Autumn Comes In...
With A Vengeance!
We couldn't miss the start of Autumn at Prophet's Thumb this year. Hurricane Floyd didn't do a lot of damage, but gave us a good soaking. Before the ground could get dried-out, we had a batch of wicked storms drive tornadoes past us just a stone's throw to the north and to the south of the farm. Again, no damage but lots of rain.
Then came Columbus Day with all-day pounding rain. Big Bear Creek, which runs across the property and must be forded to get to the homestead, flooded like we haven't seen it flood before. From being well under a foot deep shortly before, the creek rose to overflow its six-foot high banks, rose up the slope to the western end of the main pasture some forty or so paces away, rose high enough to completely submerge the fence posts. I calculate the mid-creek depth to have been at least 15 feet.
The creek had a surface current of around 55 mph, and was carrying telephone-pole thickness logs along with all manner of detritus. The two steel-frame footbridge supports I had just put into place (750# each) were smashed to bits. Hundreds of yards of fenceline were wrecked, with steel posts bent 45 degrees. The creekside picnic area, where a table and benches have been sitting since June of 1998, got washed away. We did find the table up in some trees far from its original location.
Fortunately we put the house and stables waaaayyy up on the hilltop, so there was no damage there. We also have plenty of paddocks, so the main pasture horses didn't have to be stallbound while I cleared-off and rebuilt the fences. Since the flood came suddenly, I was caught with the shoeing rigs on the wrong side of the creek, and was stranded for a few days. (Many thanks to the Millwater Horseshoeing clients who were so understanding about the rescheduling!)
Just when I thought we were going to go from the infernal Summer heat directly to the endless muck of Winter without a break in between, a little of the wonderful Autumn weather that makes me glad to live in North Carolina has finally come our way. Brilliant blue skies, Technicolor trees, brisk mornings and comfortable middays. This season is all too brief, so saddle-up and enjoy it!
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Back to EQ Autumn 1999 Index.