Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Pitter Pat? More Like Bam-Pow!

You hear folks say that rain on a metal roof is soothing. Well, rain recently isn’t the only patter that drummed on our metal roof! For 15 days of unrelenting downpours, we lay awake off and on during the night listening to pings and bams and plops of acorns, small branches, along with humongas spears of rain falling above our heads. Acorns and branch bits were the loudest, often waking us up wondering, “Is that a deer or a bear outside?” That’s how crashingly loud the sounds were.

Up here the soil is similar to loess, very fine. It takes a lot of rain to create mud, so walking isn’t a problem. Usually the soil soaks up the moisture, seeps into the streams, brooks, and finally the Delaware River. The soil becomes so saturated that the heavy trees can’t stay upright as the soil leeches away from its roots. “Don’t park under trees, as danger lies in trees toppling over from soaked soil.” This we hear on our weather radio. And topple they do. A tree expert told us recently that the hemlocks have shallow roots and fall more easily than pines. But not even the pines can escape such an end. If the loose soil doesn’t cause their downfall, the 45 mile gusts of wind we have this time of the year surely finish the job.

Sometimes waking up to a foggy morning we can't discern how the day will be. But in an hour the fog disappears and replaced with the blue skies. By noon we've quit shivvering in 5o degree weather to a warmth inching to 65. Each day a new experience.

Already I'm feeling sad about leaving this oasis (well, the other half doesn't see it quite the same). We were too involved this trip in projects and not enough in enjoying the surrounding towns and villages and our newer friends. We've continue to meet folks who are one generation from European parents who came here for a better enjoyment of life. Of one only natives seem to lose perspective.

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