Then this happened… I could hear the wind howling and the trees cracking and falling on the fences – this storm in CA was REAL.

That ‘atmospheric river’ you might have heard about that ripped through CA – was real.  My trees have the scars to prove it.

THE WIND was beyond what I’ve ever witnessed around here.  Truly.

In the afternoon, before the huge winds came in, I had one leg through the fence and the other raised to follow.  WHOOP!  A wind gust pushed me into the fence post.  That has never happened before.  A sign of things to come…


That night… YEESH!  Hubby and I couldn’t sleep because the wind was so threatening.  I could hear the trees cracking and breaking.  I heard the fences go… CRAAAAAACK!  WHAPPPPP!

The power was out.  The horses were screaming.  2am.  The worst feeling.

So, armed with my headlamp, I suited up with lots of heavy clothes and went Into the inky darkness.  Once outside, it felt very unsafe as the trees bent and swayed unnaturally all around me.  Quickly, I went to each paddock and counted 10 sets of eye, all upright and looking normal.


I went back inside but neither of us slept a wink.

As the sun came up, we squinted through our windows to see if we could determine any fresh break marks on trees.  —  Yep.  Lots.  Easy to spot.

Also a blown over shelter.

That’s what I said… a BLOWN OVER shelter.


No one was hurt but the baby was rattled all day.  She was very fussy and needing comfort from everyone.  I don’t blame her.  I felt the same way.

But, honestly, the fact that no one was hurt and only interior fences were broken, was a godsend.  If exterior fences were down and frightened horses were running down unlit roads, now THAT would have been a disaster.

Counting my blessings…

This shelter toppled over backwards. No one was hurt, but the baby was rattled all day… it upset her greatly.

This was the only branch that didn’t fall on a fence.

This was a baby oak that completely uprooted. So sad. All the shade is gone on that fence line.

Next to the driveway. I think that is like Tornado Alley. I keep losing trees along the driveway.

All the rainwater flows directly to the barn (eye roll). Normally, this pump clears it all. But the power went off so the barn flooded.

Two trees down in Dalton’s pasture.

He was very upset… had to tell me all about it.

This tree came down in the haunted pasture.

But my tiny Meyer Lemon tree held onto all of its lemons!


Today, the wonderful guys came to fix it all.  They did all they could do, except the roof on the shelter.  It was too heavy and unwieldy, so we have to get another person to help secure that.

I ran around double feeding everyone so that they all stayed away from the guys.  Since almost all of the pastures were affected, I had no where to put everyone.  So they had to stay and NOT be curious.  Tough for horses… but chainsaws and horses don’t mix well.  Luckily, my horses LOVE FOOD more than whatever else is happening around them.

For me, one of the greatest gifts is to have found trustworthy guys that can come over and do (almost) whatever is needed.  If you are anywhere near Grass Valley, email me and I’ll give you their contact info.

Sigh.  We will sleep well tonight.

New boards for Finn!

This may be difficult to make out, but the branches are all piled up next to a constant flowing little creek of rainwater.

I keep losing trees along the driveway… it is like Tornado Alley. Can’t figure it out. Now there is no shade at the top of Finn’s pasture.

All the tree debris was removed from Dalton’s pasture. You can see him in the waaaaaay back. He wanted nothing to do with of his now unshaded front pasture.

The pump was back on and the water cleared from the barn… but you can see the mess the flooding created outside and inside the barn. It is all fine, though. It will dry.

The top of Finn’s pasture now has no shade and new boards.

Mama and baby still have a mess around their pasture. The shelter is back up but it has no roof. All the broken boards are waiting to go away.

The roof of the blown-over shelter. They will attend to that with Hubby’s help, on Friday – hopefully. More rain is coming.

And here is the rescue mare (whose name doesn’t fit her – Izzy – so we are trying to decide her true name) who seems to be the most unfazed of all. She just moved into the arena until all the fuss was over.



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5 comments have been posted...

  1. Bunny

    Was doing some reading about the exponential rise in tree fails not all of which could be explained by anything less than a Cat2 hurricane (though some places in California actually DID have winds that apparently qualified for that designation). Some tree experts are theorizing that years of drought and repeated long-lasting excessive heat events lead to more pathogens and insect predation, weakening the trees and creating a less supportive underground structure as well including essential fungus networks. Little or none of which are visible to the usual human eye of even the most diligent property owner or even the usual commercial tree experts. I’m not a scientist so I can’t even ballpark guess what might be the solution. Am hoping that the science minds working on this issue will figure something out, soon. We had similar destruction (western Oregon last month) though ours was caused by the ice storm. Saturated trees then froze and then layers upon layers of ice on top of the frozen trees – and then winds but certainly not of the level you had there. It has been truly sickening to see the destruction. I was lucky – only lost half a dozen smaller cottonwoods, a greengage plum (old and failing anyway), an old apple (ditto) and lots of shrubs though those are already greening up again.

  2. Deb

    Sounds like a derecho. We had one a good while back in Virginia and it was the scariest thing I have ever been through. The wind came in only one direction and sounded like a train. Trees snapped in half. I had a section of pine trees where they were all snapped halfway and the tops a good ways away from them. It was horrid. My animals were fine, but I picked up sticks for weeks.

  3. Kathy A Johnson

    Your damage reminds me of our hurricanes here in Florida! Loose horses running down the road is our nightmare, too. I’m glad all the chaos seems to be fixable and everyone’s safe, though I know you and the horses will miss that shade.

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