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Joaquin and Walktober

Nearing high tide
Nearing high tide.

Hurricane season brings a humbling reminder that, despite our technologies, most of nature remains unpredictable.

~ Diane Ackerman

View from the dock.
View from the dock.

It’s almost noon as I sit down to write this post.  It’s overcast, as it has been for over a week.  A cold front moved through last night, and all told, we’ve had about a 1/2 inch of rain.  Not a lot, but enough.  The temperature is cooler than it has been (60’s instead of 80’s), and the wind is just starting to pick up.  The weather folks have been predicting heavy rain and strong winds (10-30 mph) beginning today and lasting through Saturday as a nor’easter moves through.  Most of the wind and rain will likely arrive here tomorrow, but it’s getting a little blustery and gusty outside as I type.

Drooping over the creek.
Drooping over the creek.

Then Joaquin entered the picture, and the forecast became a hot (and unpredictable) mess.  At present, Joaquin is a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  What that means is that the winds range from 111-130 mph.  Hurricane Joaquin is expected to strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane sometime tonight.

Higher than usual tide.
Higher than usual tide.

What does that mean to me?  Maybe nothing.  Nobody knows yet what Joaquin will do.  He could turn out to sea and we’ll get a few waves and a brisk breeze out of it.  Or he could hit the east coast of the U.S. somewhere between the Carolinas and New England.  I think the folks from QI should hand out Nobody Knows paddles to the weather forecasters.  Not that the forecasters aren’t trying.  I’m sure they are doing the best they can with the data available.

Side note:  The QI Elves recently tweeted:

Weather forecasting was banned by an Act of Parliament in 1541.

Probably with good reason.  All the doom and gloom forecasting can be quite worrisome.

Getting dragged under.
Getting dragged under.

Woodland Gnome published a great blog post, The Gathering Storm, on what to do to prepare for a storm.  I’ve been following some of her advice.  I hope for the best, but prepare for the worst because that seems the sound thing to do.  Some preparations were already done.  We always keep a supply of water and food available for possible power outages.  I will need to check the batteries in the flash lights, but we do keep those handy, too.  I’ll be heading out to the grocery store in a little while, a trip that was planned before all the brouhaha developed with Joaquin.  We usually plan our shopping trips because it takes a little while to get anywhere, and we only have one vehicle.

Gathering moss (and fungi and lichens).
Gathering moss (and fungi and lichens).

The difficult question right now is the same question the Clash asked:  Should I stay or should I go?  I’m really not a shelter-in-place kind of gal when it comes to big storms.  I prefer to be somewhere away from the major impact, if possible.  Major storms do not excite or invigorate me the way they did when I was younger.  The wind and rain expected from the nor’easter is more than enough for me, thank you very much.

Hiding behind a cherry tree.
Hiding behind a cherry tree.

The nor’easter complicates things in that leaving, if it’s necessary, will be a tad more difficult.  It’s not easy to get off the peninsula on a sunny day.  Rainy, windy weather usually mean more accidents along the route we would take to go where we would probably go.  Often there is only one way to go, and no way around if there is an accident.  Flooding in low lying areas (and much of this peninsula IS low lying area) is a possibility as well.

Izzy and Bella, our feline family members, are a consideration, too.  Neither of them reacted well to traveling here when we moved.  Izzy was determined to die of thirst, and refused to eat or drink anything for a couple of days.  She hid in a corner of a bathroom closet, shaking.  It was the water from canned tuna (one of her favorite treats) that saved her and eventually brought her out of the closet.  I don’t know how she would react to a 4-hour car trip (possibly 6 or more hours if traffic is bad), and a short stay in a house that is strange to her.

No path here.
No path here.

The problem I have with the unpredictability of the current situation is that the thoughts in my head start to resemble a hurricane.  In fact, I bet if I could take a photo of them, it would look just like Joaquin does in the satellite images.  A big blob of clouds, wind, and rain, spinning around and around.  When I become worried or fearful, I have to watch that my thoughts don’t become obsessive.  Oddly enough, writing helps with that.  You might think that writing about what worries me would cause me to obsess more, but it doesn’t.  The act of writing clears and calms my mind.

There is a clear path here.
There is a clear path here.

A lot of Eastern Shore events planned for this weekend have been cancelled.  One, the Sea Gull Century, has not.  Their website states that it is planned as a rain-or-shine event, and that riders pedaled through wind and rain from Tropical Storm Tammy a decade ago.  I figure if they cancel the Sea Gull Century, perhaps it will be time to leave.  Until then, we will wait and see.

A vine in the myrtles.
A vine in the myrtles.

My internet connection is spotty, the way it usually is when there is wind, rain, and heavy cloud cover.  Since the heavier rains are expected tomorrow, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to post again until Saturday or Sunday or even Monday, but you never know.  The satellite connection surprises me from time to time, including not working at all on clear and sunny days.

This boat won't float.
This boat won’t float.

I reckon that’s it from me and from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on this stormy first day of October.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  We won’t be watching the sunset tonight, but I do think I’ll take a walk in a little while if it’s not raining.  Join me if you like.

Walking through the woods.
Walking through the woods.

