Wednesday, August 11, 2010


pumpkin with hail-damaged leaves
Last Saturday night we got home about 10:45 to discover that a bad storm had blown through about 30 minutes earlier. We'd been watching the lightning for about an hour as we'd driven north from Sleepy Eye and a visit with my parents to see Steve's parents. The duration of the front and the lightning was itself surprising, but we didn't hit any rain until we got into town. Rain was still really coming down, but as we entered our neighborhood we noticed all the leaves on the ground and a few large branches.

leek after hail
Some patio furniture wa blown over, but what was really eerie was the way the garage door was plastered with ash seeds and bits of leaves. That could only mean high winds and hail.

The effect on the garden was pretty stark. Surprisingly, although two of my tomato plants were blown over, they didn't seem to have sustained much damage. The vine plants were in terrible shape, and you could see the large slits on all the leaves. The few remaining spinach plants were stripped, the dill stalks and even the leek stalks broken in half. Some of my Asiatic lilies, long past bloom, were also snapped in half.

The vine plants may or may not recover. I'm fine with an end to the cucumbers, but I do hope the squashes recover and keep putting out fruit. The two butternut squashes are pockmarked from the hail, but the acorn squash were sheltered by the vine and leaves. Two very large pumpkins that were hidden in leaves are now completely exposed, the tattered leaves and vines broken around their swollen bodies.

corn field after hail storm

What's worse is the way one of the most gorgeous fields of corn, next to our house, was stripped down and left in tatters. I include a photo with the ears hanging there, exposed and vulnerable looking beneath the sad, fallen plants. Even their tassles seem somehow sad, like a worn and tawdry strip tease.

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