It’s funny how quickly summer comes – it hits strong and unexpected, like the abrupt thunderstorms you find yourself drenched in. But I love it. I love the hot weather and beating sun, it makes me want to run outside and see what I can find.
I recently went hiking at Powdermill Nature Reserve after a severe thunderstorm hit the Ligonier area, and came across a number of huge trees that had fallen or been struck by lightning. It’s easy to see why you’d want to be far from trees during a storm – the aftermath was truly amazing and got me thinking more about the toll nature takes on itself.
Here’s the science of lighting striking trees: Lightning usually strikes a tree’s top, sending a charge down the trunk and leaving an internal burn. Sometimes, more damage than a burn is done. Because living trees are filled with water, and something as intensely hot as a lightning strike hits, the tree’s water will turn to gas and cause the tree to “explode”, breaking off the bark and throwing split branches to the ground like spears. Ouch!
Fun Fact: Those Columbia hikers in the bottom of the photograph are mine! I’ve been wearing them since I was 12, best shoes I’ve ever owned :)
My friend walking on the remnants of a very tall tree.
Despite this power, there is still so much softness to nature. I enjoy walking quietly and taking note of the little things that are easy to miss. Also recently, I discovered the leftovers of springtime are still upon us, like in this next photo featuring the petal of a tulip tree flower, adorned with a natural heart.
Nature…whether it is fierce or delicate, a lion or a lamb, it is always changing. I love that part best. It buds and blossoms and heals. There is consistency in certain changes, like cool spring mornings turning to steaming summer days, and the unexpected in others, like the fallen trees after the storm.
Ask yourself next time you’re outdoors, what are the changes in nature I like to see?