Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dramatic Atmospheric Stuff

Lately the hot steaminess of our weather has been punctuated by some muy grande thunderstorms.  On Tuesday I was standing at our living room window, looking out on our soggy front yard (the haphazard occurrence of rain is much appreciated) when I heard a loud boom of thunder and our lights went out. Moments later I saw a brilliant flash, followed by a boom that was loud enough to shake the house and activate one of the kids toys, which proceeded to play a muffled song from somewhere deep in one of their toy piles.

Lightning had struck the tall pine by our front gate, leaving its trunk scarred with a long vertical gash.  Aside from a strip of missing bark it remained erect and more or less intact, and I'm hoping it will survive its electrocution.  After two major hurricanes we've lost enough trees already.

In the aftermath of the lightning strike the rain stopped and I went outside to look around.  Storms often produce interesting fly-overs, but this time I was disappointed by the absence of any air traffic worth mentioning.  On the other hand, our Great Crested Flycatchers were being unusually vocal, and later that evening I heard the buzzing song of a Northern Parula, probably the same one I'd heard singing on a couple of other occasions in recent days (they are common summer residents of the nearby swamps, but in our neighborhood we get them mainly as spring and fall migrants).   As far as birds are concerned we are in the summer doldrums, and there isn't much to report.  At night I've heard a Barred Owl calling a couple of times, but otherwise it's been the usual cast of characters.


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