The weather has been rather extreme lately. Temps in the 70’s, a few scattered Sun sightings, all punctuated by fierce thunderstorms crashing through every few hours.
I read a silly conjecture the other day trying to disprove evolution on the basis that there are millions of jars of peanut butter on store shelves and kitchen cabinets and none of them have evolved any new life-forms. He failed to mention that most consumers aren’t testing their peanut butter for newly evolved bacterium before committing them to death by PBJ. Or, perhaps, he expects a puppy to leap out?
I was reminded of that story by our weather and the rich, loamy environment surrounding us these days. The river outside the office flows a chocolatey brown, the roadsides are rampant with thick and varied vegetation, and the woods have a tangible, mossy musk; every surface rippling with life. Set to this backdrop the torrential rains and jagged arcs of lightning transform it into a primordial kitchen, cooking up an organic ooze of epic proportions.
Yesterday a huge storm rolled through and knocked out the power at work. You can tell who recently saved their work by the groans and expletives which follow …
Last night around ten, I was sitting on a rocking chair facing the big front picture window with a freshly washed Zane, burping and comforting him with the insane thought of putting him to bed and catching some z’s myself. Rock, rock, hush little baby …
A vivid flash of light illuminated everything, inside and outside, with an immediate crashing explosion and then everything went black. Lightning had struck right outside the house, probably a hundred feet away.
Zane may have jumped a little but I jumped even more. To his credit he didn’t cry or fuss. Faith and I both went, “holy-crap!” and later she admitted that it shook her up pretty bad. She’d been in the bedroom opening a window when she heard a “sizzle” and then the lightning struck.
I comforted Zane, probably more to comfort myself, and walked around the dark house to shut off the computers on backup power. Put Zane down for the night and then went to bed myself. Faith said that later on she saw the power company trucks checking the corner power pole (big fuse) and the pole at the end of our driveway. She was snacking on something, standing at the picture window in the dark, watching the power company guys working on our pole when the lights came on and she realized that she was only wearing a bra. Thanks fellas!
Our weather station has been acting up so we don’t have a reliable measure of rain at our house. My friend Doug has measured almost four inches at his house this month, an inch of that from yesterday alone. Here’s a fun lightning story from our early days at Vicinity back around ’95 or ’96.