Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lightnin' Strikes

A couple of posts back I was mentioning the fact that we had not had any measurable rain in some time.  Shortly thereafter we started having a number of rain storms come through.  Some were just light showers but there were a few heavy downpours mixed in and we ended up getting a decent total of water.  Things are not nearly as crispy as they were.  The grass actually grew enough to need mowing and besides the creek still being a bit low, it doesn't seem now that we were ever that short of rain.  I don't know that it was enough to let us have a colorful fall this year, as many of the trees started dropping their leaves early, but perhaps it won't be too bad.
One night a thunderstorm came by us but not close enough that we got any actual rain.  I had been working late in the studio trying to get caught up from taking time out for the restoration job.  I was pretty much finished with what I wanted to do, so I turned out most of the lights and just sat in the open doorway watching the lightning from the storm off in the distance.  I had a little James Taylor and k.d. lang playing in the background and with the storm just close enough to still bring us the cool, stiff breezes, it was quite a sublime experience.
A lot of people don't like thunderstorms but I have always enjoyed them.  Other than their low pressure systems often bringing me some remarkable headaches, I find them quite enjoyable.  Some theories for this attribute the "high" many people feel around or after storms to the high levels of negative ions released by the lightning.  Same reason almost everyone enjoys going to the beach or vacationing in the mountains, especially around waterfalls and swift moving streams.  It's not just that these scenes are pretty, they release huge amounts of negative ions that work on our brains to produce a positive effect.  It's also why a nice, hot shower always makes you feel better. 

I don't particularly like high rise buildings, but I have speculated that being at the beach, a few floors up in a room with a balcony during a thunderstorm would be about as close to Nirvana as I could get.  lol!  It's something I'll have to work on!
I have especially enjoyed the storms this year around here though.  I guess because I have often felt so crappy and uninspired, the occasional storms and their mood-altering ions have been a most welcome lift and respite from my normal fog.  And yes, I have checked out the electronic ion generators that you can buy.  In fact, Jack purchased one type for me to try and I'll report back to ya'll after I've used it for a while.  After a bit of research I also discovered that the compact florescent light bulbs that were being pushed so hard produce positive ions, which have just the opposite effect, often giving folks headaches and contributing to depression.  I know it may horrify some granolas but I have always been wary of the CFLs because of the mercury they contain.  Not so much during the use of the bulb but what happens to it if they are not disposed of correctly, and you know many of them are not.  I think that may also be why people people are opting for LED lights now.  At any rate, I switched out all my CFs and after a couple of weeks there may have been some reduction in the number of headaches I have.  I really want to build a cool water feature that contains a waterfall on the patio area behind the house also.  Nothing huge but still more than a couple of gallons.  Just have to keep the chickens from pooping all around it!  Maybe the back yard will eventually include a fence. Ha!
So, we'll see.  Not a tremendous amount of stuff going on around here but I'll try to be back with some photos and such before long.  Or maybe just some more rambling.  I hope everyone out there is doing well and enjoying whatever kind of weather you need at the moment.


Ed said...

I love thunderstorms... when I'm sitting under a roof that is. When outside in one, I'm as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs! It might have something to do with the negative ions because I love the smell of a thunderstorm while it is happening and then that damp fresh smell afterwards from all the rain.

I quickly adopted the CFLs when they came out because I was so tired of changing lightbulbs on a regular basis. With the CFLs, I never had to change them except in one socket of one particular ceiling fan which must have had an internal electrical issue causing it to fail early. But I never liked them. It seemed like we were trading energy for the less efficient incandescent for the less environmental CFLs. Plus the CFLs played havoc on my ability to listen to over the air radio, especially NPR stations on the AM side of the dial. Last year I started buying LED's for everything and have much of them replaced. The few that I still have that are CFLs are specialty lights in which LEDs aren't yet an option.

ErinFromIowa said...

I never went for the CFLs simply because of how horrible regular florescent lights make me feel. Then I found out about the mercury and that was that. I use LEDs.
I too love thunderstorms for all the reasons you and Ed listed. I watch them from my third floor west facing windows.The cluster of oak trees across the street have a Maxfield Parrish type cutout in the center of the branches. Perfect for viewing sunsets, fireworks and thunderstorms!

pablo said...

I LOVE thunderstorms. My dog, however, is terrified.

JO said...

I love thunderstorms and we have had a few lately. Fred will just look up at me and I tell him it's OK and he relaxes.

I never liked the CFLs either. When I mentioned the mercury I got the stupidest responses, like there isn't enough mercury in one bulb to harm anything... We aren't talking about 1 we are talking thousands. I bought one pkg before I new about the mercury and that was it.

edifice rex said...

Hey Ed! Yeah, I guess I should have specified that I enjoy storms when I am safe in a shelter! I've been caught outside in a number of them and that was not quite as enjoyable.
I'll probably start going with the LEDs when they become just a bit more affordable.

Hey Erin! Oh, that sounds great to have a view like that!

Hey Pablo! Yeah, I know several dogs that are terrified of the storms too. Have you ever tried one of those thundershirts for the dog? I assume it's Flike?

Hey Jo! Yeah, the cumulative effect of the mercury is the problem mostly because you know most people are just going to throw them in the trash when they go bad.

texasann said...

I, too, love thunderstorms. Even have a cd of rain and thunder, building from birds singing to tiny singular drops plopping, upwards to a full blown frog-strangler. Takes about 35 minutes total, then out come the frogs croaking and you realize they weren't strangled after all! Great relaxation, if you ask me. But, Mom is terrified of any loud noises, fireworks, guns on tv, etc. She has a little cave in her walk-in closet to where she retreats with ear plugs during a storm. Don't know where that uneasiness comes from....

edifice rex said...

Hey Ann! That CD sounds great! I may have to look for something like that.
Your Mom may have misophonia. I have a slight problem with it and certain noises really mess with me. Loud gunshots and such are one of the worst. I will almost have a panic attack. There is some evidence that misophonia is a neurological disorder.