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pagestrip8 pagestrip9 Wild Stars page illustrations shown above without text mantastrip1 mantastrip2 mantastrip3 Manta Ray - Flower Gardens, Gulf of Mexico 2000
See Dive Logs link above for more dutchwestindies From Arkansas to the Dutch West Indies 2007
All photos & illustrations copyright 2002 through 2012 by Michael Tierney


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A White Christmas Apocalypse

Snow Pines Panarama 2

For Seventy years the radio has crooned the lyrics, "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas." At some point most of us have wished for one.

But whenever I hear those lyrics in the future, I'll be thinking about the story of the "Monkey's Paw," which warns of the dangers from wishes come true.

pool roof

In December 2012, the barometer dropping out of Fair on the wet side signaled the late arrival of the long-predicted Mayan Apocalypse, on Christmas Day, when an ice storm swept Central Arkansas.

By the time I crossed counties back home, my truck was encased in a coat of ice and the side windows and mirrors completely opaque.

Gold Mayan Calendar

Then a record blizzard dumped enough snow to count for decades of white Christmases, all piled onto already ice-laden tree branches.

The picture below left is bamboo bent over by the ice storm. Below right that same bamboo after the snowfall.

Most of these pcitures were taken on the morning after. All are from my yard.

ice bamboo snow bamboo

Next the power went out. Ironically, the electricity came back on long enough to view the Doctor Who Christmas Special,

where the villain was intelligent snow with a malevolent streak, and then went right back out again.

pool roof pool fence

That's when branches started to snap and trees began falling. A neighbor's tree smashed a roof turbine, satellite dish and more. Another tree uprooted, severing the water line and blocking the driveway.

Sitting in candle and firelight, it certainly felt like an apocalypse when the only sounds were that of repeated heavy impacts on my home. Later came the clawing of animals desperate to escape the cold.

snow house snow park

City park green space borders my house on two sides, and the explosions of cracking of wood escalated in both pace and proximity for a long time.

Broken branches continued to hit the still snow-covered ground a week later. Cleanup and repairs will take weeks, if not months.
By the time running water was restored, after several days of walks through snow drifts and dodging bombs from above, it seemed wrong to now perform certain functions inside the house.

It's amazing how quickly we adapt to circumstances.

water break water repair

Much of the county was without power for extended periods of time, as were both of my businesses.

The resulting power spikes knocked out surge protectors and some equipment. Sales for nearly the entire week were lost, but the buildings survived intact.

snow gazeebo snow pines 2

And while "A Mayan Christmas Apocalypse" sounds more like an episode of Doctor Who,

I think a high level of destruction happening over a long period of time does count as apocalyptic,

although the Mayans would be disappointed that there were, in their opinion, only a dozen deaths.

snow pines 3 snow pines 4

As the photos will show, a White Christmas can be a beautiful sight. But I'll never think of those song lyrics in the same way again.

Monkey's paw.

Blue Mayan Calendar

Michael Tierney, December 31, 2012

snow pies panarama 4 snow pines sunset snow sunset panarama

To see other dangerous encounters with mother nature and storm tossed trees, check out the Struck by Lightning page.

Struck by Lightning

If you're curious about what happens when a falling tree crushes a moving car (the tree hit me, not the other way around), click here for the story of HAW056, the Cursed License Plate. You'll easily spot that section by more tree pictures.

HAW056 The Cursed License Plate