October Storm

 

A beautiful view from our driveway on Sunday

During the weekend,  we had beautiful weather with blue skies and temperatures in the low 60s. It was so warm that I didn’t need a jacket when I went outside.

EJ and I got quite a lot accomplished over the weekend. He worked on the suburban and also built a new roosting platform for the chickens. With the addition of 10 chickens in the coop this summer, for a total of 20, we need a lot of roosting places.

Chickens on the new roosting platform

During the summer I had used some pieces of pallets to construct a two-level roosting area, but we needed more so a couple weeks ago, EJ fastened an old broom handle between the fancy coop and the doghouse, both of which are inside the shed that is The Coop, for the chickens to use as a perch. I never saw the chickens using it, so we took it down and instead stretched a foot-wide piece of chipboard between the fancy coop and the doghouse instead of the broom handle. The chickens immediately began using it. Success!

Yummy Granola

On Sunday I made more yummy granola. Each time I make it, I add more to it: So far I have added sunflower seeds, dates, raisins, dried cherries, and our own dried apples. It is so yummy that it doesn’t last long and I have to make a batch several times a week. I also spent an hour or two cutting up more apples to put in our dehydrator.

It began to rain today and the forecast is for rain for the remainder of the week with temperatures getting colder and colder each day. We had a very strong wind which filled the sky with leaves that it ripped off the trees. I took a video of it. It was quite remarkable. It looked as if someone had dumped out a huge basket of leaves.

Gale warnings were issued for three of the Great Lakes–Michigan, Superior, and Huron–with waves of 26 feet expected. If it were the weekend and we didn’t have necessary tasks to complete, I would love to drive to the coast and watch the huge waves–from a safe distance, of course.

Our power went out just as EJ was leaving for work. I called the electric company and learned that more than 9,000 homes had lost power. Our county was among those hardest hit.

I went out about a half-hour earlier than usual to shut the chickens and cats in the coop. I figured that the wind and the rain would have driven them all into the coop and I preferred to get them shut in before the storm worsened. They were all in–all except for Sassy, our alpha rooster, who is usually the first out in the morning and the last in towards evening. He’s a good rooster who takes care of his flock. I tried for more than 20 minutes to herd him into the coop, but chickens are impossible to herd, and he kept getting around me. Sometimes I saw him peeking around the corner of the coop, watching me before he turned and ran the other way. Sometimes he’d go in through the little door, but he would run back out before I could shut him in. He finally–on his own, when he wanted to and not before–went into the coop and I shut the door. I counted everyone, hitting my head on the roosting platform as I searched for everyone, but I couldn’t find our cat, Annie. I don’t know if she was hidden in a nook in the coop or had ducked out while I chasing Sassy. I called for her, even walking around the house, but finally gave up. She’s probably in the coop and, if not, there are safe places for her to hunker down outside. We have various doghouses set up outside to provide shelter and she could even crawl under the coop itself.

Back in the house again, I crocheted until it grew too dark to see, and then I turned on a battery-powered lantern and read by its light.

After several hours, the power came back on. It stayed on long enough for me to reset all the clocks–on the alarm clock in the bedroom, on the stove, on the microwave, and on the coffee machine–and then it went out again. I was in the dark again. It went off rather spectacularly: Flickering on and off repeatedly. Down the driveway, near the road, I saw huge green and orange explosive flashes that lit up the sky, looking like a forest fire…or an alien attack. I texted a description of the flashes to EJ at work. He texted back that it sounded like an arc flash, which is an electrical explosion. I really hope none of the electrical workers were injured by it.

The power stayed out for several more hours. Then it flickered on and off several times, and again I saw flashes down near the road–orange/red this time. The power went off and stayed off for another hour or so and finally came back on for good at around 10 pm. I’m thankful for the electrical workers who worked so hard at restoring the power. Whatever the problem was, it wasn’t an easy fix.

I got a video of the second set of flashes. It doesn’t look like much, but it was way down by the road and the flashes lit up a great deal of the landscape. Hannah was very upset by it all.

It was an interesting evening.

 

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