No, I was excited because I knew that when I woke up this morning, the farm would have turned green overnight. While there have been whispers of green, and the animals have been out finding at least a little to eat, this morning it was like an emerald blanket had covered some of the drabness winter had left behind.
So, how did I know it would be refreshingly green this morning as the thunder rolled through yesterday evening? Did YOU ever notice that things look fresher and greener after a good storm? It's not your imagination!
Nitrogen is the major element in fertilizers that makes plants grow and take on a bright green, healthy look. Nitrogen comes in many forms- from Miracle-Gro for your houseplants to the chemicals sprayed in non-organic farming systems. But there are lots of natural sources of nitrogen as well- compost, fish meal, blood meal, feather meal, pretty much anything used as a fertilizer has nitrogen to make plants green and grow. In natural ecosystems, nitrogen returns to the soil through manure, through bacteria during decomposition (of both dead animals and plants), certain plants' roots put nitrogen into the soil, and...by lightning. Yep, when lightning hits the ground, it takes some of the nitrogen that occurs naturally in our atmosphere and fixes it in the ground, in a more useable form, where it is now made available to the plants in the area. (If you want to get more scientific, you can check out what Wikipedia has to say on the matter.) So thunderstorms have a double effect on plants- obviously, they bring water to fields and forests, but each lightning strike is like a shot of fertilizer to all the plants in the vicinity. While these storms can bring destruction- high winds, lightning strikes to trees and buildings- they are also a powerful source of renewal. And it explains why, on a morning after an April shower, things look and smell fresh and new and green.