A tornado swept through the central Alberta town of Three Hills last Friday, June 2, touching down at around 5 p.m., and Theunis Wessels happened to be mowing the lawn that evening.
His wife Cecilia spotted the twister off in the distance and decided to snap a photo; she captioned it: “My beast mowing the lawn with a breeze in his hair.”
My beast mowing the lawn with a breeze in his hair
According to the Wessels, the tornado was not as close as it appears in the photo, but the stark contrast of the calm Wessels and the imminent tornado (it was actually moving away) spread like wildfire online.
Theunis Wessels later told The Homestretch that the skies were clear when he started.
“When I started the whole process there was nothing, nothing in the sky, suddenly I saw this whirlwind,” he said.
“I was watching it and keeping a close eye on it, and just seeing where it was going. I didn’t see any danger, it was so far away.”
The tornado reached a speed over 100 mph according to Environment Canada.
Cecilia Wessels told CBC that she was not afraid when she saw the approaching twister, which is why she took the time to snap a photo.
“It was just exhilarating, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen something like that and I just wanted to share it with my family.”
She added that the photo going viral was “strangely exciting and weird and crazy.”
“The comments are fun, but it’s actually a lot of work to stay ahead of this beast we’ve created.”
CBC added that the storm only caused minimal damage—some grain bins were moved or tossed around, a barn roof was damaged, and one RV was destroyed.