Saturday, April 3, 2010

What wind?

Yesterday was the windiest in some time. Not only was the wind strong (gusting to >85 k), it was relentless, continuing for more than 24 hours. I went for a walk during the worst of it, because, well, it was there.

I wish there were an adequate way to record and reproduce the sound. You would need multiple microphones, some means of preventing microphone huffage (yes, I just invented that word), and a theatre with speakers of all sizes in all directions. Sensurround!

Although continuous, the wind was not homogeneous. You could hear the stronger gusts approaching, unseen vortices ravaging one tree and then the next. And each tree, with its characteristic form and structure and degree of leafiness, writhed and wailed with its own rhythm and pitch. A plum, and then a cedar, and then a pair of Douglas firs, and so on. And then it was upon you, pushing you one way or another, removing your hat, turning your umbrella inside-out were you fool enough to carry one.

In the midst of all this was a pear tree in flower, and among its branches was a tiny bird, flitting from blossom to blossom, seemingly unaffected by the storm. Are hummingbirds too trifling for the wind to trouble with? Are they not seen by gusts bent on ripping branches off conifers?

Or are they simply all-powerful?


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Beautiful shots of the humming bird Hugh. We have gotten your high winds today and even lost the electricity for about three hours. Too windy for even kites LOL!

kompoStella said...

the differing sounds of wind inspires and is used in manipulated ways by quite a few of the musicians i have worked with. and those sounds do need a gargantuan venue and a skilled sound engineer to work their magic.
it can be beautiful but ever since i heard the wind rip a tree up and out off the ground, there is also a bit of terror in there for me...
great post, Hugh, i adore the humming bird - it makes me think of that old saying with the eye of the storm.

RPS77 said...

I hope that the bad weather ends soon for you. Here we have an early warm spring (75 Fahrenheit at the beginning of April is not typical here), clear skies, and barely a breeze. It's been the perfect weekend for cleaning and trimming in the garden, which includes picking up branches and twigs knocked down by windy weather earlier in the year.

Karen said...

Maybe hummingbirds are exempt since if they don't eat, they die, right?! Brave of you to go for a walk during the maelstrom. We had to cross the Sound on a ferry and it was hair-raising! And the drive there, dodging falling branches, was no picnic either. That was a doozy for sure!

Hugh said...

HHG: Thanks! Much of the continent seems windy this weekend. It's still windy here, but nowhere near as much as before.

kompoStella,That sounds (or would sound) very cool. I'd much rather experience that than most movies these days. Yes, it can be scary. It definitely puts you on your toes. When a branch cracks, you jump.

RPS77, You eastern folks had a beautiful spell. I think you deserved it though after the storms you experienced.

Karen, I crossed Delaware Bay on a ferry during a winter windstorm once. Some fool idea to look for loons and other seabirds. I wanted to barf. Yeah, that was some storm, probably the worst since 2006 when hundreds of trees blew down in Stanley Park.

Kim and Victoria said...

I'm going with that hummingbirds are all powerful.

Love the word "huffage".