On Strike


Purple Flower from Summer of 2010 – Click for Desktop version

Today I was struck by lightning. Someone asked what it felt like. The fact that they could ask me what it felt like, or rather that I could reply, tells you all is well.

In answer to the question: it felt like about three times the full 10,000 voltage of the electric fence charger across my chest and shoulders. I have touched the output of the fence energizer when the fence wires were not connected so I have something to compare to this experience.

My perceptions, not necessarily in proper order:

It hurt. I said ouch!

My palms slammed hard against my chest – apparently the voltage went more through my biceps than my triceps, constricting my muscles and pulling my arms in tight.

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My ears rang a bit. I could feel the traces across my back, along my spine and down my arms.

I saw a white blue flash but am not sure of what I saw – circuits are over loaded at this time. Please call back later.

Hope been looking at me and saw the electric sparks shoot out of my finger tips. I was doing my sorcerer’s imitation – SHAZAM!

Outdoors: 50°F/30°F Intense Thunder and Lightning Storm, Snow, 1″ Rain, Hail, First spring peepers
Tiny Cottage: 72°F/62°F Windows open almost all the time now.

Daily Spark: Pi proves you don’t have to be rational to make a difference.

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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26 Responses to On Strike

  1. David Lloyd Sutton says:

    Sincerely hope you don’t have any long term effects, Walter. Sounds like you are one lucky man!

  2. et says:

    Glad to hear you survived. Not an experience to ask for, but interesting….

  3. Lindsey says:

    Holy Buckets.
    You are the first person I have ever heard who has been struck by lightening.
    I’m glad you’re okay! And what a story!!!

    • Maybe I should start buying lottery tickets. I’ve always thought of that as being about as likely as, well, as being struck by lightning! But, given that I’m such a lucky guy… Hmm… No, I’ll invest my pennies in farming. That’s a more sure bet. :)

  4. I’m glad you’re okay! What an experience.

  5. kelly says:

    Glad that all is well. You are one lucky man. I don’t know if you believe in God, or a higher power, but this might be a good time to give a little thanks.

  6. Michael says:

    Sounds like you got quite a charge out of it.

  7. Glenn Warren says:

    Holy ShaZammm; I’m glad you are talking about it. It isn’t said enough, I appreciate your presence and am very pleased you will be able to carry on with your grand project(s).

  8. Michaele says:

    Not many people around that can actually describe being hit by lightening. It must have seriously hurt! Your poor wife and daughter – watching it.

  9. Karl says:

    Glad you survived! You still need to go see a doctor electrical burns are deceptive, and the voltage can mess up you heat beat. The burn may not look bad at the entry and exit but inbetween you can get a lot of damage.

  10. johnl says:

    Glad to hear you survived that, Walter. Must have been a frightening experience for you all. Leaves you open to lots of dodgy puns though.

  11. Jeff Marchand says:

    Wow I am very glad you survived. You are very lucky. Must be all that clean country living. You have given me lots of good advice now let me return the favour.:

    When its thundering STAY INDOORS!

    • Actually, the irony is that I was indoors. We’re very careful to not be outdoors during lightning storms since we live high on a mountain with copper veins and we also don’t use the plumbing or appliances during storms. The storm had seemed to have had passed. We hadn’t gotten any thunder in a long time so I though the coast was clear. Next time I’ll wait even longer.

  12. J Jaeger says:

    Eeek! So glad you are okay. What an experience – for you AND for your wife and daughter. I’m thinking you should pick up a lottery ticket just once and see what happens :-).

  13. Duck says:

    My dad was struck by lightning once when he was younger. He was milking a cow and it hit a metal water pipe or something, it traveled through the cow and into him. His heart beat was funny for a couple days, and the doctor said if it didn’t go back to normal that he’d have to be shocked again to set it straight! Nothing like adding insult to injury with a defibrillator immediately after a lightning strike…
    Thankfully everything went back to normal and he survived and all is well. Glad you made it too! Man can’t even come close to producing the amount of electricity in a single lightning bolt – to think there are actually people that survive being hit by such a powerful force too. What a relief!

  14. bob says:

    Yikes! Somebody up there must have some chores They still have in mind for you! Glad it worked out like it did, considering the alternative.

  15. Michael says:

    Walter, do you have a lightning rod on the tiny cottage?

    • We don’t. The tiny cottage is nestled into a nook in the rock of the mountain and the mountain is a lightning rod since it has copper veins as well as iron. I suspect that the little bit of the lightning bolt that got to me actually came up from the ground rather than down from the sky. Fortunately I only got a tiny side shoot and not the full bolt!

      My understanding with lightning rods is that they help to dissipate the electrical charge in the surrounding area making strikes less likely on the building and give a path down to ground that is not through the building. I have seen lightning rods that had been struck and burnt out. The metal was evaporated away.

      Our maple sugar bush main lines were supported with heavy steal cables. A lightning bolt once hit a tree high on the mountain and traveled down the main line cables evaporating hundreds of feet of the cable and throwing pieces of it all over the place. What a mess!

  16. Nance says:

    Shazam! Wow, what a story. I would like to hear Hope’s account of it — what she was seeing and thinking. I took an electrical charge, once, riding an old roller coaster at an amusement park. I was barefooted and my hands gripped tight to the grab bar. I lived to tell about it but was out of kilter a few days.

  17. Rhenda Pence says:

    Thank God you are okay. That’s really frightening!

  18. ErikZ says:

    Interesting. That means you have to install a conductive pole (floor to ceiling) inside your house to make it a more attractive target than you.

    • I don’t think so. The charge that came to me came up through the mountain ledge to the rebar of our cottage. What I need to do is put a power ground that ties to that. A project for this summer. Right now the ground is still frozen.

  19. Walter, we are so very happy that you are allright. What an awesome miracle that you are still with your family. Has it made you think much about the “what ifs ?”. It was indeed a near death experience you had. And really you must go see your Dr for a checkup. What happened to you was very very serious. Take care OK. ? And next storm…go hide under the bed with the dogs allright ?

  20. Duke says:

    Great balls of fire! Glad your doing okay after that bit o excitement!

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