broken wind break

Power is so overrated

I declared bravely while we had none.   We have a camping stove so the cups of tea can still flow, so really what is there to worry about?!  Other than the fact that the power outage is caused by the wind howling such a hoolie that had cut power somewhere.  The biggest problem with being so rural is you never really know if it is just us or it is the whole street.   It turns out it wasn’t just the street but the whole region!

broken wind break
Ok, this is my own fault. The willow screen works well to contribute to slowing the wind, but I ran out to time / motivation to carry on putting up extra support to secure it in place so it is no surprise it fell apart.

It has been stormy all weekend, but I’d have no problems chalking up today as one of those few days where you get a little concerned living so close to the edge of the wild west coast.   And I need to remind myself we have endured worse without too much harm and for the number of days like this there are as many still calm days that are so amazing you can hardly believe it.  And all the days in between are just ordinary average days that are similar to what you’d find inland and aren’t particularly special.  The kind of days you muddle through getting things done without really noticing what kind of day it is.

stormy seas
I almost got blown away while taking this photo, but why I rushed outside to take it I’m not sure. I have plenty of ‘no horizon, squall coming in over choppy seas’ images in my collection that it should give me peace of mind that everything will be ok.

This morning the rain was coming in sideways and the wind was giving my wee office a bit of a shake.  After the power went out, the sun came out, so it didn’t seem so daunting, but the wind has continued to make itself known.

windswept fennel
Aside from the windswept peas, there isn’t a lot of tall-ish things in the garden at this time of year that would demonstrate the severity of the windiness. Although with the peas it is hard to distinguish what was damaged this time and what was damaged last time. So here is my fennel, bowing over in the wind. It normally defiantly stands straight and tall.

In the garden there hasn’t been than much damage aside from a windbreak I hadn’t finished securing, so completely expected really, and the peas probably won’t make a full recovery from the last storm where they got the bash.  I’m thinking of growing the Yates Novella variety in the winter as it has this madness of tendrils that are almost impenetrable and they should provide a more secure anchor to the netting, keeping the leaves and pods safe from harm, or safer at the very least.  Once the weather returns to normal, I’ll salvage what I can from the pea harvest and start again with the Novella.

New weather station
After we installed my new weather station it sat there in hardly a puff on wind, completely oblivious to the torment it would soon face!

I am pleased I installed my brand new weather station recently as it has been interesting to see what is actually going on in the garden.  The wind speed cups are spinning frantically and although it is the pretty much tallest thing in the middle of the garden, and technically out of the protection of the wind breaks, the garden is behind the house, which seems to offer a degree of protection.   There is an online weather station up the beach from us – about 5km away and it was suggesting that we went over 100km/h last night, but the weather station recorded 60km/h as the windiest.

Power outage map from the Counties Energy App.
It wasn’t until after the power came back on that I could check the nature of the power cut. According to the power outage map from the Counties Energy App it would seem it wasn’t just us!

This certainly gives me piece of mind, but I do need to keep working on windbreaks and improving them because as we are reminded from time to time – it is brutal here.

Come again soon – I hope we can get some gardening done tomorrow.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

6 thoughts on “Power is so overrated

  1. Does electricity get disconnected because of the concern about fires? That happens here sometimes, since it is impossible to maintain clearance for the entire system among the redwood forests. Then, on warm days, the electricity goes out because so many people use air conditioners, as if it actually gets hot here or something. At my former home, there was no electricity. I do not really need it, although I do like the little refrigerator here.

    1. The power outage was most likely caused by a tree somewhere falling over and taking a powerline with it. It has been extremely windy here. Power cuts are infrequent here – except for when trees fall onto powerlines – but this doesn’t happen often or maybe someone crashes a car into a power pole. We had scheduled ones a few years ago, but that was so they could replace the power poles with better ones so they could cope better in storms. The fire risk right now is really low as the storms have also had too much rain. It has certainly been a nation wide weather event! It would be nice to be off grid for power – maybe one day but there is no pressing need to do it. : o)

  2. We had 13cm of rain in 5 days – and that’s not counting the two days when the weather station failed to record its findings. Our garden is carpeted with the leaves of grapevine, maple, and a few things that, while not deciduous, just couldn’t hold on tight enough.
    On the plus side, we didn’t lose the electricity! We have no camp stove for cups of tea, so it really would have been a disaster.

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