Closing the distance between myself and the second tree with gigantic, hurried strides, my eyes caught the inside of the trunk. The tree had broken at its base and it got me thinking… This was an entire tree that had been taken done, not just a branch like the first tree I noticed. The wind from the storm was powerful, yes, but strong enough to destroy a tree that had lived decades? This I couldn’t believe.
I moved in for a closer look, feeling my feet squish into the overly dampened soil. The wood looked singed. Not just in a spot or two, but the entire center of the tree. In fact, the core looked as if someone had taken a blowtorch to it. I touched a blackened piece of the tree, expecting it to leave an ashen trail on the tip of my finger. Surprisingly, the tree was still sturdy. Then I leaned in and smelled the wood. It was undeniable. It had been burned. Living out in the country, I’ve had my fair share of bonfires (you can even the the start of one in the picture above), and if there is one smell I know it was burning, or burned, wood.
After seeing this, I called my Dad over to take a look for himself. Together we came to the conclusion that it was struck by lightning, and it was most likely at the time that our dogs on the back porch were going nuts. I’ve seen lightning, and I’ve even seen lightning strike trees. What I have never witnessed was how it effected a tree. I don’t know if getting the core burned out is a common or rare occurrence, but I know that I have never seen the center of a tree burned while the leaves were still green, and the bark still mossy on the outside. Although I’m glad we received the rain for our garden’s sake, I hope lightning won’t be striking again for a while. The aftermath of the cleanup wasn’t nearly as fun as the exploration.