I’m sure you’ve all heard about the terrible storm that hit us this past week, especially in Duluth, MN. They have had considerable damage up there and are in a state-of-emergency. Some spots had nine inches of rain in one day. Flooding is enormous and Lake Superior is brown from all the mudslides and sediment that has rushed into the waters. Nate is wondering if there will be any fish left in the rivers after all of this. The Duluth residents are calling it, “The Storm of the Century.” It sure is awful and hopefully they will recover quickly.
Closer to home, I took a walk around our pond this past Thursday and saw many trees down. We too, had the storms but not as much rain. We sure did get the wind! Some gusts were over 80 miles per hour, isn’t that near tornado status? We were woken up by the sirens at 4:00 a.m. and quickly turned on the tv to find that we were in a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. The rain was coming down pretty hard and then some small hail fell, but the scariest sound was the wind. We eventually went back to bed and woke to some very surprising sights. Our neighbor’s tree had uprooted and fell over their driveway. This tree was huge! Thankfully, it fell in this direction rather than landing in their living room.
Apparently, we had so much rainfall, that the ground was saturated thus making it easier for these taller, heavier trees to topple over, because their roots came loose. Interesting~
It’s been five days since the storm hit and we are still listening to the sounds of saws throughout the neighborhood. A sad sound knowing how many trees have been lost.
Today, Kelly and I went back to Sunset Pond so that I could take some pictures of the damage that has happened to our pond. We lost a few trees down there as well. One of our favorites, a beautiful willow tree, was blown over. We were so sad when we found this. Here’s Kelly standing next to the tree trunk. You can see how large this tree was.
Further down our path, we discovered another huge tree down. My neighbor, Laura, told me about this one. She went for a walk the day after the storm and had to climb over it to keep on the path. When we found it today and it had been chopped down and dragged into the grass.
If you look at this next picture, you’ll see a big brown spot in the middle of the photo, that is the underside of a tree that was uprooted in the water!
Kelly and I continued our bike ride around the pond, stopping to take in the pretty views as well. There is a lot of wild life here in our little neighborhood pond. Just today, we found, what we think, is a new arrival to Sunset Pond. A bird that we have never seen here before. I had no idea what this was, so I did a little research and found that it is a Black-crowned Night Heron. I zoomed in on him and got this shot. Pretty cool looking bird~
Their breeding habitat is fresh and salt-water wetlands around the world. These birds stand still at the water’s edge and wait to ambush prey, mainly at night or early morning. They primarily eat small fish,crustaceans, frogs, aquatic insects, small mammals and small birds. During the day they rest in trees or bushes. Black-crowned Night Herons do not fit the typical body form of the heron family. They are relatively stocky and about 25 in tall (63 cm) with shorter bills, legs, and necks than their more familiar cousins the egrets and “day” herons. Their resting posture is normally somewhat hunched but when hunting they extend their necks and look more like other wading birds.
It was fun to come home, get on the computer and find out what this bird was. Ah, technology! Yes, I Googled it.
Some other wildlife that is common to our pond are the turtles, ducks, muskrat and of course….the geese (which we feel we have to many of). Once in awhile, you can see a fox and even deer walking about, but today it was just the regulars.
We did come across some lovely nature on our ride as well. Kelly was nice enough to be patient with me as I would slam on my breaks and say, “Oh, I want to take a picture of this!” I’m glad Mother Nature didn’t destroy everything in her path.
It was a gorgeous day for a walk and bike ride around the neighborhood pond. It’s nice to see everything getting back to normal but seeing the destruction that has been caused is very sad. It’s nothing compared to Duluth, so I am thankful for that. Getting out and enjoying what is around us seems to be a bit more important these days to all of us. Let’s hope we don’t have any more of those storms this summer.