Last Sunday afternoon the sky began to fill up with big billowy clouds, so I got the Nikon out and took advantage of the display. A few hours later, Beloved Spouse and I relaxed in the back yard, around my new-old table, on my grandmother's old metal chairs. Thunder started rumbling in the west, so after picking a few figs, we headed inside. Then the lightning started, so we unplugged the computers from their power sources, which is what we usually do in such circumstances, and I headed to the kitchen to make dinner.
Not ten minutes into the prep, a whacking great thunderbolt hit the tree outside our study. We didn't seem to lose power, but it scared the crap out of me. When we surveyed the damage we saw that chunks of surface bark were missing from the tree and had been blown all over the place (including onto the market umbrella that shades a picnic table near the tree). A neighbor came over to make sure we were okay (he'd seen the flash from the property behind us), and after fixing the one breaker that had been thrown off, we went back about our business.
Until it was time to go watch the news. Then we discovered that the only room affected was the room where we watch television. The brand new LED set and the cable box were no longer "engaged." Fortunately, we keep our feathers numbered for just such an occasion, and brought the other TV and its box in, and will have the Nerd Herd from Buy More in to fix the set in a week or so. But we will also be seriously upgrading our surge protector--and some of the romance has gone out of summer storms, nice as it is to have some rain and cooler temperatures.
I'll probably also not press my luck by sitting on those metal chairs in advance of a storm, either, even if it's still several miles away.
The photos below were all shot with the Nikon D80.
The nasty stuff is starting to move in, above.
Damage to the tree is pretty obvious from this angle.
Bits of blasted tree showing through the umbrella cloth.