Drove up at 12:30 to survey the damage from last night’s storms. My weather station—which is surrounded by a copse of trees and has never registered winds above 15 mph—showed a peak gust of 40 mph yesterday afternoon. I could also tell from the cameras that my patio table got blown off the deck and something was seriously askew with the apple tree by the pump.

There wasn’t much damage along the roads on the way in, but I saw Peter working outside of his township truck feeding downed limbs into a chipper. He said they had already cleared the worst of the damage. Driving by Danny’s yard, I was shocked by just how high the water was. It went right up to his house. The drainage ditch that crosses the road in front of his house was overwhelmed and had flowed over the road all night and backing up into his lawn.

I made my way down the driveway and was relieved to find that the only downed tree had fallen into the woods instead of across the drive. I’m glad we got the truck box out of here last fall; it probably would have been crushed. As soon as I got into the yard, I could see that the apple tree was a goner. It got whipped by the wind hard enough to partially uproot it and the whole thing was tilted. It’s going to have to go.

The yard was littered with small branches. It looked so clean only a few days ago after I mowed and now it’s a hot mess again. I picked up a few of the larger ones around the front of the pole barn and chucked them into the pit. Thankfully, there seems to be no damage to the pole barn or even any downed trees or branches near it. Looks like our January trimming efforts have paid off.

Next stop on the inspection tour was the keep. Somehow, the patio table survived its flight intact. The top popped off of the legs, but it was easy enough to fit everything back together. I think leaving the umbrella in the table actually helped prevent damage when it landed. I set this back up on the deck and moved all the chairs back where they belonged. None of the bird feeders looked any worse for the wear and all the water supply equipment was fine, too. I noticed something hanging down from the back of the keep, though. The TV antenna got blown right off the pole and smashed itself against the back of the keep. I’m glad it hit low enough and didn’t take out a window. This thing never got much of a signal, so it’s no big loss.

I headed inside and turned on the NVR to watch the camera recordings of the storm. Wow. The wind came in fast and changed directions a few times. That explains the corkscrewed apple tree. I stuck a flash drive into the NVR and started backing up the storm footage to play with later. While waiting for this, I hopped on the blue ATV and headed out to the marsh to see if there was any damage out there. Even the near trails that we usually mow in the fall were underwater, and there was no way I was going to try to tackle the far trails in my work clothes.

I made my way toward Dad’s deer stand and immediately noticed a big aspen(?) was down in the clearing. This is going to take some work to remove. The next thing I noticed was that I couldn’t see Dad’s stand at all. Uh-oh. I drove on and found a lot of twisted scaffolding and the stand itself lying down in the marsh grass. Hopefully we can salvage some scaffolding from the abandoned far stand to get this thing rebuilt.

I put the ATV away and grabbed my flash drive and was on the road by 1:45. All in all, we were pretty lucky, but there’s going to be a lot of cleanup in my future.