Over this past weekend, Tim and I decided to drive down to Pine Island. Why? Mostly just because we had never been. That's how we roll.
Pine Island is the 118th largest island in the US. And what's more it is also the largest island in the state of Florida. In fact, it's large enough to have 4 separate towns! Makes me giggle a little bit. Our little island of Venice which is just the one town, Venice and at this point most of the town of Venice is actually off island. Comparatively, Pine Island sounds ENORMOUS! And it truly was good-sized. We prowled around the place checking out the area and the towns which are more like cute little villages. It reminded me a lot of Maine. Tiny villages with a lot of trees and water and undergrowth in between. Except with palm trees and Mangroves and no real beaches. So I guess nothing like Maine at all.
On the way home as we headed up the highway we saw this before us. Now I'd like to point out here that my weather app specifically said, "no rain". Not low chance for rain, not even slim chance, but no chance for rain. I dunno guys, that looks a lot like rain to me.
But isn't that awesome to see! We had two choices, go ahead and drive into it or pull over and wait for it to go by us. Well of course we drove into it! Torrential rain that even the wipers struggle to keep up with. The sound of the rain not just drumming but hammering on the room of the car was downright scary as was the push/pull feeling of Tim and the storm battling to stay in a straight line. Tim won by the way. I think he was exhilarated by it all. I think I held my breath the entire time.
We saw this distant storm phenomenon in Colorado too. I cannot tell you the number of times we saw storms actually created. Looking toward the mountains, we could see the kernel of a good rocking storm. The clouds would slowly begin to gather and darken and then suddenly sweep toward some destination known only to the storm itself. In Colorado we also sat on our back patio and watched tornados dip down out of blackened cloudbanks, and then back up again. Over and over, they bounced up and down, teasing us. And then we finally watching the funnel grow longer and longer and eventually touch the ground. We watched from miles away witnessing it's growth as it became bigger and stronger as it swept up debris, lurching from side to side across the plains as it moved toward us. Also exciting. I am pretty sure I held my breath that time too.
I remember earth tremors in California. Not full on earth quakes, but noticable enough to make everyone just freeze in place for a few seconds. Waiting to see, what is this? I've stood on a ridgeline in Connecticut and watched the terrible beauty of a fire on the opposite ridge at sunset. Fire on the earth against the fire of the sunset, peek-a-booed between clouds of smoke and the blackened remains of the forest left in it's wake.
I saw dust devils dance across the dusty summer landscape that was cracked and parched in Texas and gasped for breath like everyone else in the Santa Ana dust storms of Southern California. I've seen the startling beauty of the morning after an ice storm in Connecticut where every twig and branch, every road surface, each pine needle, every single thing is encased in ice causing the sun to beam rainbows over the snow.
We have now heard first hand, the banshee scream of a hurricanes fury and later saw the devastation it left behind. In Missouri we eyed the rising water inching up over the banks of the mighty Mississpi River with suspicion and wariness. And in Maine shoveled ourselves out of unbelieveable snow banks storm after storm after storm.
Mother Nature has endless tricks up her sleeve. And there honestly isn't much that we mere humans can do about it except hang on for the ride.
I actually think it's good for us. We humans tend to be kind of arrogant, a little cocky with our "top of the food chain" attitude. It's humbling to be brought to our knees once in awhile by something bigger and stronger and less controllable. I don't blame her for being annoyed. Look what we are doing to her planet!!!
I have this deep dark fear lurking in a little corner of a distant cobwebby closet in my mind that some day Mother Nature is going to be so furious with us over what we have done to this earth that she will be very very angry. I have this feeling it will be like the Hulk saying, "Trust me, you don't want to see me angry". Kind of scary. Uhoh, I'm holding my breath again guys.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.