08. March 2005 · Comments Off on Hail, Hail… · Categories: Domestic, General

There probably is some kind of karma involved, because several hours after I posted the pic of my back porch and wrote about the neighborhood cats that see my garden as a sort of clubhouse (and, no… I will not be adding the new one to the pride, he will be tamed and neutered and fostered out to another human of his very own! Really! Stop looking at me like that!) my neighbor Judy called me at work:
“I just wanted to let you know that it just finished hailing out here, “She said “Hail the size of marbles, some the size of golf balls. Just so you won’t be surprised when you get home tonight.”
I was pretty surprised, because it had just rained a little where I was; but it has happened before around here: one part of the city can be having all sorts of horrible weather and five or six miles away, it’s mild and calm, and people there are watching the weather reports and going

So, it was very interesting to get home last night, and see a lot of the new leaves off the Arizona trash tree plastered all over the driveway. The storm roared in from the south, more or less, as Judy told me, so the south-side of my house— normally the most sheltered— had a five or six inch deep drift of hailstones piled up in the flower bed and the walkway. All the firespike and mona lavender are stripped of leaves, the photina growing by the front door has shed a layer of leaves all over everything underneath, and the grass and stone path in back are covered with shredded laurel leaves, like green confetti.

The hailstones were the size of large and small marbles; as of this morning, twenty hours afterwards, they are still not melted. The branches of the rosemary shrubs along the front walk, which took the brunt of it, are covered with patches where the bark was entirely scraped away. A painted ceramic pot has had the paint chipped off, all the way around the edge. Everything else— oddly enough much of it in pots where I would have expected it to be much more exposed to the hail is not very much damaged at all. Most of the stuff had only begun to put out small leaves, and is not very much affected.

I have never seen hail that big; one of my neighbors had their skylight shattered, someone else has had a patio roof collapse, and another was caught on the road and has a cracked windshield. Even the old-timers say they hardly ever saw so much large hail at one time. The worst I ever saw before this was in Spain one summer, when it came down about the size of BB shot, but so much of it, that it looked like snow, and washed into the storm drains where it promptly froze and blocked them up. The resulting mess flooded half the low-lying buildings on base.

And to top it all, after the storm blew over, it was mild, and warm and got up to eighty degrees yesterday afternoon. The popular saying is that if you don’t like the weather in Texas… wait five minutes, it will change.

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