Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Where I'm At

Snapshots of the view around my house taken back in April

First the backyard, which looks into a wetland/swamp. The line of ferns in the first picture starts about 12-15 feet behind the house. These show the view from the window beside my computer.
Kudzu, not visible in these pictures, now dominates the whole area. One can see a small patch of sky in the backyard, but only if you look straight up - no horizons here.

Instead of showing the house across the street, I'll show you a shot between two of the houses across the street.

That's a lake behind them. Here's a better picture of that lake from a few houses down the street. They DO have a horizon on that side of the street - but we've got privacy.

The tree below is in my neighbors front yard. The tree got bent in Hurricane Charlie in 2004 - it used to be straight. The line gives some idea of how far from true it is now.This may not look impressive, but it is. That line of trees behind the houses shielded us from the worst of the winds in that storm. Every taller tree on our side of the street got blown over, including two trees no longer in our front yard. This tree, about 15 ft tall and shielded by a strand of trees and a house, got bent by winds that occasionally gusted downward.

Let me give another example of what these downward gusts can do. In the first line of trees in our backyard we had a scrub oak that for some reason had decided to grow along the ground instead of up. (I imagine that some ground collapsed around it's roots.) The trunk grew from north to south. It got caught by a down blast in Charlie which bent the trunk (about a foot thick) until it snapped and flipped the tree over so that it now grows from south to north. (Part of the trunk survived, so the tree has not died.) That blast that snapped that tree and flipped it around hit less than 20 feet from our house! In fact I can't be certain that it didn't hit our house, but we only suffered the loss of one panel of screen on the back porch. Sustained 110 mph winds are no fun!This picture looks across a retention pond four houses down from our place - it's the same swamp from the first few pictures. Those trees probably saved us from a lot of damage in 2004.

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