In the wee small hours of this morning, I found myself cuddling my terrified little girls, as a fierce and unusual storm, raged around us. Little Mudlet was literally shaking like a blancmange, whilst her older sister was curled up with her eyes squeezed tightly shut and fingers wedged firmly in her ears. I could hear torrential rain pummeling my garden, aided and abetted by the wind, and I wondered what I would find in the cold light of day.
The storm last night was one of the most unusual ones I have ever witnessed. There would be 5 or 6 flashes followed by one long rumble of thunder, almost as if what we were seeing was lightning from various storms around us, the sound from which was arriving just split seconds apart, resulting in what sounded like one solitary, if drawn out, clap of thunder. Either way, it was both a breathtaking and scary display, with some of the brighter flashes giving the illusion of daylight and bringing with them the worry that with what appeared to be so many storms raging around the village, a lightning strike was a very real possibility.
The storm lasted for over two hours but had moved far enough away for the girls to go back to bed about 1.5 hours after I had heard the first frightened calls of ‘Mummy!’ Little Mudlet climbed into bed with her sister and they cuddle into to each other and eventually drifted back off to sleep, to the soothing sound of the dawn chorus which was periodically interrupted by the last few flashes and distant rumbles, as the storm moved on towards Hull.
This morning there is little if any sign of damage in the garden and in fact, the garden is looking much fresher and green, a common phenomenon after an electric storm. I understand that this positive side affect is due to the fact that the electrical charge and the heat generated during these storms, enables the nitrogen in the air to bond with oxygen. This then falls to earth in the rain, as nitrogen oxide and this then enables the plants to take up the nitrogen which is an essential nutrient.
I get the feeling, however, that the Mudlets would rather I applied Nitrogen using land based means rather than Mother Nature doing the honours using her noisier, if more spectacular methods.