Mother Nature put on her own fireworks display last night. I didn't even have to leave the mountain to see it. And apparently, one day of July 4 celebration wasn't enough for Mother Nature, so she's planning a repeat showing for tonight.
Virtually all yesterday afternoon southern Pennsylvania was under a tornado watch, and the day kind of had that feel about it--the woods were still, the air heavy, not a leaf moving most of the time. The sky was threatening all day, but it wasn't just the look of the sky that made me uneasy. When tornado potential is high, there's also a "something else," some ancient animal instinct, perhaps, that warns every sense in my body to watch out. The day had that feel of potential trouble to it, but on Roundtop it never progressed into a full-scale run-for-cover senstation of imminent danger.
In the evening one or two tornados were reported within 10-12 miles of me, but apparently none touched the ground, so no damage resulted. It's not just tornadoes that set off my own personal radar. I've had the same thing happen before hurricanes and very strong winter storms, too. I expect that sensation is likely some function of unusual and changing air pressure, if you want the logical and scientific explanation. However, I prefer to think of it as the same animal awareness that once warned my ancestors of danger and is today a small but real connection to the anonymous forebears of all of us.
This morning the woods are soupy with moisture, the building blocks for a repeat performance of yesterday's fireworks later today. You can see the "soup" in this morning's photo. Once I saw this photo next to one taken just 2-3 weeks ago, I also saw that the shade of green in the woods is already darkening from the bright green of spring to the deeper, richer shade of mid-summer. The wheel of the year is turning.