Sunday, July 3, 2011

Who Has Seen the Wind?

While we were camping last week, the entire state was apparently under an unstable low pressure area. In case you are as un-techy as I am about weather science, what that means is that it was pretty windy all over. Since we were camped in the Lower Grand Coulee, that had a particular significance.

You see, a coulee is:

1. Western U.S. A deep gulch or ravine with sloping sides, often dry in summer. (American Heritage Dictionary)
2. (Earth Sciences / Physical Geography) Western US and Canadian a dry stream valley, especially a long steep-sided gorge or ravine that once carried melt water from a glacier. (Collins English Dictionary)

Who Has Seen The Wind?
By Christina Rossetti 1830–1894

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Source: The Golden Book of Poetry (1947)

Believe when I say that the leaves did not simply tremble. The trees did not simply bow down their heads.
Pancakes flew. Plates, bowls, lids, plastic silverware, and a number of other things were chased by children. (Had to send either the children or the marathoners, this senior hiker would never have caught up with them.) Spray from sprinklers on the nearby golf course cooled our campsite with their mists. Chairs topple and folded.  

After the first night of wind, this is my son's tent:
Okay, you may say. It is listing a bit to the right and you can see that the rainfly is clinging,
but is that so odd?

But you see, when he set it up the afternoon before, it was fully facing to the left and sitting on the tarp. While he and the children slept in it--at least two hundred pounds of sleeping humanity--the wind moved it over and turned it a different direction. Needless to say, as soon as he was awaken he had borrowed the hammer and put in the stakes he felt comfortable in neglecting the night before.
A perfect dome? NOT!


imac said...

Lol, windy? shush, Id say a gusty one.
See my breeze piccy.

Paulie said...

What an adventure! And you all lived thru it to tell about it.

Michelle said...

And my husband complains that our tent flaps too much in the wind!

Martha Z said...

The low reached down to the Eastern Sierra where we had a bit of snow as well as wind Tuesday and Wednesday. We were snug in the cabin but didn't get much done. No hiking as the trail still has large drifts of snow.

Lew said...

Certainly an odd feeling to wake up facing a tree!

Liz said...

Oh my goodness! That must have been some wind!