Not a tornado

August 29th, everything normal in Cambridge.

Just a week ago, we’d had the 12 minute weather phenomenon!

Things were going along as they do in a Cambridge afternoon, when suddenly things began to beep.

Not the “Hal” beep (our temperamental washing machine), or the microwave, but a rather shrill, urgent “All Hands on Deck” beep. I couldn’t even figure where it was coming from.

So I ignored it.

A minute later Grant emerged from down below announcing “we should shelter immediately in the basement, it’s a tornado warning!”

Oh. It was my phone!

So I went to look outside.

I ask you, does this look as ominous as the 12 minute, unacknowledged event?

Not to me either.

So I went to the other end of the house where the turkey family were busy grazing and asked what they had heard.

“What tornado?’ asked mother

“Em….that one?”

“Oh. Perhaps we’ll go this way kids.”

“Good Lord!” I thought, “Bedlam Farm’s over that way”.

Perfectly safe, too, I’m glad to say.

Two minutes later

“Are you sure about a tornado?”

Not at all. Doesn’t that look benign?

But alright, here we have two fronts about to meet…

…which resulted in…

Followed by…

Fire? Nope, just a big old cloud catching the rays of the setting sun…

…and how:


Isn’t light an extraordinary thing? These last two shots were taken seconds apart:

By now it was dusk and heavily overcast, yet somehow the terrain picked up available light to produce an image that quite surprised me for the intensity of colour.

Overhead, the ceiling really was this shade, the setting sun reflected in storm clouds:


When all was said and done, I had spent two hours racing around looking at the sky. Was I disappointed not to see a tornado? Not at all.

And neither were they.

4 thoughts on “Not a tornado

  1. Ha! Glad you were safe!

    This reminds me of all the times we had tornadoes in central Illinois when I went to college there, and lived for a few years after. I spent a lot of time watching, and sometimes hiding in the city library building (it was stone, a lot safer than my rented mobile home), but I never saw one. Many years later in Maryland, though, one afternoon at the tail end of a bruising gullywasher I looked up from my parked car directly into a very small funnel … which disappeared shortly thereafter, I was glad to see!

  2. Thank you! The only time I ever saw anything like it was long ago, off the coast of England, I saw a water spout but it was very small. Wish I’d had a camera with me then. I don’t think anyone else noticed it.

  3. Down here in my part of Texas, which is called Tornado Alley, if we had seen ominous clouds like those, we would have all been advised to run for cover and take immediate shelter. I guess the turkeys are very wise, they didn’t even get their feathers ruffled.

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