I am sure some of you are really wondering how things are going with our couple. Well , the real test arived here yesterday around 5:30 in the form of a lovely squall line packing 80 MPH straight-line winds and quarter sized hail. By the time things were done and every one was through assessing the damage in their yards, it was too dark to go check on the big nest and its occupants. My husband gave me the good news this morning though: everything looks to be ok and he could make out the standard white tip of a head poking out above the rim of the nest. Seems the birds likely fared better than many of their human counterparts on the ground, given that there were several barns torn apart, a home, a garage and a car flattened by trees, and power lines in many places ripped from the poles. In fact I myself did not escape unharmed. I was caught about a mile and a half from home on my bike wearing nothing but my biking shorts, a summer-weight jersey and a do-rag. I was really convinced that I could make it to a neighbor's barn less than a 1/4 mile from me but it may as well been 5 miles. When I saw that green sky go white I knew I was headed for some hurting. The area was totally flat, no cover whatsoever and the ditches full of water so my only recourse was to align myself parallel to the wind, set my brakes and brace my feet out ahead of me. I had a separate rain jacket strapped to the bike and I thought of throwing it over the frame and cowering behind this pathetic shield but the wind made this completely impossible. Then the hail was on me and all I could do was try to make my profile as small as possible and keep one arm wrapped around my head. During the worst of it I recall thinking that it felt like I was in the middle of a wet towel fight in a locker room, only everybody had hidden their towels in the freezer and were scoring direct hits on my bare legs and there was no dancing or dodging the assault. I could see the ice bouncing off me and flying past, and the unsettling thing about this was that although snow blows horizontally and rain can blow horizontally I've never seen quarter-sized hail move this way, much less been forced to STAND in the WAY of hail advancing in this fashion.
This morning when I woke up, I decided to get the mirror and look at the backside of my legs. It would appear that they are attached to an idiot who went to a paintball competition at a nudist colony and did a lot of running away.
Then I got on here and read about the tornadoes and deaths all across the midwest and I realized I got off rather lucky by comparison.
Hope everybody is ok, and are smarter than I am and always wear a helmet.