A week or so back, I was awakened at 2:00 a.m. by the rising wind outside my window and, seconds later, the patter of rain against the pane. Knowing that we desperately needed the rain, I smiled, relaxed, and went promptly back to sleep.
Okay, okay, that's an understatement at best, if not a complete misrepresentation of the incident. If I am fully disclosing what happened, the wind suddenly began to howl, there was a thunderclap that sounded simultaneously with a lightning flash that seemed to strike right above the bedroom ceiling, and I instantaneously levitated two feet off the bed and vertically onto the floor. The rain began to pour like the Second Flood, and the nearby lightning and thunder continued for two hours while I lay awake and fretted that the house would explode into flame at the next bolt. We haven't seen a lightning storm like that in years.
There were no storm warnings on the TV or radio or Internet for our area, and so I didn't think much more about it (except to be happy about the 1.9" rain) until I got into the garden this weekend. There, I saw the true nature of what must have been a straight line gale or downburst during the storm. My Purple Martin houses were leaning and the bird feeders were askew (picture above, left). I also lost a portion of a trunk off the Smoke Tree as illustrated (at the top, right). Worst of all, the wooden post that held up my 'American Pillar' rose snapped off at the base (photo at right). Replacing it will be a difficult and painful task due to the nature of the prickles on this rose, so keep me in your prayers.
On the bright side, I recently salvaged a piece of Baltic Brown granite from our kitchen island during a remodeling of the kitchen and I made it into a wind-proof garden bench which, despite its unprotected placement to the north side of the house, stood up well to the worst the storm threw at it. I think it provides a really nice formal touch to this area. The new bench also proves once again that gardening in Kansas is often a simple matter of over-engineering and weighty solutions. So now all I have to do is apply that knowledge and create a cement post for the 'American Pillar' rose, anchored down about forty feet into the bedrock. That shouldn't be too hard, should it?