Monday, August 29, 2011

Tropical Storm Irene

How does one photograph the wind? I made several attempts yesterday, even braving a mile walk through a spruce woods to the most exposed point on the island in an effort to obtain a photographic record of my first tropical storm in Maine. (I also had tired of sitting inside with no electricity, holding my book to the window where shadows from the wind-whipped maple flickered on the page.) I could barely stand in the wind blowing the sea into the ledges even at low tide. That's why the horizon is tilted.

Sea spray misted the camera lens and my hair and face. I laughed, drunk on the wildness of the day. Later, my husband’s friend the lobsterman, hearing of my adventure, said, “That was stupid.” Was it? I’d rather inhale a storm than sit inside meditating on our dependence on electricity.

It was hard to hold the lightweight point-and-shoot steady.  It was also hard to pose steady.

How does one photograph the wind? Messenger from another world, visible only by its effects. Grasses bend in the winds coming across open water.

Most seagulls evacuated to the golf course.

The wind pushed though the trees all day, flipping the leaves inside out. The oak below has stood with its brothers and sisters exposed to the east wind on a bank above the bay for well over a hundred years. How many storms has it withstood?

At the cottage, the only damage was to these black-eyed susans, stems bent by the wind, but petals intact and merrily gold. Conveniently, the flowers lean to face the front porch where I sit.

We read last night after dinner by the light of three taper candles. I was almost disappointed when the power came back on. The rain ceased. The wind stopped blowing. We awoke to clear sky, sun and views of islands rising from calm blue water. New Englanders say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”

Below, are photos taking yesterday and today near high tide at the East End Point. 

The goldenrod and sumacs are browned, presumably from salt spray.

By local standards, the storm was a non-event. Islanders say many winter nor'easters bring winds and waves wilder than we saw yesterday. It takes a lot to impress a Mainer. 


Karin / Southern Meadows said...

Glad that it was only a tropical storm. Your photos are fantastic! It is nice to live without all the modern conveniences at least for a short while isn't it?

Donna said...

It is amazing what the NE endures in winter that a tropical storm doesn't phase them...I love the second to last picture of the waves the day before....I think you certainly captured the wind of Irene...we felt her wrath here as well...

Sheila Read said...

Karin, I do like living without (some) modern conveniences. We don't watch TV when we're here - and only access the Internet at the library. Glad you enjoyed the photos. It was fun taking them.

Donna, it takes a lot to phase the islanders. I like that photo, too. I could barely stand up to take it. Hope your garden fared ok in the storm. Our yard is still squishy in places - the story has it that the property was a cranberry bog 100 years ago :) I believe it.

NHGarden said...

Love how your captured the wind. The grass is my favorite!