Yesterday's wasn't the first hail of the season; we had two storms in early June, one of which went on to spawn a tornado over Billings, 122 miles east, where it ripped the roof off the 10,000 person Rimrock Arena. You can read all about it here, and watch a video of it here, or here. The first, very short video (21 seconds) shows the funnel clearly, but the next one, taken from much closer, shows the formation of the cloud and the debris that filled the air. Incredibly, no one was even hurt.
Here in Bozeman, my garden damage from those first storms amounted to a few shredded lettuce leaves and a still-green strawberry knocked from its stem. Pretty minor, but I have adopted a zero-tolerance policy with regard to strawberry damage, so I started putting up row-cloths over my strawberry plots scattered around the neighborhood. Eventually I installed row-cloths at the western end of all my plots, ready to whip over the beds if the weather looked threatening.(They're at the western ends so I don't have to fight the wind as I'm pulling them into place.)
My Significant Other (SO) thought this overkill, but after losing my garden to hail two summers back, I was willing to endure his laughter.
Most of the beds were already covered when the sky started to darken yesterday afternoon, but I was outside wrestling a cover over my patio barrels when a sound I'd never heard started up: a dull roar that got closer, and closer, sounding like nothing so much as a train approaching through the sky. Is this what a tornado sounds like? I wondered, looking up. No funnels, and none of that intensely dark, greenish light I associate with tornado weather, so I yanked again at the plastic sheeting. Then the sound was right there, and suddenly I got konked on the head by what felt like a brick.
Forget the sheeting. I ducked inside and stood there in the kitchen holding my head, which hurt like the dickens, listening to my tears hit the floor. Then I opened my eyes and realized that those drops weren't tears: they were blood.
It's a pretty small cut, so I opted not to get it stitched. Instead, I figured some alcohol (the kind you use to clean cuts, not the kind you drink–though some of that might be in order as well!) and an ice pack would fix me up, except that we didn't have any ice. Then I looked outside at the chunks of hail scattered around the yard and realized that this was not a problem. So here I am undergoing home medical treatment:
Photo credits go to Scott, one of the college students next door. He and his nursing-student girlfriend peered at the cut just after I got it, making gratifyingly sympathetic noises, and offering to do chauffeur service should I suddenly find myself reeling about the room.
When my SO got home from work and a meeting, he treated me to a
rather chaming exercise in role reversal, for he insisted on calling
the emergency room to ask whether I and my head gash should pay them a
visit. Once they heard that I wasn't gushing blood, they said it was my
call. Me, I preferred to move on to the other kind of alcohol and trade
stories with the neighbors. If there's a scar, I figure I can show it
to my grandkids and quaver, "Yes, deary, I got that in the hail storm