Southern for the Summer

June 30 - July 6, 2014

Under the weather

By Molly Baltzer

mollyb@dailydata.com

When I tell people I am from Colorado their usual first response is something along the lines of “Ohhh so you are not used to this weather.” It is true, I am not used to the humid 90-degree weather. Despite what people believe about Colorado’s weather, it is actually very nice during the summer. It gets up in the 90-degree range often, though not as frequently as Little Rock seeing as that is the constant tempature here for the most part. Similarly to Little Rock, Colorado has been having thunderstorms lately with heavy lightening accompanying the thunder and rain.

Now normally, I would not particularly care about Colorado’s thunderstorms, as they have no affect on me here in Little Rock, but something out of the ordinary occurred during a recent lightening storm in my hometown.  

Let me set the scene: It is Wednesday night and I am peacefully watching an episode of “Black Box” before I head to bed. My cellphone dings and I already know something is up because my not so text savvy older brother, Sam, has texted me. I open the message to find a picture of my family’s favorite tree located in our front yard with the text below reading “So lightening just struck our tree.” I reply instantly with an “OMG! Was it loud?” Sam answered back jokingly saying he thought he as getting abducted because it was such a loud and bright, in other words rude, awakening.

Looking closer at the picture I realized the bark from the trunk was completely stripped and spread around the yard. The strike hit the tree directly in middle, practically splitting it in half, forcing it to say goodbye too soon. I could not believe of all the trees in the area, it struck my family’s favorite and beloved tree. You wouldn’t think you could have such a strong connection to a tree until it’s the unfortunate chosen one to get hit by a strike of lightening. I guess that goes with the famous saying “you never know what you got until it’s gone.”

All of the neighbors were outside observing the poor, broken tree in shock that it could’ve been one of their own. One of the neighbors even sent the picture into 9News, a local news station, getting their attention and responding immediately saying they were coming to the area to interview Sam and get shots of the damaged tree.

9News arrived at the scene and the neighbors continued to observe. The station interviewed Sam, who was the only one home at the time of the accident, about what he was doing when the tree was struck and his reaction to it (he left out the part about being scared he was getting abducted). When 9News was through, the neighbors gave Sam a round of applause, perhaps also happily clapping because it wasn’t their tree that suffered.

I won’t say that I am scared of thunderstorms, I have actually really enjoyed the occasional late night rain to fall asleep to these past few weeks. I will say that I now keep my eye on the lightening complemented by the storms after the damage I saw it did right outside of my Colorado home. I can only hope the lightening is not coming for my Little Rock home next.