If only I have the will to be grateful, I am so.
If you remember in part one of this story (read here), our cows, just minutes before the storm, had raced through the open gate at high speed to the neighbours pasture fields.
While the storm surrounded us in our home, we had become blind to what was going on outside. We had no idea where the cows had run to, and if they were going to be safe. Immediately after the storm, we found them all huddled together in the middle of a wide open field grazing on the grass standing beside a now full of water, pond. “Safety in numbers”, I guess.
The wind from the storm was not kind to this farm and its trees. Last night and this morning I stood and watched My Hero pick up limb after limb, and then push yet another tree out of the way, while he tried to cut some hay. The so-called “mighty oak” had indeed fallen. There are now many trees littered through the hay fields and pastures, the majority of which appear to be oak trees. The once believed to survive anything trees, always deemed the strong ones in my eyes, were no match for the wind that had come up suddenly.
First light, on the morning after that storm I looked out my kitchen window and our cows stood looking back. I always knew they would come home. I then got dressed and walked the field beside our house. Two trees had fallen and broke the cedar rail fence panels. There was no way to keep our cows from the neighbour’s yard and more worrisome, from the road where traffic travelled every day. I called them. Normally, they would follow me anywhere, with no problem, but for some reason, they wanted to stay close to our house. After a time I finally persuaded them, and actually had to chase some of them out of the field and I shut gates. They were just being stubborn I guess.
The field I had just chased them into had more damage. It appears there had indeed been a path that the wind had taken. Sixteen panels of cedar fence were tossed into the air and landed upside down and twisted, about five feet from where it had started. The only thing that had held it from disappearing all together was the fact that it was tethered with lots of fence wire to the other panels that run the length of two fields.
Our cows now had no gate to worry about. They figured out quite quickly that they could just step overtop of the twisted mess of cedar rails. I walked among them assessing the damage while I thought about all the work that needed to be done to fix the mess. The cows were very content at grazing the sprouts of grass that had been hidden under the fence. They were safe, and the work will eventually get done before the winter when we will have to lock them back on our own side again.
It does appear that there are, at the very least one or more big trees down in every hay field that we have checked so far. We have not headed back behind our bush to assess the damage back there. We can only imagine that the hay fields back there are the same. With so many more trees surrounding the hay fields at the back of the farm, it may be worse. It may not be as bad, it depends on the way the wind went, I guess.
We did not get a real tornado, at least not an official one according to the news reports. “Micro-burst” of wind was the official word.
Firstly, we have to get the trees out of the hay fields and concentrate on getting our hay harvested. Then, we will get the fence fixed; the fence we can see down, and the fence we have not checked yet that may also be broken or blown away. It does look like there will be lots of wood to split for firewood. That will be another job to do, but we are grateful for the oak, maple, and apple wood. The wood will not be wasted.
There was major damage not far from here. Some farmers lost their barn and silos. We were lucky and are so grateful. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they deal with the aftermath.
I am just so happy that my hat wearing cows were OK, and are happy.