Stormy Weather

We've had a lot of rain and wind here in the Northwest over the past week. Erik called yesterday to say they'd been without power for more than 24 hours, which is unusual except in the worst of weather. The local newspaper carried a big article with lots of pictures this morning.

It didn't seem as if the wind was anything unusual here at the Three Cats Ranch. We nearly always get big wind storms in October. Just at the peak of the pretty leaves, a big wind comes along and blows everything down. Including big trees, it seems. We didn't realize it until yesterday because this tree is on the "lower forty". And look at that!

We've had big trees come down before, and they usually pull up from the ground, roots and all. This one broke off at ground level.

I posted these pictures to Facebook, and my entomologist friend says this looks like longhorn beetle larvae damage. (Did you catch that I have an "entomologist" for a friend?)

I was out filling the birdfeeders and emptying the compost pail during a brief moment of sunshine this morning, and I wandered around the yard taking pictures of a few things. We lost a few branches off one of our flowering plums, which is a shame. These trees just weren't meant to be growing in our yard. We've had the hardest time getting them established.

Every time they get some size to them, something happens to break off branches, or even the entire tree. We hired an arborist a while back to help us with our trees, and the difference in the flowering plums has been remarkable. They are much larger after just one year in his care. Nevertheless, these branches broke off. Fortunately, the tree will survive the damage.

Mr. Smitty was beside himself that someone came outside in the wet with him. Of course, I wouldn't have been out in the rain, as he often is. He doesn't seem to mind. He just comes in wet as a wet dog and stands still while I dry off his fur and clean his muddy paws. He does, however, come inside to use the litter box. How's a cat supposed to dig in all that mud? Ew.

The mighty hunter stalks his tiny prey.

He's figured out that, with patience and watchfulness, he can sometimes score a gopher from one of these mounds.

Go home, patio furniture. You're drunk.

We always know when spring arrives in the Northwest from the abundance of gopher mounds that start popping up in the field. Conversely, when the herds of huge slugs start showing up, we know the rain is here to stay. Ick.

Although it's been rainy for the past week, the temperatures have been relatively warm. We've been sleeping with the window open. Our trees haven't started changing colors much, but I noticed this one is starting to turn. It will be bright orange before it loses its leaves. I'll keep you posted on its progress.

These Japanese Maples are starting to turn as well, but they'll be bright red...I mean really bright red before they are finished.

And in my wanderings, I noticed this on our fifth wheel. Oy. The tire gods must be off in their timing, however. Usually, they would do this while we're on an actual trip.

Don't know when that happened, but there you go. One more thing for the man of the house to fix.

So I've been off to a slow start this morning. Today I'm going to do some laundry and run the vacuum around a little bit. I might play on Eliza a little more, but I want to keep moving on my Wind in the Whiskers block as well. Mike and Matthew are meeting up at Mike's workplace this evening to work on a side project Matthew has been putting together. They need the equipment in Mike's lab. Which just means I'm not making dinner tonight. Mike will be home late, and that means I'm moving slow.

How's your Monday going so far? Any trees fall down? Any tires go flat? Any slugs slime your path? Let's hope not.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Debbie said...

Honey, that's not a slug....it's a monster in the making! Can't believe how huge it is. No dinner to cook....I would be playing for sure :)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Hate to see trees damaged and/or lost. My furries love the rain - flushes out all the vermine.

Dasha said...

October is the windy month for us too. And it was true to form yesterday afternoon. Very wild. Thankfully no damage and we still had our electricity, although it goes off at the drop of a hat. We also have slugs like that, although haven't seen one in a while. There was a large Eastern Water Dragon in our garden yesterday - too quick for me to photograph, but he was a very old boy, and one of the biggest I have seen. I thought he was a fallen branch at first, til he moved. Haven't had one of those in our garden before.

Teresa in Music City said...

Well my goodness! You guys are pretty serious about your slugs there, aren't you? You could put a saddle on that little monster and ride him! (or her?)

When I was in the Blue Ridge Mtns last month they had postings about a beetle and a fungus that are killing many of the trees and they don't know how to fight either of them yet.

evelyn said...

Great photos, except the slug-eeww.
Love the colours as your leaves turn.

Quilting Babcia said...

Sorry about all that tree damage. I hope your weather clears up so you can enjoy the fall colors. Ours are nearly at an end, the weekend winds brought down many of the leaves, what is left is mostly the deep golds and bronzes of the oak trees. Have yet to see one of those ginormous slugs here!! No gopher hills either - don't miss either of them one tiny bit!

quiltzyx said...

Poor flowering plum! I'm glad it'll survive.
What kind of tree is the one shown behind the patio set? It is gorgeous! Love the layers of its branches.
I did a little transcribing today, went to Auntie's Ceramics & helped her with MORE machine embroidery pattern downloading...and even actually crocheted 2 sparkly coasters to finish a set of 4. Yay me, I did something! No falling trees, slugs or flat tires thank goodness!

Lee said...

A shame to lose a tree, and branches too. Is it any good for a fireplace once it seasons (if you have a fireplace)? My dad's been going out after dark with a flashlight to find slugs...he says Mom would be yelling at him to do so if she were still with us, so he does it.

liniecat said...

Slugs are plain brown and black in our area, so dappled and unusual colours are abit more interesting but really, they should go live elsewhere!
I saw something recently on Holland & Barratts website ( its a health food store chain) that slug slime gel for the face is flying off the shelves. Something to do with Katie Holmes using it. I think she was Tom Cruises wife and presumably Scientology doesnt take as much care of ones face as slug slime does.
It seems Chillean farmers discovered its qualities - go figure!
Perhaps you could farm slugs for their slime if youve got many that size!
And talking about flat tyres .. I had one a week or so back, first in many a year, 2 miles from home. However I had an 18 month old child, a cat in a carrier and a daft dog in the boot.
I was on the way home from collecting them from kennels after beign away a couple of days.
No buggy with me for once, cos dog would be in the boot.
And my mobile phone, which I grumble about constantly lol was at home - by mistake.
So cudnt ring auto rescue and had no buggy to travel far with Evie.
What a palaver - Evie however did seem amazed by her first taste of a bus journey!
(Had to go back later for the animals lol)
Any tree loss is sad to see, will you leave the fallen one for Smitty to clamber over and insects to enjoy?

treadlemusic said...

Your blustery weather will hit us by the end of the week.....possible snow/rain showers for us. Today is a stark contrast to the awesome sun/warmth of the last 3 days!!!! Not a fan of what's coming!!!! Eeeooo......hate slugs!!!! Our Fall colors were brilliant a couple of weeks ago and then we got the winds! More November-like now. Happy Tuesday!!!!!!

Jacque said...

Wowser! I AM impressed! (Grin) An entomologist? You move in a higher stratosphere than I do! Haha!
Recently we lost a huge willow to a wind storm, and then about the time we got that almost finished cleaning up, several huge branches came down out of our mulberry. Oy. But I still love living "in the boonies."

Diane Wild said...

No downed trees, just mounds of leaves. No flats and no slime. All-in-all, a pretty good day.

Brown Family said...

We have had some wind and hot - for October- weather. We are ready for rain and cool temps. We are still under water restrictions!

Kate said...

We've missed the really strong storms lately. We had our first freeze of the season this morning. The leaves haven't changed here either, now they'll die and fall off. So our autumn wasn't as colorful as past years.