Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"My Cat Jumped!"

Breaking news is announced in all kinds of ways.

This afternoon I learned from Hayden (a previously mentioned classmate of Miss Cee's, and an observed object of her....interest) that we had an earthquake here in northern Illinois in the wee hours of this morning...with feline implications.

[solemnly] "There was an earthquake this morning..."
[wide-eyed]: "....and it made my cat jump!!!"

If a third grader isn't a credible witness, there probably isn't one to be found.

Now, the Circle H Ranch backstory...

This morning at 4 am, straight up, we two Ancient Hollidays awoke and sat bolt upright, seemingly in unison.

"What was that?"

"I don't know, but it seemed to be outside."

Eyes peering into the blackness, ears straining...and picking up faint Cecily tones.

Apparently she didn't get far trying to rouse Brother John because a moment later we heard what sounded like a small body displacing its weight onto a bed.

With no further excitement pending, we succumbed to sleep again.

A few hours later, as I walked into our closet, I noticed a cellphone box had fallen off the shelf and onto the floor...could this possibly have made so much noise?

Sad to say, with my rapidly declining mental acuity,I did not link these two events together until a short time ago. I had heard of small earthquakes in the Illinois area before, but I'd never 'felt' one.

Bill says a colleague at work dismissed this as of little note...but that's because she's a California native and lived through the 1994 Northridge temblor, so I suppose anything's tame compared to that...or the devastating Haiti quake of a few weeks ago. Still, as I recall, the Port-au-Prince quake was measured at about 7 on the Richter scale, and our little bump this morning was a 3.8; so an event a little less that twice the strength we experienced wrought all the havoc we've seen in the media.

Sobering. Things are shakin'.

Below is a cut-and-paste excerpt from today's Rockford Register Star:

Magnitude: 3.8

* Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 09:59:33 UTC
* Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 03:59:33 AM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 42.053°N, 88.412°W
Depth 5 km (3.1 miles) set by location program

* 2 km (1 miles) SSE (168°) from Pingree Grove, IL
* 6 km (4 miles) SW (215°) from Gilberts, IL
* 9 km (6 miles) WSW (243°) from Sleepy Hollow, IL
* 10 km (6 miles) W (279°) from Elgin, IL
* 34 km (21 miles) NNW (344°) from Aurora, IL
* 65 km (40 miles) WNW (292°) from Chicago, IL

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 7.3 km (4.5 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST= 16, Nph= 16, Dmin=179.1 km, Rmss=0.54 sec, Gp=104°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=8


Event ID us2010snay

* This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

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