I took a long walk yesterday afternoon up into the hills. This is what it looked like at about 4:00 p.m.
Then I heard a clicking kind of buzzing ... looked down I saw a grasshopper land on the grass in front of me. It was black and medium sized. I tried to lean quietly over and take a picture. This is what I photographed.
I had my eyes closed.
I was communing .
But it did fly in and I heard its characteristic sound. It says, as I read my field guide, that this "music making" serves as a form of warning, a way to establish territory, or a move in courtship. I like to think he spotted me and decided to be friendly on this beautiful day. After all I was standing still and this little guy flew to me. Their Habitat are grasslands and woods with Live Oaks. That's us.... lots of grass and oaks. It's hard to say exactly what kind of grasshopper it was because in North America alone there are over 1000 species.
I took four photos before it flew away to something more interesting and I continued on down the trail toward the house.
The wind was picking up and the sun disappeared. When I passed the goats they seemed restless and were heading for the goat house.
I went in and fixed dinner. The Prospector said something about the weather on TV. There was a "cell" moving over Amador county. They were spot on. We had finished dinner and watched Jeopardy. I let the dogs outside and they ran around peeing on everything and chasing each other. The sky got darker and more ominous and then we heard rumbles from across the river canyon. The sun was trying hard to leave a last impression on us.
I called the boys in and taking one last photo from the porch...
We watch this storm hit. First the wind, then the thunder and lightening, and then the hail. Huge pieces of hail that fell, plummeling my flower garden, battering the roof and scaring the dog boys under our bed. Cutter would bark at the thunder every time it hit. I just stood there watching my Iris, hoping for a miracle.
The storm knocked out the TV and the computer. We ended up reading for about an hour until the storm blew itself out and move east where it became snow for all the worn out folks up country and into the Sierras. It was a slow moving storm that planted itself at about the 3000 ft. level for quite a while. We watched it leave and saw the ragged bottoms of the clouds that has just gone over us. We had been told that "ragged bottoms" are the strange rough underside of a very large cloud that produces Tornadoes. It definitely looked like what a blogging friend in the Midwest calls a "bad cloud". We don't get Tornadoes up here but we have had a few in the Valley recently.
I watched that cloud for a long time. I think I kind of understand what it must feel like to know that something horrible would come down out of the clouds and do great damage to a town or community. Tornadoes are monsters, dark and sinister wind, exposing life to fearful disaster and pain. I can't imagine what it must be like to see one come out of a dark cloud. I'm sure that it's one of nature's most frightening events.
This cloud moved on... and by evening it was dark and quiet.
I heard rain late in the night. As I lay there, save and protected. I felt thankful for this sanctuary that I call home and the protection it effort us here in the California foothills. I said a thank you prayer before I fell back to sleep.
I won't always be so safe. Something wicked eventually comes, but we live each day with hope that there will be Joy in the Morning.
This post was for Karen Deborah and all of those that suffer from chronic pain and depression. We all suffer "storms" in our life. For some it's more difficult than others. This is a kind of a prayer for those who weather each day with fortitude and grace.
(My Iris survived the hailstorm. They are a bit ragged but they are fine. )