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Thunder

Agriculture.com Staff 05/09/2007 @ 8:51am

We had a ferocious thunderstorm last weekend. It was about three days coming. Spring came later than usual -- guys had just gotten rolling in the fields -- which meant everyone was watching the weather reports.

A friend of mine planted all night, got in at about 5:30 in the morning, his corn in the ground, and he was only one of many working late hours.

The morning started with a light mist, but whenever I checked the radar it was easy to see the mass of green, yellow and orange poised in a line about a hundred miles away. The storm moved slowly, but you could tell it was coming. The mist got heavier throughout the day and then around two in the morning, the loudest, most sustained bout of thunder and lightning I can remember shook the house.

I’m telling you, there's nothing like nearby thunder at 2:00 on a Sunday morning to put you in a mood for repentance.

And this was close. I don't know if the lightning hit our chimney or maybe the bookcase next to our bed, but it was pretty close. There was none of this "lightning, count one, two, three..." stuff. No, this was "FlashBOOMhideunderthebed."

It made for a long night. Here on the prairie, most storms move through pretty fast, but this one just seemed to hover overhead, raining down lightning and thunder, as well as, you know, rain.

I had actually planned to sleep, but instead decided to lay awake, waiting for the next explosion.

Oddly enough, the little dog isn't scared of thunder. I don't know why -- her life seems to lurch between terror and rage, with very little time spent in neutral, but she just snoozed on the floor ignoring the cacophony. Maybe in another life she was a Nazi who served on the Russian front, so artillery barrages are nothing new to her.

Not me, though, I didn't sleep a wink.

It didn't really bother me. There's something about the implacable power of the weather that is mesmerizing to me. I didn't need to get up early -- church wasn't until 9:30 and my chicken chores only take about 30 seconds, so missing a little sleep was no tragedy. We've been sleeping with the windows open, which in May means we still need quilts on the bed. I pulled the covers up around my chin and lay watching out the window, taking in the sound and light show. We don't have a yard light and the intermittent lightning made a ghostly movie of our grove. Between flashes I thought I saw a whitetail deer, disturbed by the rain, drifting soundlessly across our driveway, but it may have been a dream. The thunder boomed and a sheet of water cascaded off our roof.

In time the storm moved off, reduced to a flickering glow and a distant mumble, and the rain dwindled away to a light drizzle. I don't know when I fell asleep, but my eyes opened to a grey morning -- hard wind and scudding clouds, puddles and springtime.

I made it to church on time and stayed awake, came home to an easy Sunday afternoon and my week's schedule re-written due to a couple inches of rain.

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