The Ozark winds of March have been blowing strong since maybe before March even began. But last night really trumped all of our weather-related excitement.
I knew there was a tornado possibility before I went to sleep. The weather forecasts said so and showed the ominous red box surrounding a storm predicted to track in our direction.
But it was still at the border of Oklahoma and Arkansas and by 10pm I didn’t care so much anymore and just wanted to go to sleep.
At 11 pm Rob woke me up by shining the phone screen in my direction so I could see where it was then.
At about the same time my own phone started flashing text notifications from friends to give me a heads-up. I’ve never seen so many people of Kingston awake and all talking to each other so late at night.
Next thing I knew, Rob was putting on clothes and shoes. It appeared that it was not time to go to sleep after all.
Next thing I did was call my parents who were staying down in the camper and encouraged them strongly to come up to the house. Then called my eldest and let him know he might want to take cover. Then messaged my daughter and got no response, so I figured she had already taken cover. She does not sleep during weather like this, and was more likely aware of the situation than the rest of us.
The youngest was out of harm’s way down at college in Russellville, and I was glad to know where he was and that he would be safe.
Ozark Winds of March
The storm approached with bells and whistles. Not literally, of course. But with a lightning show that would have put an ELO concert to shame. Dating myself with that reference, I know. Hail pommeled the porch and it rained down hard. And the winds blew. It was all quite noisy.
Then all of a sudden it was quiet. Except for the lightning there was nothing at all happening. No wind. No hail. No rain. Frogs and coyotes and owls kept their thoughts to themselves, too.
The quiet lasted maybe a minute, maybe less.
Look for me in Oz
We in the house half-jokingly agreed to look for each other in Oz if the unthinkable happened.
The roar started to the west from out past Penitentiary mountain and grew louder as it barreled closer. Then the rain, wind, hail and lightning resumed. The mountain across the valley doesn’t have a name that I know of, but the road that runs across the top is called “the spine” or “backbone”. That’s where the wind went.
It tore through the treetops, rushing like a lion bringing down a zebra.
Then it was all normal again. A little breeze, a little rain. But the roar was gone.
This morning I found out that indeed a tornado had passed along our quiet back road but hadn’t touched down. It waited a few more miles to do that, out near Parthenon. As far as I know, no one was injured, thank goodness.
Is it Spring Yet?
And the sun is shining and flowers are blooming today as if nothing at all happened.
Strong signs of spring are showing. The elephant garlic I’d planted in November are looking strong. Green onions are prime for the picking. Raspberry brambles are putting on leaves. Violets, dandelions, henbit, crocus, and the peach trees are all blooming their hearts out.
I hope we don’t get a late ice storm or hard freeze.
Predator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.
Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.
About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.