I had been home alone for these last 24 hours and the violent storm and tornado warnings last night prevented me from falling asleep before midnight. My bedroom is within the shadow of a 200 foot tulip poplar that sits in the bottom of the ravine with its toes in all the wet mud that had become more soaked over the last week of rains. We got at least 4 inches in 4 days. The tree stands tall in direct alignment with my bedroom and the prevailing winds from storms.
I had spent the early afternoon in the basement watching a television tuned to the weather channel. The program was loudly interrupted at intervals by those piercing and scary blasts that occur when a National Weather Service warning banner crosses the bottom screen below the images of the radar which is colored all in reds and yellows and even some purples bleeding across my county.
I was not afraid, but certainly alert. I had put on shoes, grabbed the flashlight, my wireless phone, and several bottles of water as I headed to the basement and watched how the sky turned sooty gray in the mid-afternoon making it darker and more dooming. Then I began to feel the air get very still and as I opened the basement door to look out it was as if a giant fist had just been waiting for me to open the door and pushed across my backyard moving walls of spitting rain, blasts of wind and loose leaves which filled the air.
I found it hard to push the door closed, but managed and pulled the deadbolt solid. I went back to watching the TV until the power went down. Then I sat in the dark and watched lighting begin to flash in the distance. Soon it was closer and I could almost smell the electricity. Then the thunder shook the house several times, followed soon by the rains which came in big fat drops continuing into the early evening and creating rivers in the yard.
When the electricity returned hours later I went to bed and prayed that the old tree would still be standing by morning. I did hear gusts of wind on and off throughout the night, but nothing like the front of the storm.
This morning after my exercise, I was almost into the shower but stopped in front of my bedroom window when something flashing by caught my eye. I could see the dozens of potential fruit that had been knocked to the ground from the storm which I later collected for the photo below. This was from the pomegranate tree which I had posted about.
At first I thought the flash I had seen was a butterfly. I stood against the window straining my eyes to see the movement of something in the leaves of the pomegranate tree. And then I saw the emerald green and the flash of red of a ruby throated hummingbird as he twisted and dove among the red blossoms still covered from last night's rain. Our hummingbirds do not linger in the yard and they are only seen by the observant watcher. This was a treat! So, I discovered happily that they like pomegranate trees.
The hummingbird thrust his head deep into the open blossoms and drank fully. He visited each one before moving on into the woods. He had brought inspiration and courage after such a storm. I thought about where he had been able to ride out with such bravery as I had waited in the shelter of my basement.