The Mother Of All Storms          - 19/11/2006      <--Prev : Next-->


My Friend Borealis has always been just slightly entrancingly loopy.

Not quite "off the wall" but rather leaning towards an engaging

She is the sort of bewitching person who might sudden;y eat a
ant washed down with a good quality Scotch, but last week she went
just a tad too far.

Rain had been needed desperately, the heat had been appalling,
and gardens were wilting, dams were drying beneath our very eyes.

American Indians do a rain dance to attract rain but African
superstition has it that if you catch a scorpion and hang it by its
tail in a tree, multitudinous rains will occur.

And so my crazy friend, in the heat of the midday sun, took it upon
herself to literally dig up a scorpion and hang the hapless fellow
from the branch of a wilting Mopane tree.

Twenty four hours later, a veritable hurricane hit the suburb in
which we both live ........ It was the Mother of all Hailstorms to
use an urban cliché.

The epicentre appeared to be Kumalo where they had 100 mls rain and
vast drifts of hailstones. After the storm Kumalo residents made
snowmen out of the ice !!

Cars and houses were crushed by falling trees, gutters blocked with
the ice and fallen leaves and debris, then overflowed into homes
which were awash. Ceilings filled with water and collapsed. Roofs
were ripped off by the winds.

It was an insurance salesman's nightmare as virtually every home in
Suburbs, Malindela, Kumalo, Killarney, Parklands and Ilanda had
extensive water damage.

The hail came in totally horizontally powered by gale force winds
in twenty minutes, that little scorpion got his revenge on us all.

We in Suburbs received 40 mls rain, our carpets were flooded, trees
uprooted, gardens smashed beyond recognition.

Our gigantic Mozambican Fig tree, the Faraway tree to every child
Bulawayo, haven to hammerkops, gymnogenes and hundreds of bats and
doves, received a battering that denuded it of seventy percent of

But the most bizarre happening was that we found thirty two dead
doves under the tree when we returned unwittingly from dinner to
the storm devastation.

The cats were having a field day !! The dogs brought me dazed dove
after dove gently in their mouths to be transported to a warm dry
recovery ward. But we still counted 32 casualties in the morning.

However when the sun came up the next day the doves were despatched
as dinner to a friend who runs an owl sanctuary. The Food Chain
perpetuates !!

The loose carpets were hauled out into the sun and the fitted
may or may not survive.

The damage will be costly to all the residents in that area and
Borealis was chastised liberally for her secret arachnid sin !!

But hey, in spite of the storm, we in Matabeleland are grateful for
every drop of rain no matter what shape or form it comes !!!