The weather news on www.weatherzone.com.au is so much more entertaining than my old standby back in the U.S., weather.com. I have made other references to this web site before, but I found a story today that forced me to do a little research to understand its full meaning. The story itself was about a severe thunderstorm that hit Alice Springs yesterday. Alice Springs is a small town nearly in the dead centre of Australia, hundreds of miles from nowhere. We went there on our honeymoon in 2003, and loved it. It's hot and dry for most of the year, although I noticed that it can be much colder there at night than in Brisbane during the winter. Anyway, this freak thunderstorm yesterday caused some damage and widespread power outages in Alice Springs. Although all of the "Todd river causeways are open," there was this warning:
Motorists are being asked to avoid Larapinta Drive between the Stuart Highway and Millner Road, where a pergola has blown onto the westbound lane.
Now, I'm growing used to the strangeness of the animals and plants here, so I assumed that a pergola was yet another strange living thing that I knew nothing about. Those more cultured readers out there, however, are probably laughing at me now because you know that a pergola is just a structure commonly found in gardens. I guess it must have caused quite a traffic jam there in Alice.
And now I know.