Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28: Tropical Storm Warning

The wind's picking up, although the rain has diminished. We've just gotten an actual Tropical Storm Warning alert for Camden, so presumably the trees will be swaying with even more energy before the night is over. Actually, it's still only Sunday afternoon. Full daylight. But I figured I should post before things get worse in case we lose power later. While it's slowed and been downgraded from a hurricane, Irene is still one monster storm, the spiral of clouds on the radar map covering hundreds of miles. Amazing what Mother Nature can churn up, with a little added boost from global warming.

The storm really does feel tropical, too. The air is heavy, moisture-laden, warm, swept up from the Caribbean and carried here by the swirling forces of nature. Birders I know have been hitting the coast, hoping to find that Irene's brought along some tropical birds, as well. One birder friend hopes for magnificent frigatebird and brown pelican, perhaps some unusual southern terns (scroll to the very bottom of this blog post to see all his predictions). So far reports of black and Forster's terns are coming in from southern Maine, and oystercatchers further up the coast, but nothing exotic yet. Here at our house, there's a house finch in the window feeder.

I've seen photos from Vermont today that show a huge washout on Route 4 that carried utility poles down with it. Friends up and down the East Coast are posting stories of floods, washouts, wet basements, power outages, and general mayhem. Here in Camden, my triathlete neighbor just returned from his bike ride. Another neighbor just walked by, on her way to the store and back, in an outfit that didn't look at all storm-proof: heels, short skirt, thin blouse. But somewhere out there I know boats are rocking on their moorings, branches are cracking, and birds are getting blown off-course. And right here, right now, I'm feeling all that energy in the air and pacing the house like a cat.

Moon's pull and storm surge,
tugging on my very cells--
crazy energy.

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