The Wrath of God –Sturm and Drang

We don’t have mountains or oceans around here, but we do have striking and colorful weather. A Midwest thunderstorm can be a thing of awe. This morning such a storm has been moving over Quincy, with thunderous explosions that seemingly could wake the dead.

Thunder is an interesting aural phenomenon. It varies in pitch from a low alto down to the sub-bass. It could be thought of as atonal music rollicking around the sky. And then the lightning flashes associated with the thunder! They can light up the entire sky, and of course there is the danger, which while really minimal, adds spice to the celestial display.

Larry

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4 Comments

Filed under Natural History, Quincy

4 responses to “The Wrath of God –Sturm and Drang

  1. Joan

    When I was a child, I used to take my umbrella and go out in the storms in Hannibal and splash around barefoot in the puddles. I’m assuming they were not lightning storms. Not so much now. A mailwoman was killed by lightning last year in U. City. Two trees were zapped in our immediate neighborhood and had to be cut down. Limbs and bits of tree foliage have been harvested from my yard, at least 3 times this year already, and I’m counting myself among the very fortunate to even have a home and yard.. Then there are the sojourns in the basement the last two months, hiding from tornadoes. Soooo, I gotta say, the glories of watching nature’s optical, sonic and electrical wonders are better appreciated by me by watching TV, after the storms are over.

  2. Virginia

    A policeman from Riverside, MO, a small town near Kansas City was struck by lightening in Joplin while he was helping with the tornado disaster. It actually struck near him after he got off a piece of equipment, but the electrical field was so strong it did a lot of damage. He died yesterday.
    I always shudder when I see worker on riding lawnmowers finishing their job during a thunder storm. It only takes one strike.

  3. There exists a national association of people who have survived lightning strikes, sort of a mutual support group. If you don’t die from a strike, there are troubling long-term neural effects, such as erratic memory.

    Essayist Gretel Ehrlich, who lives on a ranch in Wyoming, had a close call with lightning some years ago. She only survived because her dog went to get help, like Lassie in the ’60s TV series fetching help when Timmy fell into a well.

    ” ‘Arf! Arf!’ ‘What’s wrong, Lassie?’ ” The collie led his family to the scene, somehow, and Timmy was rescued. I was transfixed by this drama when I was a child. At the time I doubted that the beagle we had could have performed this feat, so I stayed away from open wells.

  4. Joan

    That is just awful, Virginia. Even worse that he must have suffered quite a bit, since the Joplin tornado was at least two weeks ago. You always wonder why. We had a young person killed years ago who was near a fence playing baseball at the Brentwood YMCA. The lightening stuck a tree and traveled along the fence and that was it. The one that stuck in my mind, however was somewhere in west county where I believe girls cut through a woods on their way home from high school. They took shelter under a tree when a sudden storm hit, and it was struck. They were all 3 killed as I remember. I have to qualify that by saying my memory is fairly faulty nowadays.

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