the aftermath of Hurricane Arthur

This season's first Atlantic hurricane brought a change of weather to the mountains of North Carolina.

Specifically, it seems to have sucked a lot of cool and dry high-pressure air down from our friends, les Canadiens. We went from high temps in the low 90's on July 1st and 2nd to 83℉ on the 3rd and 77℉ on the 4th. Last night it went down to 48℉ at my house.

Yeah, we are something like 250 miles from the ocean. Hurricanes don't usually have a lot of effect this far inland, but it has happened that major storms do major damage here.

My friend and neighbor Steve is building a porch (or deck, I don't know for sure) on the east side of his house. Until 2004, there was an entire room there, part of the house proper; Hurricane Ivan tore that room off and Steve just closed up that side of the house until he was ready to rebuild.

Right next to my house is the site of a mudslide that came down from the mountain across the street, blocking the road. Of course I was not here then to see it, but I have heard a bit about it from those who were.

But this weekend it is sunny and cool, the streams getting weaker by the day since we aren't really getting enough rain, though the black raspberries are coming on and are wonderfully sweet. I walked down the road a little bit this morning and gorged on the berries. Elderberries are still green right here but I saw some up around Flower Knob and Grassy Cove Top that were already ripe. I thought that was kind of odd, since they were growing well over 5,000 feet above sea level; we're 2,000 feet lower but ours are far from ripe. I suppose the relative lack of shade near the peaks and consequent all-day sunshine must be helping those berries.

I'm excited for blueberry season to start where I've been hiking.

Uh-oh! I was just reminded - by a sudden urge to take a nap - that I took diphenhydramine before going out with Rocko to find berries. That was over an hour ago. I guess it's naptime.

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