Archives for posts with tag: storm

Sometimes we humans get to witness moments in nature that we know we will never see again. I was taking pictures after the recent storms in Oregon, watching the thick sea foam washing over the beach when something caught my eye, an unusual movement through my viewer. I had zoomed in and still couldn’t recognize exactly what I was seeing. You may see it around the center of this shot…


It was a bird, covered in sea foam, waddling towards me until it got covered in foam again with the next wave. It was a pelican.


I wasn’t sure what to do. He was completely covered, his eyes, his wings, his bill. I was still too far from him to be of much help, so I kept taking pictures. He, or she…what do I know?…stopped and stretched. It was definitely a pelican, a tired pelican. No telling how long it had been struggling to escape the strong waves of sea foam. I know. I had been standing with my back to the ocean the day before and got caught in a rush of the nasty looking, thick foam. I couldn’t outrun it. And I’m a whole lot taller than a bird on the ground. It seems to take a long time to make it closer to the shore.


I wasn’t moving, only clicking my camera, but the pelican seemed to know I wasn’t going to hurt him. Or he was too tired to care. He was just trying to get out of the mess. Thoughts were running through my mind about trying to help. Do pelicans bite? What if I just scared him. I had nothing with me to dry him off. So much for my valiant thoughts of a wildlife rescue. He stopped and shook a few times, losing a little bit of the foam.


He wasn’t very graceful but he was moving. He seemed to know what to do. He stretched his wings again.


Then his neck. He was watching me now.


He let his pouch drop a little, alternating spreading his wings, preening to get the foam off.


He turned to me, looking right at me, probably 20 feet away.


Then he spread his wings, airing them out, and headed for the safety of a log thrown to shore by the storm.


A couple, probably from Germany, joined me on the shore and began taking photos with an iPad. They had seen many dead birds after the storm and thought this one would probably die, he looked old to them.

You know what…I don’t think so. I think he knew exactly what to do and was going to go dry off before returning to the other pelicans in the area. I’m not naive, but I saw the look in his eye, a look of strength. No matter what happened later, he had made it to shore, cleaned himself off, and looked a human in the eye. I felt good about him and grateful for getting to capture it for you. I won’t forget my plucky pelican friend…

Living in Oklahoma is not for sissies. True to the song, that wind does come sweepin’ and sometimes it’s a little strong. The beautiful plains probably handle it better than the cities. In Tulsa, we are in the corner of the state called “Green Country” by the tourist bureau. For those who think this state is flat and dry, you haven’t seen all of Oklahoma. We have gorgeous trees and hills in our lovely city.

This week, we had a blast of 70-80 mph winds that swept over our area, swirling and blowing until a large portion of the city was without power and nature had pruned our urban forest. It would break my heart to see the huge trees upended in yards all over the place, but I’ve been through it before and know that when all is cleaned up, we’ll look much the same around here with a few gaps in the sky. We have an abundance of trees. After our major ice storm a few years ago, the city looked like a war zone, but nature picks up and goes again. I’ve also learned from the National Parks, where they let nature take its course.

Getting around town has been slow as you dodge limbs in the streets and wait to go through intersections one at at time while the street lights are out. Poles are broken and leaning and crews are arriving from other states to help! I saw some poles propped up with a smaller pole bound to it.



If there is anything good about storms like this, it’s the human spirit that shines through. Days without power make us more grateful for what we do have. After writing about Keeping Cool earlier this week, many had to live it in the humid heat following the storm. At least there are places to go with air conditioning and ice. Neighbors and families with power provide meals and cool places to sleep. We know not to open our refrigerators to keep them cold or put perishables in coolers with ice until the stores run out. Most people should have lanterns and flashlights around. Some have generators left over from ice storms.

One of the newest problems is charging all our devices. One of my daughters without power took all of her family’s electronics to her sister who had power to recharge…iPhones, iPads, iPods. We’re kind of an Apple family and need our gadgets to stay in touch.

On the other side, my brother doesn’t have power after three days and needs to be connected for health reasons. I check on him and make sure his phone works so he can get help if needed. I’m sure there are many like him. I have to wind through the back streets to get to him because he’s on a main street blocked by electric company workers trying to get everything going.

Power outages bring out our pioneer spirit, 21st century style. We’re not exactly without resources these days. Neighbors help neighbors move limbs until the hoards of trucks and men with chain saws flood the city. There’s money to be made following a storm.

I’ve been grateful to have power, although I lost my internet and cable for a couple of long periods. Hard to complain. In fact, it makes me laugh to think how deprived we can feel without things that are really luxuries. Reading books is back in style, by lanterns or on tablets, in a storm.

Here’s a sample of some of Tulsa’s damage this week. Multiply this times a bunch and you’ll see what we’re seeing…

Here are two trees uprooted onto the owner’s house…


A tree broken across a fence…


A multi-trunked tree uprooted onto the house and new car…


and debris piled on the curbs for pick up…



One of the major problems is our glorious oaks that die from the inside and look fine on the outside but are vulnerable to the winds…


So, we’re picking up and going again. We survive wind, tornadoes (big wind), ice, heat and cold and floods here in Oklahoma. We’re OK.