• Sierra wind, a whispering train coming

    by  • November 3, 2011 • Fall, Sierra Foothills, Weather • 10 Comments

    How the wind blows here…

    Here by the national forest, when you don’t hear anything unless there is something, you pay attention to change in sound.

    Tucked in bed last night with a book and just one small light, I did not hear, as much as became aware, of a soft steady sound like a low roar as if it, the something was far away,…and coming.

    A low, whispering train,…coming.

    Wind in the Sierras is surprising. You don’t just have a windy day.  You first hear the sound. You perk up your ears and notice,…looking around in wonder.

     

    If it’s day, and a Mono wind, our strongest Sierra wind, you think, ‘Wow, look at those trees go.  They’re now blowing horizontally. WOW,’ and you begin to think of how far the trees would fall, should they do so.

     

    This night, I could imagine an immense transparent body of moving air as big as the mountain, coming,…not fast but steady, pushing unfalteringly through the narrow valley, where along one mountain side our house clings.

     

    The still soft air puffed through the small narrow window screen above my bedside. I snuggled in, feeling the icy freshness of the new Autumn air on my face. I continued to read, enjoying the new sound, enjoying my safe  shelter, until…. the gusts and cracking began. The bedroom door moved a bit and I heard the crack cracking of some trees that were not expecting this tonight. 

     

    With a sigh I got up and asked my husband, still up and reading too, with the dog, to go out and close the shed door. Who will know if it was to be a Mono Wind tonight?

    But no, not this night,…just a change, …coming.

    Back to bed, book down, to go to sleep with the wind.

    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.

    10 Responses to Sierra wind, a whispering train coming

    1. November 3, 2011 at 11:35 am

      Nice description! I spent a couple days in the south of France and experienced Le Mistral first hand. I was reminded of it while reading your blog post. Perhaps it’s similar to your Mono wind.

    2. November 3, 2011 at 11:35 am

      Nice description! I spent a couple days in the south of France and experienced Le Mistral first hand. I was reminded of it while reading your blog post. Perhaps it’s similar to your Mono wind.

    3. November 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      Exactly !
      Out in the field working I hear it. But where I am the air is still. Then after a while I start to feel it.
      What happens is that the wind starts. but it’s high up. Then the tops of the pines start. But not the bottoms of the pines. And it works down.
      More like the wind, while moving horizontally, arrives first by descending. Not hitting us sideways.
      And also yes to the idea that in the rural places you do notice stuff. And it pays to notice.

    4. November 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      Exactly !
      Out in the field working I hear it. But where I am the air is still. Then after a while I start to feel it.
      What happens is that the wind starts. but it’s high up. Then the tops of the pines start. But not the bottoms of the pines. And it works down.
      More like the wind, while moving horizontally, arrives first by descending. Not hitting us sideways.
      And also yes to the idea that in the rural places you do notice stuff. And it pays to notice.

    5. November 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

      Thanks, Brent,..I’ve read about the Mistral and the Mono winds seem similar,…we’ve come home to have all our plastic patio chairs blown into the forest…now we have metal.

      Hi Kerry, It’s wonderful to notice the different ways the wind behaves…small pleasures…. sounds and smells, two senses that are under used but can be sharpened in the peace and quiet.

    6. November 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

      Thanks, Brent,..I’ve read about the Mistral and the Mono winds seem similar,…we’ve come home to have all our plastic patio chairs blown into the forest…now we have metal.

      Hi Kerry, It’s wonderful to notice the different ways the wind behaves…small pleasures…. sounds and smells, two senses that are under used but can be sharpened in the peace and quiet.

    7. November 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      So true about the sound arriving long before the wind… And once the wind hits it can feel like a visit from an amazingly primal and enveloping power. We had a nice medium-sized storm come through on Friday that had its fair share of wind. It was tough to pay attention to anything other than the storm. I’d guess you have a few more wintery storms in your future, along with chances to get wrapped up in the awesome sounds.

      • November 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm

        Thanks for your comment, James. Your senses really sharpen out here and I’ve been amazed at the *power* of the wind…watched it blow the canopy right over the top of the fifth wheel while up having coffee at the command post one morning. I had enjoyed ‘watching the wind’ and was wrapped up in a wool blanket, just loving it all. That was when we were living in the trailer waitin’ for the house.

    8. November 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      So true about the sound arriving long before the wind… And once the wind hits it can feel like a visit from an amazingly primal and enveloping power. We had a nice medium-sized storm come through on Friday that had its fair share of wind. It was tough to pay attention to anything other than the storm. I’d guess you have a few more wintery storms in your future, along with chances to get wrapped up in the awesome sounds.

      • November 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm

        Thanks for your comment, James. Your senses really sharpen out here and I’ve been amazed at the *power* of the wind…watched it blow the canopy right over the top of the fifth wheel while up having coffee at the command post one morning. I had enjoyed ‘watching the wind’ and was wrapped up in a wool blanket, just loving it all. That was when we were living in the trailer waitin’ for the house.

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