Monday, July 18, 2005

Storm Damage I Wasn't Counting On

Well, today it finally cooled off thanks to a wicked storm we had last night. Since it was finally cool I was planning on packing up stuff we didn't need anymore for a yard sale that I am determined to have at the end of this week. As I was getting ready to go upstairs to start the torture, I decided that I had better go out into the garden to see if anything needed attending to due to the storm.

My mini greenhouse had been knocked over (for the um, fifteenth gazillion time- I really should do something about that). I was going to leave that until later since there weren't any plants in it and it wasn't getting any messier- or so I thought. Something kept telling me that I needed to go check it out anyway. So I went over to take a look. There was steam coming out of the greenhouse bottom, which I thought was unusual since the plastic should have kept most of the rain out and it really wasn't that hot out. That's when I smelled it. That wasn't steam. That was smoke!! MY GREENHOUSE WAS ON FIRE!!!!

BOY! Was I glad that I follow my hunches! In hindsight though, I wished that I would have taken a picture of the beautiful set up that created the fire, but being the fast acting person in an emergency that I am, I flipped the greenhouse upright to stop the fire-making process. Now you will just have to make due with my primitive diagram of what actually transpired.
The greenhouse fell over and the rain collected on the plastic. The plastic protected the little peat starters that I had in the greenhouse from getting rained on. The rain water + the plastic acted as a lens to magnify the sun's light. The magnified light was so hot that when it hit the peat pellets, it got them burning. It was a thing of beauty, I tell you!
Here you can see the peat pellets smoldering away. One is even white from having been so hot. Can you see the smoke? (click on the pictures to make them bigger)
Here we see the huge hole the fire burned in my greenhouse door. If you look very carefully you can see the huge hole that was burned in one of the plastic trays I was using to hold the peat pellets.
Here's a better view of the destruction done to my greenhouse. Gruesome, eh? I'm glad that this greenhouse only cost $20! I can patch that hole, and now I know how to start a fire if ever I am stranded in the wild!


Blogger evilsciencechick said...

those are peat pellets?

they look like doggy poo.

and wow, things are bad when your greenhouse turns suicidal ;)

7/18/2005 5:20 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

I know. I tried to make them look less like doggie poo- but, well, that's pretty much what they look like! Or sphincters. :)

7/18/2005 8:24 PM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

I stopped using peat pellets. I tried them once at my last house. Years later, I was still digging them up in the gardens. They never decomposed or whatever they were supposed to do after I planted the flowers that were started in them.

7/18/2005 10:01 PM  
Blogger crazygramma said...

Wow it does an insurance agents heart good to see that a disaster was diverted by your quick thinking and cat like moves to get to the flames out, and happy that you can repair the damage. Also I have to agree with evilscience chick they do look like what I just caught my neighbors dog doing on one of my small lilac bushes in the front yard tonight. LOL

7/18/2005 11:10 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

OldRoses- I have had them decompose, but I have also had then retain their shape. They are like Twinkies.

Crazygramma- You know I was wondering how I would have explained that one to the insurance company!

7/19/2005 8:08 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

So those are peat pellets, huh?

Now I know a good way to set fire to the, uh, "peat pellets" I leave on the neigbors' doorsteps on Halloween.

7/19/2005 10:04 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Boy you people are POOP OBSESESSED!!! Maybe I'll start writing more poop stories to entertain you masses. :)

7/19/2005 2:07 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I have a seven year old boy. Anything to do with poop or burping is very funny to him and his friends! Seriously now though, isn't it good that you listened to that gut feeling! We all should do that more often!

7/19/2005 6:52 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

If that looks like poop, whoever it belonged to should eat more fiber!

7/19/2005 6:54 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Sandy- It seems that many of us never grow out of that poo-is-funny stage.

I used to rely on my instincts a lot more. I am starting to get back to that. It really has saved my ass quite a few times over the last couple of months! (that ass comment had nothing to do with poop, by the way).

7/19/2005 11:00 PM  
Blogger Lyvvie said...

Peat is scary stuff! Did you know, you should never start a fire near/on a peat bog because the fire can penetrate down into the peat and smoulder for MONTHS! when the weather gets warmer and the top of the bog dries it can start a full-blown forest fire.

So be sure all those peat pellets are properly extinguished!

7/20/2005 1:31 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Lyvvie- So the peat was maybe a critical ingredient in this fire. It has since downpoured again, so they are for sure completely snuffed.

7/20/2005 8:21 AM  

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