Sunday, July 03, 2016

Summer Trip to Minnesota Part 3

While in Minnesota, Michele's brother Kim pointed me to a tree in their back yard that had been struck by lightning a year or so earlier. The pattern of damage created by the lightning was unlike anything I had ever seen before.

Starting on a branch at the very top of the tree, there is a distinct pattern of missing bark that zig zags down the tree and ends about eight feet off the ground. The only part of the zig zagging pattern that looks burnt is the last foot or so. Here are a few shots of the lightning pattern with the first shot clearly showing the burnt section in the lower left corner:

This final shot gives a bit more perspective of the totality of the damage by showing most of the tree:

The owners of the tree believe the damage ends where it does because the lightning jumped from the tree to the shepherd's hook holding the bird house at the base of the tree. I didn't see any damage to the bird house or the shepherd's hook, but that hypothesis seems reasonable to me.