Did I experience a lightning strike? Was my digital camera fried? It seemed to be OK. The realization of this event was exhilarating, but frightening. I stepped back for a moment, then remembered that there were some amazing blasts to try and capture with the camera. I went again to the window to repeat the process. As I touched the window frame again, I felt the tingle of electricity. “OK, I’m getting out of here,” I thought, as sense was beginning to take over and I couldn’t deny that the situation was unsafe.
The place was truly surrounded by an intense electrical storm. I got on the phone to warn some friends who were camping in a tent an hour away. It was no doubt irritating to wake them up so late, but I was concerned for anyone who would have been directly exposed to this concentration of lightning. I encouraged them to take shelter.
I don’t know for sure if I was zapped by lightning. I know that the sky has a lot of energy to discharge and was probably unloading some electricity on our house, contemplating a full-on burst of lightning wherever it would find the path of least resistance. If our house would have been ground zero for the bolt, I probably wouldn’t be writing this, but somewhere at that moment, the lightning seemed to be within reach. The reality of this was evident. A few minutes later, a house was reportedly hit by lightning and the fire department dispatched since the smell of smoke had filled the home.
I’m not sure if I was the hunter or the hunted. I took dozens of shots later into the night, but this time, I didn’t capture that bolt of lightning, only an interesting story to tell.