Whirling Away

The robins were by yesterday, in their annual migration. I grabbed a few photos, which I’ll scatter about this writing.

We were hit, or I should say, sideswiped by a tornado Sunday night. It wasn’t a surprise: we had tornado watches all night, and you could see the storm coming toward us on the radar. Still, we’ve had warnings before and not much has happened, so I went to bed about ten on Sunday after taking two nightime Tylenol to help me sleep.

The Berries are mine. Mine.

Peek At You

I lay in bed, half asleep listening to the wind and rain, when I noticed that the sound was getting louder and more steady. People have said that tornadoes sound like trains, but I didn’t get that impression. The sound was unlike anything I’ve ever heard, and as it got closer, I grew more alarmed until I jumped out of bed and opened the curtain. Outside was rain and hail and wind whipping all about in a chaotic fashion. When one of the lamp posts fell over, I grabbed my robe and called out to my roommate that we were getting hit by a tornado.

Pretty Girl

He was still up, watching weather on television and assured me that this wasn’t a tornado — they had turned off the tornado warning just a few minutes before. It was just a strong wind is all. I stood in the hall, robe clutched around me and listened, and as suddenly as the wind had started, it was gone. He went back to bed; I went back to bed.

Bright Eyes

Strong wind my butt. The next morning I took my roommie into work, and we passed the Wal-Mart near our home and saw large signs tossed about, one half driven into a dirt bank; steel fences twisted into pretzels; electric poles snapped like toothpicks. It was an F0 tornado, with winds of 70 miles per hour. It had skipped about, snapping large trees into pieces and damaging several houses, as well as creating the damage to the shopping area. It was just a baby twister, and luckily no one was hurt.

The unseasonable warm weather is gone now–swept away by this last storm of too long a year of storms–and it’s very cold. I don’t mind so much when I get a visit from my robins.

A Shy Bird

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12 Responses to Whirling Away

  1. qB says:

    Fantastic pics. I particularly like the detail on the underwing one.

  2. ralph says:

    Glad to hear you’re safe and sound. I remember those midwestern tornados; nasty stuff. People here in New Jersey are amazed when I tell them about the tornado drills we performed in grade school in Michigan where we would open all the windows (to equalize the pressure and prevent the windows from exploding), then go out into the hallway, open our lockers, kneel down, and stick our heads inside (to prevent our heads from being cut by any flying glass). Not quite as spooky as the nuclear duck and cover exercises, but not by much….

  3. Elaine says:

    such lovely robins! these photos would make lovely xmas cards. :)

    and yes, glad to hear you survived the tornado safely.

  4. loren says:

    Nice pictures, Shelley.

    We seem to have a lot of robins around here, but according to local experts they’re actually migrants from further north. The robin who lived in my yard all summer has apparently migrated to California for the winter.

    Here I always thought robins were one of the birds that didn’t migrate at all since they were always in the yard summer and winter.

  5. Phil says:

    I first saw an American robin when I was at a conference on a ranch outside Denver. (There was that bit at the end of Blue Velvet, but I didn’t pay much attention to it – it looked mechanical. Besides, I’m not taking nature notes from David Lynch.) I was quite shocked. Huge great thing – size of a chicken, I tell you. Looked all wrong. (This is what a robin looks like.)

    Ever since then, I can’t see a picture of an American robin without feeling homesick, even if I’m only half an hour away from home at the time. Odd.

  6. Peggy says:

    I visit BurningBird regularly, and always look forward to the new photos. Never disappointed, they are always so beautiful and unique! Thanks Shelley.

    Best wishes for the Holidays!

  7. Shelley says:

    Why thank you all kindly for the compliments.

    Phil, interesting that we have such different robins. Ours are bold fellows — kind of like Texans.

    Elaine, yes, I thought this might be nice for the holidays. They are, as always, free to use.

  8. Arthur says:

    Actually, Robins, I thought, were always a bit more ‘fatter’.

    It appears they have a better life over in Europe.

  9. Phil says:

    “Actually, Robins, I thought, were always a bit more ‘fatter’.”

    Following your vink link, I think what you think when you think of a vink (sorry) is a different bird again:
    nl.wikipedia:
    De botvink of boekvink of charlotte (Fringilla coelebs) is een zangvogel.

    en.wikipedia:
    The Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae.

    The American Robin is a thrush. The European Robin, by contrast, is a little sweetie.

  10. qB says:

    That bit about it being the wrong robin in the Mary Poppins film in the “little sweetie” link is priceless.

  11. Shelley says:

    Okay okay — the English robin is cuter. I personally would get a kick out of a fat little robin hopping up on my spade when I’m resting from gardening in order to look for worms.

  12. Arthur says:

    The American Robin is a thrush. The European Robin, by contrast, is a little sweetie.

    As a European on the New Continent, I bow to your superior Dutch language skills.