Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Dakota Storm

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Good morning.


Another powerful summer storm swept through our region on Wednesday evening. The storm resulted in golf-ball sized hail, high winds, and hard rain.
Funnel clouds were spotted in the region, and a tornado warning was issued by the NWS. Fortunately, a true tornado didn't develop. But, the hail was bad enough.


Trees & plants were especially vulnerable to the damage. In the aftermath of the storm, many gardeners surveyed the leafy mess with discouragement, and shed a few tears of frustration.


But, the storm also presented a beautiful contradiction. A breathtaking rainbow accompanied the darkly rolling clouds, illuminating the earth with a heavenly glow.

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Wesley & Matthew were in town when the bad weather came up, helping out at our weekly "Burgers & Brats" in the park. They took shelter in the basement of KB Jewelers when the tornado siren went off. Not truly comprehending the danger of the circumstance, Matthew found the experience to be a grand adventure.


Our home on a hilltop SW of town was spared the brunt of the storm. With the animals and vehicles safely inside, I watched as we got a few soft hailstones, a moment of brief, hard rain, and a few gusts of wind. I waited anxiously for the weather to worsen, and breathed a sigh of relief as the storm headed south.


When it was quiet, I climbed the hill next to our house, camera in hand, to watch the storm in the distance. Standing high above the flats below, I could see for miles in all directions. The experience was breathtaking.


As thunder rumbled, and storm clouds churned, the smell of sweet green grass and fresh rain permeated the air. The sunshine sparkled in the moisture. And, the complete arc of an glittering rainbow stretched across the landscape.


Sox and I stood quietly on the hilltop, his warm fur brushing up against my bare calves. I prayed for the safety of those in the storm's path, and hoped that the animals could find shelter. I felt a little vulnerable alone on the prairie, with Sox the only witness to my whereabouts. But, Mother Nature's Majesty was on full display, and it was a beautiful moment of solitude that I will never forget.

~ Laura Walker, June 28, 2009