Our firs danced last night. Not their usual stately swaying motion, but crazy sinuous writhing hip hop club dancing, snapping their twigs and hurling their cones into the wind. A night long orgy of energy.
Our house sits on the snout of an esker which rises 125 feet above the Hotnarko River. From this vantage point we look across Precipice Valley, over the other rim and into the throat of the Coast Mountains. The great gyre of the northern Pacific spawns pressure differentials which crash into the mountains with global energy. I’ve seen whirlwinds stir trees like a milkshake, leaving hundreds twisted and torn from the ground in a creaking, cracking roar lasting just a couple of minutes.
Last night you could hear the gusts coming for several seconds before they hit; our normally implacable house shook and the feeling of sheer force was palpable. When I went outside to get into the frame, I was reminded of the line from The Highwayman “The moon was a ghostly galleon..” That’s what it was like, only much worse. The clouds were ripping by so fast that the moon was in stacatto mode, giving a flashdance performance.
But the firs! Whipping from side to side, their branch ends were part of the maelstrom, needle-cloaked fingers snapping time to the primal beat of the elements. Dark brown cones were hurled sideways, bouncing off the walls and windows, cracking and banging into the night. Small branches tumbled through the air, rising higher and higher until they finally disappeared into the darkness beyond
The storm blew itself out in the small dark hours before dawn, and we awoke to a still and calm morning, so benign in its denial of the violence of last night’s escapade. Such is life on the Ridge of the Dancing Firs, frenzy one minute and calm the next.