How about Those Tornado Warnings?

Yikes, last night was not a lot of fun for anyone in the vicinity of central Texas. It was our turn for one of those giant gatherings of storm clouds to come through and send tornadoes off hither and thither. None of us were in the least amused.

Remnants of the storm (wide-angle shot – the telephone pole doesn’t actually lean).

My son and I both have some PTSD leftover from some tornado experiences when we were younger, so I know he wasn’t thrilled to be instructed to come over to our house where the storm shelter is, just in case. But when the warning happens, not a watch, I go into protective mode. We didn’t build that storm room for nothing!

The storm room is also the butler’s pantry and dog feeding station. But on the left is the cool thing: the steel doors we can slide shut to protect us.

As I shared yesterday, I’d battened down the hatches outdoors, so by the time the weather got bad, I was cooking dinner and watching the three or four straight hours of weather coverage on the television. I know someone in nearly every place that tornadoes were threatening, so that was nerve wracking. Even the cows were unhappy. They all crowded into the woods, mooing and bawling, which is what I guess they do when they feel a storm coming. The dogs liked THAT.

Dogs and cows discuss barometric pressure and how it affects them.
We were in the middle, as shown by the purple dots.

Cameron and Walker’s Creek (also known as Silver City, another non-existent town) lucked out and were squeezed between the paths of two potential tornadoes. It was so interesting and a little terrifying to look at how very close we were to danger, but it never quite got to us. We just got strong winds and lots of thunder and lightning.

On the other hand, the path was right over where we train horses, so we spent a lot of time worrying about everyone in Milano. And I have many elderly Master Naturalist friends in the Gause area, too, which had me concerned. At last the warnings ended, I heard that Tarrin and her family were all right, and I let the young folks go home.

But after we went to bed, yet another round of storms came and that’s when we got the rain…close to three inches, which we truly needed. Now all the ponds are full, and Walker’s Creek can once again be seen from the house as it does its best to pretend to be a temporary river.

Second wave.

The horses are enjoying the water in the arroyo and the chickens seemed fine this morning. The dogs survived, but were not thrilled, to say the least. We heard lots of news of damage to places in Round Rock, near where we used to live. Many friends got storm damage, especially coworkers at Dell. And we worry about the towns between here and Temple, which also got it bad.

I’ll be driving by some of the places that were hit tomorrow, and I hope not to see the amount of devastation we saw last time a tornado came through. These weren’t too big, though, thankfully. The storms did take down the main weather radar we use for a while, though. It’s like they wanted to be incognito.

It filled up the pool, too.

Spring in Texas, wow. From the perfect day to a perfectly awful storm in 24 hours!

Weather is always changing here, but it brings us flowers and crops, too. It’s all fine.

Here’s a quote from the KMIL website (I’d link to it, but it’s not a permanent link):

(CENTRAL TEXAS) Mother Nature reared its ugly head Monday afternoon as a severe storms and tornadoes ripped through much of Texas. 
Tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings were the order of the day Monday afternoon and evening for a wide swath of Central Texas. Multiple tornadoes are thought to have touched down, including several in Central Texas. Milam County Sheriff Mike Clore reported damage in the 5000 block of FM1915, the 6000 block of FM1916, and the 6000 block of FM908. Damage included a barn, a residence, metal buildings, and a roof that was blown off. There were also multiple reports of power lines down. Much of Thorndale was without power this morning because of downed lines. Sheriff Clore also indicated that a trio of roads are closed to traffic this morning. Those closures include CR442, CR445, and FM486 at Brushy Creek. The National Weather Service has since confirmed a tornado touched down in southern Milam County. Funnel clouds were also spotted near Rosebud.

http://kmil.com/news.php

And here is a link showing the damage south of us.

Welcome Rain, Unwelcome Wind

It’s been drier that usual the past couple of months, so we are happy to see a reasonable amount of rain today. One of the cool things about the ranch house is that there’s always a porch you can sit on when it rains.

Goldie is looking for that darned pool robot, her enemy.

Rain doesn’t stop the wildlife action, though. I went out in the drizzle to get the mail and heard a sound. I looked up to see one of those huge flocks of starlings going over.

And who doesn’t love a rainy wildflower, even an annoying one?

The crows are in full murderous activity, too. They’ve been trying out all their caw variations and flying back and forth, as if on a mission.

That’s where they are, but not at the photo time. I’m glad to see the cleared area growing some cover.

It’s funny. The minute the crows stop, the songbirds start up. Cheerio cheerio! Peep peep! Chirp chirp! Cardinals, sparrows of various kinds, and the little chickadees enjoy breaks in the rain to get some food.

A full pool

The wind keeps whipping up and making waves and waterfall splashes in the pool. I foresee spillover. But at least so far the new plants are holding down the outdoor rug. Suna triumphs over nature! So, that was at lunch…

Wave action.

Time Marches On

I went back in and tried to work. It’s gotten windier and windier, and sure enough, we are now under a tornado watch. Of course, I’m alone. So, I hefted all the patio furniture up close to the house and tried to make everything as heavy as possible. Usually things up against the house make it in our heavy wind periods. I think the horses will be fine all lined up in their shelter.

Whatcha doin’ Suna? This is fun!

If there’s a tornado, well, I just wasted a lot of money on plants.

Nope, that’s not gonna help in a tornado, but it does keep them from blowing all over the yard in a gale.

I’m sure all will be well, and if not, I’ll get to try to herd the dogs into the storm shelter. Let’s hope all is well, ok?

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