25 February 2007

Zap! The power of nature.

We have been having storms over the last few weeks, some of them occurring right in our village. You see the lightning and then hear the thunderclap at almost the same time and everyone ducks!
Yesterday I was trying to help the local store with their computerised accounts when the power flickered and the computer restarted twice. We deferred our session to next week.
Then the lightning and thunder clapped at the same time. As I drove home I saw bark and thin strips of wood all across the road about 75 metres (225 feet) from our house. This is what the tree looks like. If you click you can get a more detailed look.
The lightning hit the top of the tree and found earth the shortest way - straight down the outside of the tree. Our neighbours were having a barbeque when they saw the lightning hit the tree and they all ducked with the huge explosion. Bits of bark and slivers of wood about 6 feet long were scattered all over the place, up to 50 metres (150 feet) away.
The tree is out the front of our homeschooled friends and they were lucky that only an ADSL (DSL) splitter was fried and one telephone was destroyed. Last week Lana's dad attended a fire brigade callout to clear the remains of a tree which had exploded when it was split in two in a lightning strike and blocked one of the nearby roads. They also had to put out a fire started from another lightning strike.
But no-one is really complaining. We are just enjoying the rain too much.