More thunderstorms, more wind, more rain this spring. Thursday afternoon another round of rain and wind swept through the yard. Then a scattering of hail and suddenly, from someplace far too close to us, a light flashed with KRACK BOOM!! and splinters of tree appeared on the patio. And then the storm just seemed to end, as if it had done what it had intended to do and so could quit.
It us took a minute or two to identify the affected tree.
It was the Norway spruce (Picea abies) that dominates the middle of our back yard, and when I checked on it later I could see that besides peeling off a huge strip of bark the lightning had gouged deeply into the heart of the tree.
When we moved into this house seven years ago, seven huge Norway spruces stood as sentries along the south and west bounds of the yard. Five years ago one fell over in a wind storm. Two years ago another was struck by lightning, and although it still stands it will probably not last many more years. A third spruce died of unknown causes a couple of years ago and was removed earlier this year along with the giant slippery elm and about half the old silver maple. It seems that something doesn’t like our spruces.