It can take over twenty years for a slash pine to reach impressive heights and size, but only a millisecond to kill it from a lightning strike. That is exactly what happened to the slash pine in the photo, but not once but twice!
The first strike hit more than 8 years ago, the lightning attracted to its moist trunk and sap found it. The sap hardened and the tree stood as a testament to nature’s power. A few years later the tree became a landmark and a great location for a bat house, although in the five years that I have walked past the tree I have never seen a bat or any sign of bats.
Last month lightning found its old friend again during a late afternoon thunder buster, splintering its trunk from top to bottom. Large pieces of slash pine were found more than 75 feet from the tree.
The second photo was shot today, dry rot and termites are already hard at work. Its just a matter of time before all that is left is the base of the trunk, but nature makes due and creates new life.