Monday, August 25, 2014

What Happens to the Garden in an Earthquake


 We went outside to see where Doobie, our most skittish cat, was hiding. It was dark, no power, no moon. The night sky was dense with stars - a sight not often seen unless you are camping . We couldn't waste flashlight power outside when indoors was a sea of broken glass and fallen household contents. Violent earthquakes are shocking events, and your mind starts to organize itself into an action plan..lets sweep up the glass, lets see if the chimney is still up, lets see if we have water , listen for gas leaks etc. All these things you just do, as calmly as you can. The shock of what has just happened , a 20 second event in the middle of the night, put us on auto pilot. . But it would have been beautiful to sit in the garden, and look up at the dark skies we never see here. Our job though, was inside the house, with the flashlight and the broom.
 Later in the day we went outside, needing a break from the debris and curious to see what might have occurred there.

 The spiral Aloe fell over ..no broken pot !



 The water sloshed out of the most popular birdbath-already refilled for this photo. Birds have a pretty good gig when it comes to quakes. It would have been nice to just be off the ground.


This birdbath fell over, but didn't break.


 A broken pot.



I am blaming the sudden and dramatic flop of this Persicaria on South Napa Earthquake 2014. Would it have flopped anyway ? We'll never know.




 But most of the garden looks exactly the same.


  I've been in many earthquakes of varying degrees of severity in my life. For all of them, I was indoors . What would it be like to be in the garden ?  Would you see plants swaying ? What sounds would you hear ? Would it be less scary?

 Sitting in the garden this weekend during clean-up breaks I reflected on this ; This was the most powerful quake I had ever experienced, and the closest I've lived to the epicenter. Yes, we had lots of broken stuff. But we and our neighbors and our pets were unharmed. And so was my sanctuary, the garden.


18 comments:

  1. so glad you posted this. Thanks for the reassuring report.

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    1. It was a bad one Denise. Many worse off than me in our city , but so many damaged historical buildings..I hate that.

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  2. I'm glad to hear you're okay. The initial reports Sunday morning made the event sound innocuous but today's news was full of reports of destruction. I hope your damage was limited to replaceable items (and that you found the cat). I still remember the Northridge quake - memories return every time the earth shakes.

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    1. I guess quakes follow me Kris, I was in Northridge too. The cat was indeed found and he seems to be over it !

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  3. I've never experienced an earthquake and kind of hope never to do so. Surely it would be less scary outdoors; indoors at night sounds like the worst. So glad to know you and yours are safe.

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    1. Earthquakes are no bueno Pam. A small one might be kind of fun for peeps who are EQ virgins, but I hope never have to experience one like this again.

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  4. It's interesting to see what toppled out in the garden. Sorry about the broken pot. I've never been in an earthquake, at least not like this one that you experienced. I bet it would be interesting to be in the garden during a quake. So glad you're ok.

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    1. I have so many pots , one broken was not an issue ! Why are these damn quakes always in the middle of the night ?

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  5. I am so happy there wasn't significant garden damage, or (god forbid) structural damage to your house. I've seen some heartbreaking photos of historic buildings that most certainly will be coming down. As for the big quakes coming during the night that's what I'm hoping for when our big one hits. Daytime means Andrew is miles away across the river in a building on soil that will most certainly liquefy. Makes me heart hurt thinking about it.

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    1. Oh Loree, the historic buildings are the worst ! Napa is a small city, and I have my favorite buildings here-I'm hoping they can be salvaged. I hope you never have to experience a 'big one'..it is no fun.

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  6. I'm glad to hear that all of you were unharmed by the earthquake Kathy, that's the most important thing. I was outdoors when I experienced a 7.2 scale, you can see the vista changing angles and puddles of water splashing all over. Scary experience but poignant.

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    1. Oh lordy 7.2 , I just can't imagine that . Being outside would sure be preferable--as long as you were away from chimneys..

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  7. OMG Kathy, we were very worried about you and am very glad to hear you, family, kitties and neighbors are all OK. That must have been terribly frightening. I was on the fifth floor of a hotel in Tokyo (yes Japan) when there was a 4.5 earthquake. It scared the heck out of me. Oh yes, it was also at night, around 3Am as I recall. When it's going on it seems like time gets stretched out and you wonder if it's going to stop or just keep going on and getting worse.

    So happy to see the garden sailed through unscathed but sorry to hear about all the broken glass in the house and very sorry to hear of the damage to historical buildings. I've seen pics of some broken barrels of wine. Dreadful. Wish I was closer so I could help you with the cleanup. thanks for posting this.

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    1. Thanks Deanne..we were lucky at my house I think. I felt really bad for people who were in hotels here, it's harvest now and it's a popular time for visitors. I would not have wanted to be an 'earthquake virgin' for this one.

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  8. We were thinking of you when we heard the reports and I'm so happy to hear that you and your pets are o.k. and that the garden damage was minimal! It's so sad to see damage to historic buildings. I've been in earthquakes both here and Alaska and being outside for two of the bigger ones, I think it's less scary than being inside and worrying about things flying or tipping over on you. Very interesting to watch huge mountains move and disconcerting to feel the ground under your feet undulate. Hope your life is getting back to close to normal.

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    1. Alaska peeps are hardy souls--winter is bad enough but the quakes up there seems to always be big-uns ...this one made me lose my 'oh yeah, a quake . big deal' attitude that I've had most of my life. This was truly scary. Our city is picking up, but I hate to see what as happened to out beautiful historic buildings downtown. Can't imagine what it would be like without the numerous quake retrofits that have been performed over the last several years. Your descriptions puts me firmly in the be outside camp...as long as I'm away from the chimneys !

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  9. Whoa! Just glad you and your family are all okay! I've not yet been up at the broken-glass level. Happy it wasn't worse. Hopefully all the indoors stuff is back in place so you can get back to the important thing, the garden.

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    1. A three day weekend is welcome --I should have time to finish clean-up and spend time in the garden too.

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