 50% chance of rain.  We've had a very dry summer so I figured we wouldn't get that 50%.  I was awaken during the night to thunder, lighting and lots of wind whirling about.  This was much more of a storm than I thought we could possibly get.  It wasn't far into the storm when our electricity went off (later we found out the power went out at about 12:45 a.m.).  It was a restless night with little sleep, though we tried.  By early daylight J went outside to count all our animals - 19 alpacas live in our back yard, 1 guardian dog, and 2 kittens.  All were accounted for.  We didn't see any tree damage to our house or the animal's shelter.  He headed off to work.

Not much later I went out to feed the alpacas, and decide how to manage without electricity.  We have well water so no electricity = no water.  Thankfully the alpaca's water buckets are outside this time of year and almost all of them were filled to the rim by the rain (combined with the fact I filled them good the night before).

But while out there Zack and I discovered we had 3 different tree tops that had come down and landed on our fence line.  This one was found in the young girls' pasture:

Zack took that picture ;)

After close inspection we determined that the fence line was not compromised so no issue that needed immediate attention.

But then we saw a big tree top that fell in the young boy's pasture.  I don't know why Zack didn't get a better big picture of this one, but he didn't.  He did capture the area that we were concerned about:

While the alpacas wouldn't climb this to escape (they really don't want to do that anyway), and I doubt an animal could use this to get into the pasture, I do think our Great Pyrenees, Spot, could use this as an escape route.  He enjoys a good run through the neighborhood.  Zack and I couldn't move this on our own, it was quite heavy.  So I closed the gate to the young boy's pasture area, Spot and the young boys would have to stay in the paddock for now.

Our farm is a bit different in that we are in a forest.  In fact our land touches part of the Manistee National Forest.  While not always ideal for alpaca farming (in the sense we don't have nice green grass pastures) there are benefits in that the trees provide a lot of cover and shade.  But these very tall oak trees can snap when the weather gets wicked.  I can only imagine how panicked Spot was during the storm seeing tree tops come down onto the pasture area.  He's a good dog and always watching out for his herd.

We were without electricity for 31 hours, it went off early Tuesday morning around 12:45 a.m. and did not come back on until Wednesday at about 8:20 a.m.  Funny how you find what you appreciate most, and doing farm chores with running water is a lot more fun.

Editing to add a few more pictures.

This is another tree top the snapped off but didn't fall:

Closer picture of the dangling tree top:

Lots of wood piles:

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