What does wind look like?

I can’t show you what the wind looks like. There are no leaves or long grasses bending in supplication to the wind to help me show you. I cannot take one picture that lets you feel the full force of a roaring westerly wind, a howling she- gale heaving itself across the prairies. It can literally knock you off your feet. Throwing dust in your face, kicking at your shins.And cackling. This wind cackles. rattling-wind-036

And sometimes you feel your body becoming a sail and you are the little boat from when you were a kid and you are pushed backwards a little and lifted a little and you laugh like a grunt and the dogs look at you their coats all blown inside out and they wonder as you grab for a post and giggle.

I can tell you about the anxiety of walking to and fro under the big trees with their falling branches,  in a 40 and 50 knot wind that howls, harangues, a harridan, rattling her bones in your ears as you hurry through. I can tell you about working in the barn and watching the big doors bow and rattle and shake. The noise like trains on broken tracks running along too fast as the wind plays with every loose board yanking and shoving at them, trying to rip the old barn doors apart piece by piece.  Buckets flying down the lane. Sounds swiped. Guttering whining and shrieking out of harmony though precisely in beat with the halyard clang of the chains on the gates. Wind shrieking that if you tidied up this place once in a while there would not be so much stuff  flying around. Stupid girl. rattling-wind-034

The slam of doors shoved by the wind. Screen doors hurled against the house then sprung back open by Winds meddlesome daughters and slammed shut again and again. Wind smacking her fingers together with glee and clattering along on her broken glass feet. Chairs skidding right off the verandah and I pick them up and put them back because they are in the way and I must get on, only to pick them up again and put them back again. Wind pokes at me screeching insanity, insanity, into my ringing ears.

I can tell you about my hair whipped into a snarling rats nest. And the strange invigoration  of pushing into the Westerly all day as I walk the triangle from garden to barn to kitchen begin pushed along by it half the time. I could tell you how all the clothes are hung into the verandah line to dry, if I hung them on the clothesline outside I would be collecting them from the ditch the next day  yet on the verandah they  are merely a tangled mess.  I could even tell you of the frustration of cutting up all the vegetables for Poppy and Sheila the pigs only to see the same vegetables  blowing out of their bowls as I carry them through the field –  the chooks chasing after me, goosed by the wind, gleefully picking up the flying food, their feathers standing up like surrendering flags.

How to show you the wind. I can’t. But it was wild.  I feel bad for the people whose bad winds twisted into tornadoes. At least we did not have that.  Tornadoes we do not want. goats

That wind blew like that for 24 hours. It rattled my scrambled brains. Then last night at exactly 7pm. It stopped. Just like that. Like a tap turning off or the clap of a respected teachers hands. Stopped. And suddenly everything was quiet again. Wind packed up her tricks and was gone, her daughters with her. And it was quiet again. Quiet.


Lady Aster is being the perfect milk cow so far, she stood in the milking shed like a .. well like a Lady and I milked her without any problem at all. She was scarcely bothered by me taking over her calf.  Mooed a little then after the milking went out into the fields to bother the new grass. She needed the walk, it helps her heal. If this continues she will be a lovely milk cow. All I need is volume now.


Her tiny baby – Naomi – is drinking well and slowly gathering her strength. She is in the sunroom with the big South windows and slept her Second Day away between little feeds. Unbothered by the wind. (You know how particular I am about drafts).rattling-wind-008

Last night got cold again, but today should be a better day. Actually every day is a better day. Just different.

I hope YOU have a lovely day or at least find some loveliness in your day.

Your friend on the farm,



55 Comments on “What does wind look like?

  1. We’re having our share of wind today also. Apple and cherry blossoms flying about like midges. Good morning, c, and happy Saturday to the farmy!

  2. I love your description of the wind. It is a Force, and usually I love it (particularly during mud season when it needs to come through and dry things out). But it can also be a devastating Force. So glad it took its toys and moved on! We will have some today, but it must have blown itself out on its way east. Love your close-up goatie and Naomi photos!

  3. I hope the wind has cleared all the winter cobwebs away allowing better warmer days through to help everyone to heal and grow. How is your hand, Celie?

  4. I thought of the farmy when I heard of the devastation of yesterday’s tornadoes. I’m so glad it wasn’t worse where you are. Wind is a force I do not care for.

  5. Our winds just roar. The really big ones sound like a train roaring up the glen, then BANG, an almost physical force hitting the end wall of the house. Today we have wind but it’s a very half hearted roar to this one.
    P.S. Naomi is beautiful by the way!

