Thursday, August 25, 2011


We have been in a drought for the longest time. We have had so little rain that there are cracks in the ground big enough to swallow a small dog. We normally have our field cut for hay, and it's grown so little this summer that there's probably not even enough for one bale. People have been praying for rain for months. The governor even held a prayer meeting at the stadium downtown.

Our science topic for this week is electricity, and the nature walk part of it was to witness a thunderstorm and observe the lightning. Now, normally in the Houston summer, we have thunderstorms all the time. The afternoon heat and humidity almost inevitably grows some impressive thunderheads, and we get 10-minute deluges all the time. But not this year.

Until today.

Today, we were supposed to do our nature walk. I already had a youtube link ready for us to view. But this morning, the sky grew darker and darker. We had to turn on the lights in our school room. We began to hear thunder in the distance. It got louder and louder. Then, suddenly, it hit. The rain came down so heavy we could hardly see out the windows. The wind blew so hard the rain was blowing sideways - or at least at an 80 degree angle. It really seemed like tropical storm force winds and rain to me (and yes, I have experienced that before too a few times). The neighbor's trampoline was blown halfway across their yard and flipped upside down.

And the lightning!  Everywhere! Again and again and again! We turned off the computers and unplugged everything and then stared out the windows. Electricity exemplified!

It lasted about 30 minutes at the worst, I think. Our power only blinked off once, and we had one lightning strike simultaneously with the thunder boom. Then the storm continued past, the winds dropped, and the rain lessened. It still rained for another hour or two, to a lesser extent - a wonderful blessing to our ground and vegetation and wildlife.

And we had a very impressive first-hand science lesson. Rebekah's drawing of the storm was beautiful and heartfelt.

What a wonderful, educational day!

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