After Hurricane Florence

The storm had moved past us and into South Carolina by Sunday (Sept. 16). Our house was fine and that afternoon I took the boards off the front window. We were very thankful to have come through the storm with so little damage.

House After the Storm
Our house had survived another hurricane.

On Monday we could see the linemen going around Burgaw and starting to work on restoring power. After we cleaned the yard we decided to drive around while the girls played at a friend’s house. We didn’t get very far. Highway 53 and Interstate 40 was blocked at the overpass. We drove down Highway 117 South until the road block near the bridge.

Flooding on Hwy 117
Flooding on the side of the road as we approach where the water covered the highway.

The North East Cape Fear river stayed over the bridge for many days.

Roadblock on Hwy 117
The roadblock near the NE Cape Fear bridge.

Hurricane Day Three

While it was still raining on Saturday (Sept , we could tell that the worst of the storm had passed. There were even times during the day when it stopped raining all together. We got out side to look around some. Down the street we could see a tree from our neighbors yard had fallen on the power line. This meant we wouldn’t be getting our power restored a soon as we have in past storms.

Tree in the Road
A big tree had fallen on the power line and into the street.

The next few days many people would turn down our street and drive up to the tree and then have to turn around in our driveway. A lot of it was probably people trying to get to The Laurels beside us, and they couldn’t come from the other side because of flooding.

Hurricane Day Two

By Friday (Sept. 14) the storm was moving slowly on to shore. The eye would pass over Wilmington and move south of us. The wind shifted to the east and a few more trees fell, but for the most part it was just heavy rain now. So far our house had been spared.

House During the Hurricane
View of the house during day two of the hurricane.

Unfortunately later that afternoon the rain had soften the ground enough that when a big gust came through it knocked over our willow tree in the back yard.

Willow Tree
Our favorite willow tree was knocked over by the Hurricane

The Winds Arrives

Thursday (Sep 13) we listened to and watched the news as the storm moved in. Finally we started hearing good news, it had not strengthened, instead as it moved closer it fell to a Category 3, then 2, and by the time the winds started reaching us, it had fallen to a Category 1. Now the big danger was from flooding since the storm was moving very slowly.

All day Thursday we had mostly wind from the north with a little rain mixed in. Some trees fell and we lost power that evening.

Hurricane Wind
Wind gusts as the hurricane moved on shore.

The girls played outside some in the tree house. The dog tried to stay with us, but he doesn’t like getting wet in the rain.

Dog in the Rain
Barnabas does not like to be rained on.

Wild Grapes

We have wild grapes growing in the woods beside our house. The other day MD asked if we could make juice out of them. Since I had the day off, we tried it this morning.

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Muscadine Grapes

We each tried mashing the grapes, and discovered that they were harder to squish than they looked.

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Squashing the Grapes

Everyone had a taste. CDF said the juice reminded her of Aunt Sena who used to grow grapes.

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Grape Juice

Snapping Turtle

Yesterday evening we went for a walk in the rain — outfitted in boots and umbrellas. When we got back, the girls spotted somthing in our front yard, near the ditch, and called me over.

“It’s a snapping turtle!”

“A little one?” I asked.

“Umm… not really. Come see!”

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Common Snapping Turtle

We bothered the turtle a little bit, but it was in no mood to move. It just pulled it’s legs in and blinked slowly at us. So eventually we left it alone and went inside for a little bit. We came back out about 10 minutes later because the girls wanted to show it to their Mom.

CE was the first to notice that it was gone! We looked all around and decided it must have gone into the culvert. Then I noticed a dark spot in the part of the ditch still filled with water. The turtle had submerged itself — probably to get away from us — so we let it be.

Forest Fire

This summer started with a forest fire near our area. The blaze in the Holly Shelter Game Land area was started recently from a lightning strike and has been burning mostly uncontrolled until this past weekend. On the way home today I noticed that the smoke plume had become very pronounced instead of just looking like just a haze covering the land. I grabbed the camera and headed back out on my bike to take a few pictures.

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Holly Shelter Fire

What looks like a cloud is actually the smoke from the fire. I’m wondering if it was caused by a particular wind pattern, or if it’s something from what the firefighters are doing.

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Closer View of the Smoke

Crazy Cat

CDF sent me this earlier…

For some reason our crazy cat, Cali, decided to climb onto a fence near our house & jump onto the roof our house. She seems quite content up there…which is good, as I do not have a ladder to get her down, nor am I calling the Fire Dept to come & get her down.

[Our] friends that rescued [jModule] from a tree to get said cat, currently live in [Africa]. I’m not sure where their ladder is. We should have offered to keep it in storage for them while they are overseas!

I hope I was able to give you a laugh for the day!

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Walking the Roof
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Taking it all in

Winter Snow

This past weekend we had an unexpected snow storm. It came after the storm that hit Washington DC and took a more southerly route, covering Alabama, Georga, and even Florida, beforing moving up the coast and gifting us with snow. It arrived Friday night as we were finishing dinner.

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Snowing Friday Night

The next morning the yard was covered with a nice white blanket. I was surprised how much snow we got. My guess was that it was around 4 or 5 inches, but there were places that were 7 inches deep.

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The Back Yard

The pets were almost as excited as the girls. The cat wasn’t sure at first, but her curiosity overcame her hesitation. The dog was already running and jumping around.

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Cat in the Shed

The girls went outside as soon as they could get dressed after breakfast. We played in the snow for a while, building snowmen, throwing snowballs, and making snow angels. First MD went inside to warm up, and eventually CE got cold too. So as one was going in the other was coming out. Meanwhile CDF was going around and taking pictures of the snow.

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Looking Down our Street

Before everyone went in, our neighbor came over from across the street. She and her sister had told the girls that they would help make a snowman, and so they made a little one in the front yard.

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We Enjoyed the Snow