“Sunday, the 4th of February, was very wet and rainy; with the greatest gusts of wind that ever we had, since we came forth…And it caused much daubing of our houses to fall down.”
For millions of people up and down the east coast of the US, nature has asserted itself in a very elemental way these past couple of weeks. Sandy wreaked havoc in NY/NJ and the mid-Atlantic states, and folks are still struggling with its aftermath. A few days ago, a nor’easter some are calling “Athena” blew through with sustained winds and lashing rains. While we are very fortunate to have received only minor damage locally, we think of those less fortunate than us as we place such elemental forces in an historic context.
This is what “daubing of our houses” falling down might have looked like almost 400 years ago:
The post on the right had rotted away to almost nothing, and the wall’s horizontal splints were loosened. While the compromised post was the biggest reason the wall fell, we think it no coincidence that this daubed panel of mortar gave way overnight during the teeth of the storm.
Athena’s northeast gales found many of our weak points:
Dozens of palisade pales and a few old posts met their match during the storm. We’ll stand up and re-use most of the pale but we’ll need to replace several posts in the frame.
Garden fences were not immune to Athena’s fury. Here, John Howland takes stock of an impending repair.
Several pines lost branches in the storm, and a couple of less-healthy specimens came down altogether. Athena knew what she was doing.
Our saw-pit became a leaf repository. Leaf-peeping tours begin at sunrise. Bring your saw.
Some thatch caps had “hat head” after the storm, but otherwise fared quite well. Phew.
So while Athena raged outside our doors all day Thursday…
Our plucky co-workers made the most of it and hunkered down…