  6. Hello Cecilia,
    We had a day like that a couple of weeks ago. The sound of the wind clawing at the walls was terribly scary!
    I am glad your wind did not twist itself into a tornado..stay safe C

  7. Celia – you painted a most vivid word picture that perfectly captured what your camera could not. I felt quite buffeted about just reading it. And equally excited at the prospect of the quiet that followed. Beautiful prose.

  8. Wonderful wind descriptions! It can be quite scary, and destructive. And so wonderful when it stops! So glad all is well on the farmy, and that Lady Astor is being so well mannered at milking times. That is fabulous!!!

  9. I think that is the cutest calf I have ever seen! She looks a little shy, maybe she will be just lovely, like her mother.

  10. So relieved the Farmy is still standing! The pictures on TV early this morning of tornado damage in NW Illinois were terrifying. Everything just flattened and spread miles away. Your descriptions had me pulling my hair back off my face 🙂 Wishing you peaceful, soft soaking rains for the fields. Laura

  11. Oh how we curse the wind and battle against it. Your words were descriptive and it FELT like a howler – with brief gusts just to let you know it is capable of worse! But there is a strength and cleansing that comes with her too. It’s a bit like enduring the tough times and coming out in the calm, feeling renewed and tougher for the experience. One thing about the woodlands is we have “talking” trees – they groan and creak. It’s a bit of whining or perhaps gossip on a windy day. But oh, when the winds crank up those trees are complaining and singing the misery and woes of having to move about so much!

  12. The wind has a white face with very puffed up cheeks and he blows through the trees and fields and grasses and building like a knife with a sharp edge..that is what I think he looks like

  13. You are wrong this morning Miss C…you can and did show us what the wind looks like just as you brought us to the sudden silence and quiet as well. Lovely words 🙂 I am among the many who also worried about you and the Cast with all the violence shown on TV that the winds were causing so it is good to hear that you spent some time laughing and giggling with your visiting portion of the storm. Naomi is a sweet thing and hurrah for Lady A as she settles into her purpose and position on the farm.

  14. Wow. The beauty of your writing puts that wind to shame. Faulkner-esque my dear. And that’s high praise from a Southern girl. On another note entirely, maybe Elsie needs to be called Lady Elsie in order for her manners to change. Naomi is a precious little wee thing. I love her.

  15. Oh, I know the sound of that wind, and the malice of her games. It’s the same wind that twists off the tops of our palm trees off, peels back the tin roofs, washes boats up onto the shore, and drops trees onto cars, tangled up with power lines. It has an unearthly shriek, like all the demons of hell… I’m very, very glad you’re safe, and so are your creatures great and small. Miss Naomi is a precious little black angel with her big dark eyes, and it sounds like her Mama is making up for all the rough stuff with Bruiser.

  16. Lady Astor appreciates the fact that you recognised her nobility – she probably sees you as her personal handmaiden 😉

  17. Where is Boo? Is he not snuggled up with Naomi keeping her warm and safe?

  18. When we have Spring winds that go on for days, it starts to rattle my brain as well as my windows. It’s unsettling. I wonder where that came from in our evolution as humans—the upsetting nature of winds that stay.
    Congratulations on the milking session! I wonder if you could trade Lady A at weaning for a couple little beef cows??

    • That is an interesting question Carla, but it IS unsettling isn’t it. Those early settlers out here, those women all alone in those shoddy rattly shanty houses, they must surely have been driven clinically mad.. esp at this time of year when most all of the stores are eaten, waiting for the cow to calve, all those pressures.. then day after day of terrible wind.. c

  19. Oh that little delicate flower. Naomi. She is so cuddly looking. I’ll bet you have a hard time keeping from scooping her up in your arms, marching inside to take a seat on your rocker and singing Rockabye Baby. Adorable! Hazel too!
    The wind! Night before last, it blew so hard through the letterbox of the front door, keening, mourning and moaning, it kept my husband awake all night. Jamming a towel in its mouth helped a bit last night–too little and too late, however.

    • You must have a delightful old fashioned house with a letter box in the front door.. our dryer vent flaps like that in a northerly.. deeply annoying. c

  20. As a native of the southwestern Minnesota prairie, I understand the wind of which you write. I understand tornadoes, too, one having hit the farm where I grew up and area communities, killing nine.

    I’ve been wondering how close the destructive tornadoes raged near you. Glad you are safe there on the Farmy. But my heart aches for those who have lost loved ones and property.

  21. Celie, your post today is redolent of the best kind of poetry – words, movement, and sound. This would-be poet humbly applauds you.

