Irene has been hanging around all day, and amazingly I've only been without power for a few hours. The wind has been gusting in the 60 mph range and the rain has been relentless. Tomorrow, when the sun is shining, I'll go out to access the damage and begin cleaning up the debris. Right now I'm counting my blessings, happy to have power and no trees down in my yard or on my house.
I have a group of resident birds who frequent a feeder that hangs from my side porch. I love watching them from my kitchen window. Last night I had to put the bird feeders away because of the anticipated wind and this morning the birds were confused. They'd fly to the porch from their perches in the nearby chestnut oak, expecting to find the feeder. Their eyesight must not be very good, for they only realized that it wasn't there when they reached where it normally hangs. Then they'd fly a u-turn, back to the tree. I watched this over and over again and decided I had to do something. First I put a plate of seed out on the floor of the porch, but it was quickly floating in water. Then I put the seed in a colander, only to realize that the birds would have difficulty getting to it. So I took a grill skillet, turned it upside down, and put seed on it. The birds were happy. They lingered on the porch, where they were somewhat protected from the rain. And the skillet was heavy enough and low enough not to blow away.
Though Irene will be saying good-bye to me later tonight, she'll be traveling up the coast, placing others and their property in great danger. I pray for safety for all of those in her path.