Frightening Lightning

Tuesday morning surprised me by starting out rainy. That wasn’t in the forecast, but there was a definite, steady patter on the roof when I woke. As we sipped our coffee, the rain fell even stronger and the thunder started.

Suddenly there was a tremendous boom of thunder and the ground shook. Whew, that lightning strike must have been close. Hastily we shut down our computers. No checking of email or news with such a dangerous storm underway.

It wasn’t until that evening that I found out where the lightning struck. It hit a tree just three lots away from us. Fortunately Ed and Jackie weren’t home at the time. Here’s the picture she took later of the tree.

Note the raw wood showing down the side of this pine tree. That's from the lightning strike.

Note the raw wood showing down the side of this pine tree. That’s from the lightning strike.

It turns out that this wasn’t the only nearby strike. While on the golf course this afternoon, I spotted the telltale signs, strips of fresh bark, in a brush area on hole number nine. Looking up, I spotted the big pine tree that the lightning hit.

Apparently the bolt of lightning can completely pass through the tree trunk which causes splintered bark and exploded wood on each side. The energy goes down into the soil and affects the roots too. I could see cracks in the trunk of the tree where the bark was missing, so all that energy (an electrical charge of 100 million volts) going through the center of the tree and some escapes through the sides as it goes downward. The pieces of wood and bark explode outward which is dangerous to anyone or anything nearby.

Awesome and scary. Apparently a number of people in the camp suffered damage to their electronic equipment from the lightning too. We only had a circuit blow, which we were able to reset. Others lost television sets or other equipment.


I'm a retired librarian...photographer, online content creator, genealogist, and writer. My passion is convincing people to preserve their family history and to write about their childhood memories.

Posted in Weather
One comment on “Frightening Lightning
  1. Gail says:

    Yes….very scary!😱

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