It’s been a long time since I’ve shared any news, but I haven’t had the heart. These photos, taken on Tuesday, September 12, the morning after Hurricane Irma crossed the Upstate, tell the story.
Irma, a tropical storm when it reached South Carolina, brought several inches of rain and wind gusts of 50 to 60 miles per hour, which was a misfortune for us and our neighbor to the north. Together, we lost six towering trees, and many smaller trees, including three eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis) that provided a barrier between the two properties and a beautiful Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) beside our carport.
One of the largest trees in our front garden, a white oak (Quercus alba), toppled a telephone pole as it fell. So, we were without electricity for 4 days and had neither cable nor telephone (landline) for 10 days.
When you live through a storm like this, however, you count your blessings. No one here was hurt and nothing was damaged that can’t be fixed. And soon after the photos above were taken, good neighbors arrived and helped us clear the driveway.
Many others suffered much worse and are still suffering, especially those in the Caribbean. Not only from Irma, but also Harvey, Maria, and Nate. Today, sadly, there is news of a new tropical storm, Ophelia, which is forecast to reach hurricane strength by Thursday.
In the next weeks, we will have 3 additional trees removed, since they’ve been left in precarious position. Then, repairs will be made and a new roof put on the carport and house. All should be in good order again before Thanksgiving.
Even today, when the sun finally broke through the clouds after soaking rains, I could see a bit of the old magic. After just four weeks, the garden is already recovering its charms.