April through June, 2010

We thought this was going to be the most boring report ever, then a flash of light and loud bang created excitement. Lightning struck a tree and started a fire. We could not see it from the house, but Jennie was returning from town, saw it, came to the house and called 911 as Gary went down to see what could be done. The fire department arrived and decided their Hummer might get stuck on the primitive access road, so we hiked to the fire. What was most impressive was the bark and shards of wood that exploded from the tree (see a few here). Some shards embedded into the ground several inches. It was raining hard, but the fire was inside the hollow created by the missing shards. Finally, a firefighter climbed up the tree to extinguish the flames. This was one of the lowest trees on our property and one we would least expect to be hit by lightning.

Three days later a hail storm hit Bozeman; Pauline was in town and the car received 35 dents and a broken windshield. Thousands of homes and cars had broken windows (see articles here and here.) Our home was not damaged even though homes around us had windows broken out.

Later, we were driving to the home of a friend across the canyon and lightning hit a tree 15 seconds after we passed it. The strike took out their power so we packed up the dinner under preparation and completed it at our home. On the way, we waved to the same firemen who had been at our place just days before.