We have been having severe afternoon storms. On Saturday, I experienced one of those bright flashes and a simultaneous crack of thunder, as chunks of bark pelted the front door. I opened the door to check the Ponderosa pine. It had been struck by lightning. I could smell burning wood and fresh pine.
This was the largest tree in this part of our yard.
Hunks of bark littered the area around the tree.
Some of the pieces were thrown almost 100 feet.
Mr. Dreamy and I began speculating about how old the tree was.
Trees in this part of Colorado just don't grow all that fast.
We went online and checked Google Earth where you can see
historical imagery if it is available.
Here is a recent satellite view of our home.
The tree that was hit is circled.
So, let's take a look back through the ages
to see if we can get an idea of the tree's age.
Here is the house in 2010.
The house has a blue tarp on the roof.
(I still find blue tarp 'strings' when I work in the yard!)
No one lived there anymore.
The owner gave up the property around 2008.
Shortly after this the bank began preparations to sell the property.
They had the roof repaired, and not long after, we purchased the home.
Yes, the tree is there.
Here is the property in 2007.
A new owner had purchased the house.
He made a lot of improvements inside and out.
Do you see all of the 'dots' in the yard between the
house and the white building (the barn)?
Those were 25 large trees he had recently planted.
Sadly, the new owner's wife passed away.
He sold the house sometime before this photo was taken
(All of the trees subsequently died.)
Yes, the Ponderosa is there.
This photo shows the house in 1999.
The 'barn' (the white square)
consists of 2 stalls only.
At some point after this picture was taken,
the barn was expanded to include a garage on the left side,
and white pipe fencing was added to enclose a paddock.
The tree is there.
We have heard conflicting reports about our property before our home was constructed in 1994. We have heard that the original farm house was near where the barn is currently located. We have also heard that our current home was built on the same plot of land as of the original house.
This view from 1956 confirms that the original house was closer
to where our barn is currently located.
The row of trees provides a good landmark.
In the more recent photos, those trees are just west
and slightly in front of the barn.
Not too coincidently, I am always picking up nails and glass
in the area where the original house stood!
I added a copy of this shot, with labels, below.
The tree shows in this shot, too!
And the first available aerial photo from 1937...
If you look straight down from the little house on the left of the drive….
There's our tree!
How sad. A tree that was over 75 years old was struck by a random bolt of lightning, and in all likelihood won't live on. Nature is a cruel mistress, indeed!
As I received several comments about not knowing Google could do this, I thought it might be helpful to provide information so you can search areas back through time.
First you must download Google Earth. (Different from Google the search engine). It is free.
Once you have it downloaded and open it, there is a box in the upper left corner where you can enter a location, address, city, whatever. You will 'fly' to that location.
On the upper toolbar there is an icon that looks like a clock surrounded by a green arrow pointing around the clock face going counter clockwise. If you hover over the icon it will say, "Show historical imagery…." Clicking on it will open a slider that shows the beginning and ending date of images from the area you are viewing. The white vertical lines on the slider bar are the points where images are available. Here is a screen shot from my search:
It's a great way to see the world!