    Lovely Naomi and Elsie, and the cheeky little goat. A treat on all fronts today.
    ViV x

    • Thank you Viv. that cheeky little goat found a hole (since fixed) in the fence and followed me about for quite some time until I was free to take her back.. like a puppy.. c

      • Her majesty Fanny learned today how to take the hook out of the gate latch, thereby leading the league of lady layers and the ducks on a tour of the back yard. Fortunately the back yard is fenced and more fortunately the bird dog was in the house! Now there is a clasp hooking the gate, one you need to have thumbs to work!

  22. Good morning, I read slowly, visualizing the she wind andall the antics that she performed on the farm during her stay. Beautiful imagery today. So glad you are okay. We have wind in Texas, but maybe that particular I have only seen during a hurricane, hunkering down in the house and listening while it thrashes about outside. That kind of wind is unnerving to me. Then the eye of the hurricane passes and silence until it starts up again after the eye passes by taking the calm with her. Naomi is quite fetching and very photogenic. I hope she gets her strength soon and starts to gambol about with Boo and Ton at her heels to protect her. Today, we are waiting for a man to come take away the antique pump organ. It needs a new home. Earlier this week, the player piano was claimed by a family with a nine year girl who is learning to love music. It’s good and right. Be safe, C.

  23. What a dear little calf. Babies are lovely. We had that wind here a few weeks ago. Lots of people lost roofs and many trees were uprooted. It sounded as though a jet was flying backwards and forwards past my window.

  24. You do so have a lovely turn with your words. I feel elevated just reading your description of the wind, as if you gave me my own wings to catch it in.

  25. At your mention of Boo just out of shot, I had to go back and look at the photo of Naomi……and yes! there’s a bit of blue, an elbow maybe. Lovely boy, he’ll be thrilled to have another tiny one to lay with. I’m glad the wind has moved on, and you’re safe, I didn’t know there had been nasty weather, no tv, but it’s good you’re all safe, wind can be so damaging and no way to stop it until it’s blown itself out or on. Cheeky wee goat, at least she followed you and didn’t take off!

  26. I have never experienced such a wind as you eloquently convey but two things immediately heighten my danger sensibilities: mean winds and bushfire smoke. Yet their benign manifestations: gentle winds and woodfire smoke are comforting. I can sleep through and find peace in a thunderstorm but a howling gale, well, it’s an ill wind. Glad you are safe, and I feel for those who were directly hit.

  27. Am filing your priceless description which is making all my hairs erect. Here in the Highlands we also have a three month gale season in spring which I absolutely hate but twisters are virtually non-existent. You do not watch the news, I do. ABC, BBC, Al Jazeera headlines in the morning, an hour of our marvellous multi-cultural SBS at night: no tabloids, no rubbish, real news. When I saw the destruction of Rochelle and Fairdale and a dozen more videos of where the twisters touched down for abnormally long periods rather than the usual 10 or so seconds, I was really, really afraid for the farmy – if some came down so close west of Chicago the squall lines could move SE. Thank you to the Higher Powers. And I do hope you have a shelter should the worst ever come to the worst. Oh Celi, such winds do stop suddenly 🙂 ! Naomi so sweet and gentle in comparison . . .

    • We have the basement, though in a tornado that is not terribly much use they say. Tornadoes are just Bad. There has never been one through here, we are very low.. hopefully this helps.. c

  28. The basement will be way better than the usual bathroom in which many people seek shelter . . . . methinks it will be a matter of just counting the weeks thru’ the blooming season. Have just looked at Illinois Met: next fortnight OK: but OMG how cold compared to us: down to freezing week after next again: yuk!! We think it has been a cold autumn but we are at least 10 C above you . . . methinks doe-eyed little Naomi will have to have the sunroom as current abode awhile longer 🙂 ! Sleep well Milady!!!

  29. You described the wind so well–and how quickly it stops and turns to silence. I pictured the dogs’ coats blown inside out. So happy the Lady is becoming a milk cow.

  30. What a fierce and vivid description of the wind, including the sudden stopping. I swear I could hear those teacher’s hands clapping.

  31. I remember when you used to take the lambs to the convalescent home and the retired farmers were so thrilled. I wonder what a treat Naomi would be? Probably a chaotic disaster of one, but what a lovely initial thought, no?

  32. Beautiful, descriptive writing C. I could almost hear and feel that fierce wind….

  33. Ooh I know about winds like that (luckily not tornadoes) we get them in Spain. They can blow for a couple of days round our mountain, driving you crazy, causing arguments and broken things, your nerved are stretched taut and then suddenly it all stops and you have to catch your breath and look around you just to be sure it really all happened.

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