Monday, January 31, 2005

More windy days

One of the features of Las Vegas that we didn’t know about before moving here was the wind. I say feature because it is something very difficult to ignore. In the big hotels and casinos the weather, and even the time of day, is easy to ignore – there are no clocks or windows in the casinos – you can sit and play forever and never notice the passage of time. But walk the streets between places and some days you might be blown away. I don’t mean in awe and wonder, I mean blown away like in the Wizard of Oz. Not via tornado, but just a gust of wind.
Lying in bed last night I listened to the wind. And walking around at lunchtime today it was still around. My house is fairly well insulated – one story, with 2x6 outer walls fully insulated and a layer of bricks around most of it. Most of the windows are double pane and keep out noise. I hear the wind mostly from above, causing sounds down through the swamp coolers, making noises in the exhaust vents in the bathrooms and causing a low roar in the kitchen stove exhaust fan. Just little (or not so little) indications that something is going on outside.
The plants that make the wind most evident are the palm trees. Perhaps because most trees have some dried fronds that rattle, and all have fronds that make lots of noise when rubbing together. It’s a very loud rustling. And being so tall and full they sway back and forth while rustling. Most other trees are bare this time of year, but those that aren’t usually suffer broken limbs. Our two olive trees now have quite a few broken branches either on the ground or still semi attached, awaiting a long ladder and some sawing to remove. Looks like I’ve got another task to do when things calm down. With all the rains followed by these winds I’m sure there are a lot of shallow rooted trees that have been pushed over.
There are many windy days, and quite a few of them are very windy. Just something else to get used to here.

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