August 26, 2008


We had a weird phenomena today. A mini tornado touched down on our back deck! I was setting up irrigation in my front bed, just about to walk into a bed, separating the raspberries to set another sprinkler head. I heard a loud wind sound. I screamed, "Noooo!"

I saw my umbrella from the back deck floating through the sky above the pine tree height. I thought it was going to land in our neighbor's trees. But it plummeted to the ground. The mechanism that raises the umbrella is broken. Monte's trying to see if he can fix it, but we think it's a lost cause.

Freaky! We surveyed the scene. The back door rug, was across the deck. (When I went inside eventually, I saw things off the wall and the back door molding hanging, and papers strewn.) Outside, a little table was tipped over with it's flower pot down in a flower bed. One of the hanging pots was gone and we found it in a flower bed. I had some seed flats out to plant in a bed we're designating as a 'nursery bed' for the winter, and several flats were overturned and one was over on the ground by where the umbrella finally landed. Some plants looked bowed over. My garden wagon was tipped over.

That was weird. Monte asked what it looked like ... "like seeing Mary Poppin's umbrella floating up in the sky, and then quickly descending."

Monte observed a mini tornado touch down in our vegetable garden almost a decade ago. He was on the front porch working. He saw many of my white floating row covers, and black plastic go straight up in the air and disappear. We found some plants were ripped out of the ground as well.

Following that incident, if I saw 'white' when driving, we'd stop and look. We never saw where our floating row covers or black plastic landed!

In Arizona we called these small tornados "dust devils".
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