Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Great Storm

...And the sky opened up and the rain fell in torrents in the form of a huge thunderstorm. The water of the storm washed away everything from the surrounding land. As the rain began to cease, small creatures began to come back out from their hiding places, but there was no sign of Ratty's geese on the water or on the land. Ratty looked to the sky and promised to be good again, but the geese never came.

After the huge thunderstorm I went back to the park where I had been teasing the geese. I didn't find the geese, but I found the results of the storm all around me. The sky was still dark with rain clouds, and day was turned into night inside the forest. There was a thick mist in the air that made it hard to breath, and my clothes became soaked just from walking around.

Everything in the forest was full of water from the storm. As I said, the air was a thick mist. Even though it was finished raining, there was water falling from the trees because the leaves were so heavy with the water that had been collected on them. Branches were even breaking under the weight of the water. Nothing was safe in the forest today.

If you're looking for animals, the time right after a storm has ended might be the best time to find them. There were huge flocks of birds inside the forest and at the edges. I tried to take pictures of them, but things were just so dark and steamy that they were already flying away by the time I would lift my camera.

The forest was also just full of black squirrels, but these creatures are the ghosts of the forest to begin with. It is very difficult to get a picture of one of these creatures out here in good clear weather, and in the dark it is next to impossible. The only reason I saw them was because there were so many running through the woods.

There is a sad thing that happened while I was out on the fishing platform, looking at the flooded lake. Behind me there was a commotion of something crashing through the trees. Then I heard an animal wailing. I really had no idea what it could be at first. Maybe either a squirrel or a bird calling.

When I finally walked back in that direction, and up the stairs of the platform, I heard it more clearly. From under the stairs, and out of reach, the wailing came again. I began to understand what had happened. The crashing sound must have been a poor squirrel that had fallen from high up in a tree. It had made its way under those stairs and was suffering. There was absolutely nothing I could do. I moved on to leave it in whatever peace it could have.

I moved quickly down to the dam to see what the storm had done at that end of the park. The whole area was flooded. The viewing platform back here was under water, and the dam was overflowing. The small peaceful creek at the outlet of the dam was now a raging river. The water was overtaking the land everywhere.

There were no geese on the lake, but there were ducks sitting on an old log. They probably rode out the storm right there. It was very difficult to see anything because of the steamy mist that had formed. My camera could see better than I could, but it was having trouble focusing on anything.

There were several of the bigger water birds out on the lake. I will show you more of them in the upcoming days. There was just so much to see that I have yet to sort it all out in my mind, and I'm still trying to get over the thought of the squirrel. I'm sure it feels much worse about it than I do. It's now hard to write anything at all when I think of that, so I'm going to stop right here.

18 comments:

  1. Some excellent pics as usual. The ducks always amaze me. It doesn't seem to matter how wet it has been, or how muddy it is, they absolutely adore paddling around in the aftermath.

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  2. Wow, it must have been quite a storm from your description and the pictures. Poor squirrel :(

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  3. That is some storm isnt it?

    That path thro' the trees is lovely!

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  4. You are telling my story. Although I insisted on going for the hiking, I had to go home upon reaching the park this morning.
    Thunder was heard, it might not safe to continue.

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  5. Oh, the poor thing! That sound would haunt me.

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  6. It does look like it was a heavy storm, but your photos are outstanding as usual.

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  7. It is so sweet that you are so concerned about the squirrel's well-being.
    The last few trips out in the woods, it has been misty or lightly raining for me too...and I can't get clear pix when it is like that either. If anyone out there has any tips on settings to use for fog or mist to clear it up or better show the mist, please share them with me?

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  8. wow, that looks like quite a storm! i am feeling sad about the squirrel too ratty, sometimes mother nature can be cruel. i hope he didn't have to suffer long.

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  9. Poor little squirrel, they are acrobats but can make mistakes.

    That must have been a really heavy storm from the looks of your photos. Back in my old style SLR days there were some lens cleaners that would temporarily dry and allow the misty shots a little better. Great photos and story Ratty.

    You briefly mentioned safety, maybe in a future post you might want to talk about some of the hazards of going into the woods after a storm. It can be very dangerous, especially around bodies of water.

    Have a great day,
    SQ

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  10. The winding path photo is in amazing capture. It's almost haunting. Well done.

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  11. Such a harsh weather. You are a dedicated adventurer Ratty. Careful when exploring there.

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  12. Quite the rain storm you had there. I love going out after a storm. You got some good photos of the aftermath though. I like the ducks out there on the water. I feel bad for that squirrel also. It must have been chasing or being chased by another one. Sometimes they can run so fast through the trees that they slip and fall. And after your rain the tree branches are slippery. Most make it from a fall unless they fall on a hard surface. Poor thing. I was watching this little baby Vole yesterday when a chipmunk killed it. I couldn't believe it. Just left him after he killed it too. later a skunk ate the dead vole. Nature is so sad at times.

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  13. the storm that passed brought a different kind of beauty, and you captured the beauty that the storm brought so well.

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  14. really nice post. made me feel like i was hiking with you and oh, poor squirrel:( the sound of animals in distress always get to me :(

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  15. I love the green scenery in the first few pictures..It's almost like a mystery path..A great post, Ratty!

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  16. Wow. Some storm. I was hand feeding some Canadian geese today. I'll have to take a camera next time & put some pics on my blog. I've been having trouble with my entrecard drop setup. They can't seem to get it worked out yet. I'll start dropping in on you when it gets fixed. Nice work on the blog. I'll be back.

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  17. Check out my post today (10.8.09) which I dedicate to you my friend at http://howmanthink.blogspot.com/2009/08/wildlife-in-tanjong-jara.html

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  18. Lizzie - I've seen ducks and geese playing out in the rain, and looking up at the sky.
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    Mountain Woman - It was a huge storm that continued the next day. The thought of the squirrel is heartbreaking.
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    Kirigalpoththa - The storm was huge and it wasn't over yet. I love walking in the woods when it is that dark.
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    Rainfield - When I saw your latest post I was thinking that it was raining on both sides of the world. I had to wait til the thunder ended too.
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    Lin - It haunted me too. I still can't get it out of my head. I'm almost afraid to go back.
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    Vagabonde - It was a big one, but I went at the perfect time.
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    The Retired One - It's difficult when I know any animal is hurting, mainly because I've been thinking of these creatures as my friends for a long time now. I wish I had a tip for the fog, it would help me too. Paint Shop Pro has a setting that can clear up photos a little bit.
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    PJ - I hope it wasn't long too. I also hope it wasn't as bad as it sounded.
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    SquirrelQueen - My camera actually made things look much clearer than they were. A post on safety tips would be excellent. I was caught in a dangerous winter storm once. I think I'll begin putting some safety tips together.
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    Dr. Lauren - I wish I had room for more of those. I love those dark photos. It's even more fun being there.
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    VanillaSeven - I always try to be careful, but everybody makes mistakes. It was actually safer than it looked, except when I was near the dam.
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    Ginnymo - I keep trying to remind myself that these things are all another part of nature, but that doesn't make it much easier I guess. I always hope it will be easier next time, and there will be a next time.
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    Betchai - I love that beauty that a storm brings very much. It's a rare and precious thing.
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    Marites - That poor squirrel overshadowed everything, but it was a very nice time for a hike.
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    Icy - I love it when the forest gets like that. I love walking through there in the dark.
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    TC - Canada geese are some of my favorite animals. They can be very friendly at times. I hope they fix your Entrecard situation soon. Good luck.
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    Kruel - I saw your post, and it was great! I loved the pictures, they're excellent. You have such a good variety of animals. Thanks for mentioning me on it. :)

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