Saturday, March 28, 2009

All Hail Precipitation!

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

We're experiencing a major drought here in Austin, so I relish most anything that falls from the sky. I would, however, like to draw the line at large chunks of ice that break car & house windows like we had on Wednesday. Most of the hailstones in my garden were about the diameter of a quarter, like this one...

Though I've read and seen on the news that some parts of NW Austin had some tennis ball-sized hailstones.

When the hail hit the noise was tremendous! You can see a slideshow of the Greater Austin hailstorm here. My property did not have too much apparent damage, other than beat-up plants, but we're still waiting for someone to come out and take a look at our roof. We were very lucky compared to others in the area.

This is the first photo I took during the storm...

Right after taking the photo I sat with my son under the stairs to calm him down until the noise was over. He's been afraid of storms since we were hit by 3 hurricanes in 2004. Poor kid.

Once the hail had mostly stopped I opened the door to get a closer look...

and grabbed a piece of ice for the photo at the top of this entry.

To get a good idea of the force with which this hail actually hit, you may want to watch the amazing video below that I found on YouTube. You can see how high the water splashes in the pool when the biggest hailstones hit. The video was made by someone whose house is relatively near my own as well as Annie's from The Transplantable Rose:

The day before the storm I caught these two doves relaxing on my newly-cleaned container water garden. The pair stayed there until well after dusk. I hope they weren't hurt by the hail.

Of course, crazy hailstorms are nothing new to Texas, as one can glean from reading about Isaac Cline's experience with them in the late 1800's:

"Visitors from the town of Ben Ficklin fifty miles up the Concho came to San Angelo [Texas] and reported that a monstrous hailstorm had struck about ten days earlier, the day of the flood. The storm discharged stones the size of ostrich eggs that killed hundreds of cattle and fell in such volume they filled erosion gulches and piled to depths of up to three feet on level ground." from [p.61] Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am glad to hear you had no major damage. I can imagine how frightening it must have been to hear the hail banging away at your house.

Mikael Behrens said...

Wow, hail big enough to kill cattle. Can you imagine?!

Pam/Digging said...

Egad--hailstones the size of ostrich eggs? Can you imagine?

I'm glad to know your garden didn't suffer too much damage, and I hope your roof didn't either.

Carol Michel said...

That was quite a hailstorm for all of you. Happy to hear your garden didn't suffer too badly. I suspect there is a new roof in your future.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

What great coverage of the hailstorm! I slept through the whole thing! I got a migraine as the system came toward us, and had to take meds, and dove into bed. Granddaughter and I watched your video, and she said that is what it sounded and looked like here. I hope you didn't get any roof damage.

I think it puts things in perspective when we can read historical accounts of storms, such as Isaac Cline's. Wow!

Dawn said...

Hi Lisa,
It was a bit scary. I was thankful none of the upper windows broke in the family room. They are too high for me to reach to cover properly. It would have been a huge mess if they'd shattered.

Hello Mikael,
You're right: those poor cows! I cannot imagine hail that big and hope I never see it...or feel it. Yikes!

Thanks Pam,
Yes, we were very lucky. OTOH, my neighbor's car was totaled while he was in it on 183. That was one rough ride home I'm sure.

Dear Carol,
I will feel lucky when the roofers actually show up to give us estimates. We're still waiting.

Hi Morning Glories,
So sorry to hear about your migraine. Those are awful. I hope you're feeling much better.

Yes, what Isaac Cline experiences, in the book "Isaac's Storm" is amazing. Anyone who hasn't read that account of Galveston's Great Hurricane of 1900 may want to give it a try. It certainly gave me an added respect for Mother Nature.


Annie in Austin said...

Glad you guys made it through okay.
Hail looks like more fun when it lands in a pool, doesn't it Dawn?

We had some damage besides plants and branches. One car dented & LR skylight smashed. We're in line for professional inspection of the roof, too.

But as far as I know, we didn't lose any cattle!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Cindy, MCOK said...

Dawn, my mind is still boggled by the size of that hail! I feel very fortunate that the recent storms on my corner of Katy have been hail-free! I'm glad all is more or less well at your house ... I hope you and your son can get out during the noisy roofing job to come!

Dawn said...

Dear Annie,
Yes, I agree the hail looked very impressive in that video. The movement was almost like something one would see at a waterpark...minus the destruction, of course.

So sorry to hear about your car's damage. I hope it's fixable...along with any roof problems you might have received. Thank goodness neither one of us lost any of our livestock Annie. Heehee!

Thanks Cindy,
I'm very glad the hail missed your property. We certainly need the rain though, so I'm thankful for all the (soft) moisture we can get.

Take care,

Renée Finberg said...

that hail !!!

ugh, i have never seen one up close. that is freaky !!!
and scary.

anyway, i have notified the doctor that she will need to order a much longer 'COUCH.'

xx thank you for coming over & linking

Dawn said...

Hello Renee,
Yes, that hail was scary up close. I wouldn't recommend it.
Thanks for ordering the longer couch. I'll be right over. Heehee!