Great balls of fire

About 7 years ago, I had the opportunity to go to Yellowstone Park. In all our travels through the park, I was on full moose alert. I peered into every marsh we passed, but never saw one. How elusive can an animal the size of a fully loaded mini-van be?

Despite my unfortunate mooseless experience, I’ve never doubted their existence. I may be skeptical about sasquatches, UFOs, chupacabras, and the Loch Ness monster, but the anecdotal evidence of moose is pretty overwhelming.

This morning, I didn’t expect to be inducted into the crowd of one in thirty people to experience a phenomenon that even scientists cannot explain: ball lightning. The light is described as being tennis ball size. It can hover, streak, swoop, and move about erratically. In the pre-dawn darkness, that is exactly what my friend and I saw.

The creepy thing is that it seemed to be watching us. Each time the dog started barking at it, it would swoop into the air, then dive down behind the bank of our nature trail, only to rise up again a minute or two later. We watched it for ten minutes before it disappeared for good. About twenty minutes later, there was a crack of what sounded like thunder that rattled the house.

If I sound a little smug and self-satisfied at having witnessed a rare phenomenon, it’s only because I’m normally stuck squarely in the majority of people who always choose the wrong checkout line in the supermarket, get the worst parking spot at the mall, and at some point in their lives, find a cockroach in their underwear (but that’s another story).

Just so I don’t get too uppity about this rare sighting, I would love to hear about any weird phenomenon that you have witnessed or experienced. If you’ve seen a ghost, won the lottery, or been gored by a moose, please share with the class. Otherwise, I stand in imminent danger of developing the big head and bragging to my friends until they want to poke an ice pick in their ears.

10 thoughts on “Great balls of fire

  1. I would be afraid if I saw ball lightning because it sounds unpredictable. The most unusual thing I have witnessed happened when my granddaughter was two years old. We were at a friends house who gave her permission to go upstairs and find a toy in her daughter’s room. I looked up to see my granddaughter trying to carry a doll house almost as big as she was down the stairs. I screamed at her to stop but it was too late. She fell. While she was in mid air it looked like an invisible hand grabbed her and put her back on the top of the stairs. I was staring in disbelieve but ever since that day I’ve believed in angels.

    • I was half expecting it, but I still would have disgraced myself if any little people emerged.

  2. How cool is this! I’ve never seen one and would love to. I have, however, seen more than one moose in Yellowstone. Not the friendliest guys. Seem to keep a distance from other wild life.

  3. I’ve heard of ball lightning, but never seen it.

    I have, however, had many a time when I’ve had the pleasure to watch moose. They’re a magnificent animal.

    Incidentally, when photographing moose, make sure you’ve got film in your camera. Otherwise you’ll have shot twenty four terrific pictures of a mother and her yearling and think you’ve got the greatest shots of your life, only to discover… the damned camera has no film.

    • I only recently switched to this new modern device that takes digital pictures. I thought I was the last holdout still using film.

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