Somewhere in this photo is a tornado. May 8, 2008 was a sunny, blustery, sticky day. Gradually, huge blinding white clouds began popping up with ominous charcoal centers in our brilliant blue skies. The clouds grew thicker and thicker, and the winds stronger, humidity was high. As the clouds finally closed like a curtain on the final act, the weather radio alerts us that we're under a Tornado Watch. No kiddin.' A squall line had formed to the southwest and was crossing the river around dusk. The tornado siren went off. Local channels have excellent radars and the best weather teams, so we were glued to the set to see where the "hook echo" was. We could see exactly where the tornado was - between our house and the eastern shore. Normal people take cover, and we did, but before doing so I shot a few frames into the gloom hoping to capture the funnel.
This afternoon we're under a Tornado Watch once again. Our "safe place" is ready to receive us should a tornado come our way. Since moving to this river we've seen our fair share of tornadoes. They seem to follow the waterways and roadways, though not always. One went right through our marina, stacking up the docks like dominoes. It formed right outside our houses on the river, so quickly that the National Weather Service didn't see it. No sirens. No Watch. I was outside spreading mulch and came in right before it hit, but only because of the rain. We had no idea. We've also experienced an earthquake that measured 6.4. That was unexpected. We've also seen flooding, and the river turn bright red from the clay soil erosion. It was red for weeks. The past three years we've had drought, which seems to be coming to an end. We've witnessed the wave of Japanese Beetles coming through as they moved further northward into our country. We celebrate each year the hatchings of Mayflies, which are indicators of a clean river. We suddenly had midges here, whereas we didn't before. Bird migrations have been unusual due to the Gulf of Mexico hurricanes, Rita and Katrina.
Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me even as she humbles me. Our planet is a miracle, and we are its stewards.