Don’t forget about the Walktober event which officially starts today.  You have until midnight October 25 to take your walk, post about it, and leave a link or a pingback on this post.   Yep, this one right here.  Normally this would have been a dedicated post with just a walk and a little about the event, but life, and storms, happen.  Today’s images are from a walk I took a few days specifically for a Walktober announcement post.  If you’re not sure what Walktober is, click on the Walktober image over in the sidebar (to the right).  It will take you to a post about it.  The more the merrier so feel free to spread the word.

Curving around the marsh.
Curving around the marsh.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.   🙂

A prickly situation.
A prickly situation.

Today’s joys:  Shelter from the storm; chocolate; lunch with M; cooler weather; laughter when it is most needed.

Update:  The Sea Gull Century has been cancelled.  Seems like a wise thing to do even without Joaquin in the picture.  The state and national parks on Assateague Island, a rest stop on the Sea Gull Century ride, will be closed this weekend.  We are still in wait and see mode.

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

36 thoughts on “Joaquin and Walktober

  1. Robin, what a beautiful post. I love your moody wet and green photos. Your place is simply stunning no matter the weather or light. Thank you for the link back to FG. And I completely get your metaphor of hurricane thoughts. I got like that when hurricanes approached VA Beach back when I lived there. i was 10 miles inland, but still had trees, rising water, and iffy power to contend with. I always stayed in place and waited things out. But the Eastern Shore is different in so many ways. Lots of love to you as you decide what to do. But please don’t wait too long to commit one way or another. Ocracoke is evacuating now- no one but residents allowed out there. And they just upgraded to Cat 4 this afternoon. Take good care of you and M. Hugs, WG

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      1. Thank you for letting us know, Robin. We’ve been thinking of you. It is fine here so far. We’ve had a lot of rain, but the roads are open. We just hope any wind stays well off the coast. Happy Saturday! ❤ ❤ ❤

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  2. I think the old saying was ‘Trust in God and man the barricades’ which has always seemed a sensible thing to do when it comes to storm warnings…….. so often they fizzle or pass by out to sea, but now and again one makes land and leaves misery in its wake. Here’s to Joaquin, may he pass by so gently the kitties don’t even wake up! Go well!!

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    1. I like that, Pauline. Thank you. 🙂 Although I should add that the kitties don’t seem to be bothered by storms and will sleep through the worst of them.

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  3. Oh, your beautiful thistle! And don’t you just love the QI elves? I just heard it’s a category 4 now and it’s not going to make landfall. So lots of rain. Wind–maybe not so much as with landfall. Sit tight. You’ll be fine.

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  4. I am not nearly so up to date as your other readers, but I am also not in a danger area. I understand what you say about your hurricane thoughts and writing – writing does that for me, kind of clears the air and lessens the concern. Which is why those “unloading” posts sometimes appear. Whatever Joaquim does and you do, stay safe.

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  5. Lisa brings good news that J. most likely won’t make landfall. Phew! The media likes to whip up their ratings by making us fearful (in the name of safety). I know they have to CTA, but sometimes I think they take it a bit far. Kind of like crying wolf, I am often rather skeptical when the BIG STORM hype starts. Then I’m surprised if it actually happens! 😉 I’m just glad we have a generator. It makes things so much easier! Enjoy the rain and your latest book. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 I stopped paying attention to The Weather Channel (internet version — we don’t have cable or satellite tv) because of all the hype and fear they generate with their red banners and predictions of doom.

      The rain has been kind of nice up until this evening when it started flowing sideways because of the strong winds. A little over 3 inches of rain so far. I didn’t spend as much time with a book as I’d planned. Been catching up on blogs instead.

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    1. Thanks, Chris. Love to you and Jeffrey. 🙂 We might be in Ohio sometime soon, but we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, the rain we’ve been experiencing has gone on ahead of us.

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  6. I will have to start paying better attention to your weather situation. I didn’t realize that it was so serious. Stay safe, Robin. I’ll be thinking about you. Your old neighborhood (The Bogs) has been chilly and bluster today. We are definitely transitioning to fall/winter. Ugh!

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  7. Good luck, Robin. It sounds like we’ve been getting some of the same systems. We also got a cold front–around 80 degrees on Wednesday, then down to 50s. We were also wondering if we were going to be hit by a hurricane here in NJ. It looks like a nor’easter–which is not fun either–but no hurricane. We cancelled our trip to Ocean City planned for this weekend. I hope you and yours are able to stay at home–I agree that traveling with your feline companions would not be fun. I hope you’re able to stay dry and cozy!

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    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 Hope all is going well with you up there in NJ. It’s getting pretty gusty down here and expected to stay that way through tomorrow and imagine it’s probably coming your way so I wish you the same — stay dry and cozy. 🙂

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  8. I’m peeking in here Saturday morning and it seem Joaquin has gone very far east, which is good of course, but that you are still in an area for potential flooding. Hope all is well for you and that you’ll be able to give us an update soon! Thinking of you!

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    1. Thank you, Karma. 🙂 Joaquin is still spinning around in the south, but predicted to turn east which will be a very good thing for us. I was glad to see he’s not expected to hit New England (which was a possibility yesterday).

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  9. We’ve been watching the weather maps from here although the idea of banning the predictions holds some appeal. Stay safe and best of all that is secure to you. Love your photos and as always, your words.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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