Rainbows and Tornados

I’ve been affected by the weather for as long as I can remember. The only headaches I ever get are when the atmostpheric pressure changes. I always know when it’s going to rain because my left knee gets achy and I can feel the change in the air. It’s a bit like Mary Poppins knowing when the wind is going to change direction. I’m just tuned in man.

Spring is when I crawl out of my winter crabshell and relish everything happening around me. The sweet smell of my lilac tree blossoming. The sound of the cooing mourning doves suntanning on my fence. I wait for the squirrels, robins, and goldfinches to swoop into my yard. Teeny baby bunnies playing silly bugger with their parents, jumping straight up in the air playing tag, or wiggling their little whiskered noses as they happily chomp on the carrots I throw out my back door.

I’ve made friends with generations of squirrel pals that I can easily distinguish by their individual markings. Yes, they have names. Fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers.  Sometimes I come home to one sitting up like a dog at the back sliding glass door, waiting there patiently for me to notice them so they can finally feast on a few prized almonds. I know what you’re thinking, crazy animal lady, right?!

No, I just find happiness in a lot of the things in my environment, nature being at the top of the list, and the backyard bonding sessions invigorate my soul. Watching nature in operation lifts my spirit. A tiny flower opening, or a majestic hawk soaring, I’m always observing my surroundings. I don’t want to miss anything. Amazing things happen out there, and nature didn’t let us down this weekend.

Either the Gods were thoroughly unimpressed with something up there, or global warming is closing in fast. I used to think we were safe in Canada. No tornado alley here. I’m not so sure anymore. We’ve had tornados two summers in a row now.

I’m not afraid of many things but the one thing that has always terrified me is tornados. I’ve dreamt of them for as long as I can remember. Since I was little. I used to dream that I would look out my bedroom window to see one tearing down my street with no time to escape. Just as the monster was hitting I’d wake up. Or there’s the repeat classic where I suddenly spot about six of the wild beasts, all twisting and turning and furiously hitting the earth again and again with no time to get away. The kind of dream that leaves you sitting up in panicked sweat.

Cut to a childhood memory I’ll have seared in my brain forever. When I was ten I was out on our fishing boat, taking my job as the lookout very seriously as always. I looked out over the ocean and saw a massive water vortex churning about a half mile away. What a sight.  I signaled to my uncle, and when he saw it I’ll never forget the look on his face. He knew he needed to get the hell out of there-and quickly. The discovery channel opened my eyes to the truth of the water vortex one day.  I can now see why he hauled out of there at high speeds. If you get too close, your entire boat gets sucked down the vortex just like the water in the bathtub drain. I’m sure that thrilling childhood close call doesn’t help my fear of tornados. It’s not so much the tornado I fear, it’s the power of Mother Nature. I’ve had quite a few close calls in my life, and most of those revolve around natures’ forces. Word of advice, don’t mess with it. I’ve always respected it, maybe that’s why its graciously decided to spare me on numerous occasions. Thanks M.N.

Friday started out peacefully with me catching a rainbow over the lake downtown while I was out for dinner. Saturday a huge weather system hit and I thought the windows in my house were going to implode after an insanely loud 5 minute flash hailstorm, howling winds, thick lightning strikes, and pounding rain. It just sounded mean. Mother Nature was an angry camper.Funnel clouds were spotted, again. This is getting a little too close for comfort.

Lucky for us, I think the worst of it hit a couple of miles away. Unfortunately I didn’t have my Nikon with me over the weekend and had to use my dinky camera phone, but I still managed to capture a few shots of the beauty of the calm before- and after- the storm.

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