The wind was already kicking up when I rose at 6:15, a restless stirring that increased as the sun climbed into the blue sky.
I fixed my breakfast--a bowl of oatmeal porridge with brown sugar, dried fruit, cream--and carried it to the side porch, pulling a chair to the edge where the sun struck full and warm.
A hawk wheeled high over the ridge, gliding through the rushing air, harsh cries of 'Peent, peent,' sending a flurry of small birds to shelter on the branches of a pine.
Breakfast done, I made my rounds, checking the daylilies transplanted into the slope below the side porch landing.
A first crop of kale is thriving. The cats are determined to dig in any freshly turned soil, disrupting tiny seedlings, so I found this side from a child's crib, [left behind by the former owners] and used it as a barricade.
The first bud of Clematis Candida, more green than white.
Moved as a small rooted slip from our first Kentucky house, Candida is coming into her own this season.
In the rough grass along the lane tiny wild violas are in bloom.
I spent more than an hour weeding around the side porch steps, grubbing up tenacious things that seem to thrive in the gravely soil.
A quick break before noon, then out to see what can be salvaged in the perennial strips.
I lost some plants to the endless wet and humid summer of 2016. Several clumps of veronica which seemed to have disappeared have now been freed; I found that the dwarf Oriental lilies are thriving and there are tiny self-sown foxgloves growing beneath the spreading branches of the nameless rose.
My knees began to protest, but I kept on for another half hour. When I finally creaked into the house for lunch I was surprised to find it was late afternoon.
With Jim away I am enjoying lighter meals: for my late 'lunch' a salad with lettuce, tangy/sweet 'grape' tomatoes, cucumber, a whole avocado; fresh asparagus, a toasted bagel with homemade pimento cheese.
I had planned to drive into town for a study meeting at church, but when I sat down at the computer I learned that our area was under a tornado watch.
As I washed my dishes and tidied the kitchen, the wind outside increased to a noisy whine.
The sky darkened and thunder rumbled.
The storm watch was upgraded to a 'warning.'
Above the skirl of wind came the intermittent hoots of a siren, from the firehouse station a mile away.
Bobby Mac, who is terrified of storms, fled to his usual refuge, wedging himself along-side the laundry basket in the downstairs bathroom.
Standing on the front porch I heard the booming roar of the wind surging above the ridge.
Between intervals of rain the world took on the eerie greenish hue that inspires anxiety in the heart of those who watch a storm's progress.
The sky to the northeast was black and roiling.
Patches of slate blue appeared, quickly obliterated by dark clouds.
The storm churned about. A moment or two of stillness, trees unmoving, a dense quiet, then again a fury of wind and slashing rain.
Amazingly we had no power outage.
I checked on family and friends in the storm's wide path.
Family and friends checked on me.
Every few minutes I crept outside to observe the swiftly moving clouds.
At dusk the half moon appeared in a patch of blue overhead.
I walked across the drive to observe the bit of garden I weeded earlier.
Charlie-cat crouched on the side steps, unfazed by the storm.
Now at a bit past 10 pm I've made a last inspection of the weather. The thunder has ceased, rain drips quietly from the eaves. The thermometer has dropped to 58 F.
I will want a fire in the morning.
The most recent post from the local weather station is reassuring: