My photo walks of 29-30 May 2011
29-30 May 2011 - Memorial Day and a Big Storm
The big storm arrived Sunday evening as we were having supper about 6pm. The trees were whipping around in a scary fashion and the rain was coming down in sheets, completely obscuring the view. Between thunder clashes I could hear other crashing sounds apparently unrelated to the thunder. Minutes later the storm was past with just some light rain. The light was good and soon the streets were full of the locals examining the results of this powerful storm.
I could see that a huge tree directly across the street was down, but it appeared that it had not fallen on any houses or cars (later I discovered it had crushed the porch of a house). A look out our back window revealed a huge tree limb that had been knocked out of our massive Ash tree. Every time we get strong winds we get a sprinkling of limbs out of that tree (I'll have to get it removed soon). This time a huge limb had fallen, taking out our power lines in the back of the house.
It seemed strange to see so many people in the streets. Everyone was currious about the effects of the storm. Our area was apparently one of the hardest hit in the vicinity. Also, with all the lights out it seemed sensible to head outdoors into the natural light. Many neighbors were already helping to clear away the debris. The sound of chainsaws could be heard. A short time later a Mason city truck arrived to clear the larger parts of the tree away from the neighbor's porch. On South Street a block from here a large tree had fallen across a driveway moments after the woman of the house had driven in. People had already cleared the driveway. A friend living up the block from me on Cherry Street volunteers at the local Rayner Park and said, following a big cleanup effort in the park by the community, that now the park was a mess from the storm. Below are photos taken the next day showing the state of the park.
The next day was Memorial Day. The city was decked out in flags. I assume the planned activities (ceremony at the war memorial downtown, morning Memorial Day Parade) took place, though I was otherwise occupied.
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|The first two photos show my back yard, where a large limb was blown out of my dead huge tree. It knocked down my power lines but didn't break them. The last photo is of across the street, where a tree was blown over, broken off at the base.|
|The next two shots are of the tree across the street. It landed on the neighbors' porch demolishing it. The last photo shows power lines in the street and alley just south of East Cherry Street.|
|The alley has a huge pine tree lying over it. It took down all the power lines. There are two photos, one from the east side of the tree and one from the west side. I paused to appreciate some flowers next to the alley.|
|More debris from the storm. The high winds knocked a lot of stuff out of the trees. Barnes street south of our house was blocked off. A neighbor's house on South Street suffered a couple holes in the roof. A young girl was observing her father (I assume) setting up a ladder. In my haste to get the shot (the girl moved on quickly) I was unable to focus properly, one problem with manual focus lenses.|
|The front of the same house showed more results of the storm, with their lighthouse front yard light knocked down. More debris.|
|The next day was Memorial Day. I mounted the 14-42 kit lens on the Olympus E-PL2 and set off to Rayner Park via downtown Mason. Flags were everywhere in honor of the day. There is a monument in downtown Mason to the locals who gave their lives in the various major wars. A ceremony was held at the monment at 9am followed by a parade. The reflections of flags in the windows on Ash Street caught my eye.|
|The stream exiting the lake in Rayner Park was running strong. The driveway shows a fairly typical scattering of storm debris. As I entered the park it seemed relatively untouched by the storm with just a few branches scattered about. However, ....|
|Here is some of the devastation I had heard about. The south side of the playground showed numerous trees downed. A bit further along there was a massive tree simply uprooted, a very impressive display of the strenghth of the winds on the previous night.|
|Returned home I noted another tree damaged by the winds next to the Mason Area Historical Museum on East Oak Street. A large part of the tree was split off. Back at my house I took a photo showing the porch of the house across the street from my house on East Cherry Street. The tree has been pretty much removed from the area showing the damage (last photo above, first photo below).|
|That porch was really squashed. The owner said he was fortunate in that the house itself was relative undamaged with the walls and windows intact. Another shot of the huge Pine tree across the alley between Cherry Street and South Street shows the power lines that were pulled down. A little later in the day a Consumers Energy crew was on-site repairing the power lines. Later that night (near 10pm) the electricity was suddenly restored, over three days earlier than the estimates they were giving on the phone. Perhaps we benefitted from our proximity to the downtown business district, which had power restored earlier in the day.|
|Even though power had been restored, our power lines were still almost on the ground in our back yard. A truck arrived Tuesday afternoon to repair our power line. We had crews from all over the region, even from outside of Michigan.|
|One more look at the huge branch in my back yard. Some of the large pieces were hard to pull out of the ground. They had hit the ground with such force they were driven into the ground very firmly. All our window blinds had been opened in an uncharacteristic way to let in the natural light. I noticed a very attractive set of shadows on a small tree outside our front window. I squeezed behind the tree and hedges to get this close-up using my old Nikon 55/2.8 macro lens. Lastly, here is a silhouette of my wife Anne reading on her iPad in front of that same window. It sure is a shock to daily life to suddenly be without lights, computers, TV and other electrical dependent devices.|
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