Alcatraz Gardens, Frosty Nights
Still Room in My Spring Classes

The Furies of a Windstorm

What a wild storm we had last night and this morning in San Francisco! There was heavy rain last night and the wind blew hard all night and half the day. Our lights went out twice, and a friend tells me they were out in San Mateo part of the day as well.

I had to drive acrosss the city early this morning, and had to dodge the many garbage and recycling bins that had blown into the street. Most of them were near the curb, but there were a number right in the line of traffic. Some had spilled and the contents were blowing all around. 

In several yards, Christmas ornaments had fallen over. And whereever there were trees, the ground and road was covered with a mulch of small branches and fallen leaves. Even Geary Blvd, a 6 lane road, had big drifts of pine needles up to several inches thick.

When I returned home, I found that my front garden had become a major trash trap. Junk often circles around between our hedge and the neighbor's porch and gets caught in my plants, but today was the worst! There was lots of crumpled newspaper, several plastic bags, styrofoam, junk mail, kids' schoolwork, shopping lists, napkins, and unidentifiable white stuff. I cleared it 3 times, and I will still have to reach under and through the plants to remove the last bits of detritus tomorrow.

And, ironically, the wind tore up our white tree dahlia. I say ironically because the plant usually blooms near the end of November, and a wind storm often hits it right before it blooms and tears off most of the leaves and flowers. Happens about 2 years out of 3. This year, the flowers were about a month late, and it was unharmed by wind before last night. So once again, the winds hit it just as the first blossoms were opening. Every year I think I have to get rid of it, since it so rarely gets to bloom, but then a year comes along that it blooms beautifully...  Well, it wasn't this year.

Tonight it is calm and clear. Not even very cold. Tomorrow I will tour my gardens and assess the damage. 


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