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Electrifying News
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The only thing worse than having nothing exciting to report is having too much excitement. Following a 93 degree day, storms rolled through last night. Thunder rumbled, seemingly in the distance, then there was a sudden confusion of noise. In retrospect, I can't quite sort it out. Near as I recall, a high pitched whistling was followed almost instantly by a hiss and an explosive crack that shook the house. The lights went out, then came back on.

I guessed lightning had hit a nearby tree. The sap had boiled and exploded.

This morning I saw the strike had been nearer than I'd thought -- the towering pine about twenty feet from the back of the house. Strips of bark and fragments of wood had been blown across the lawn.

The lightning had dug a furrow from the base of the pine to the corner of the shed, along the front, and left a small mound of dirt and splintered stones at the base of our 500 gallon propane tank. Bits of rock and dirt were strewn over the top of the tank.

The tree will need to come down. It doesn't look badly damaged, except that a wide swath of bark was peeled away, from the ground to someplace in the upper branches, far above the house roof. I doubt a tree in that shape has much chance of surviving.

So lightning can strike. Now if it'd only strike figuratively and bring some amazing and unlikely good news.

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