Strike two!

• Lightning strikes trees 10 feet and 13 years apart

According to conventional wisdom, lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. But Merlin and Penni Funk can testify that give it 13 years and it just might. On June 25, 2003, an elm tree on the north side of their Hillsboro home at the corner of Lincoln and First streets was struck; 13 years and three months later, lightning struck the tree 10 feet directly to the east of the first victim Sept. 23. The impact of the 2003 strike was memorialized by a Free Press photo (left photo) featuring the couple’s two children, Jacob, then age 3, and Hannah, then age 5. After this most recent strike, the children posed again (right photo). “It makes you wonder if something is attracting the lightning—we’ll have to do some scientific research,” Merlin joked. “Maybe it’s the sprinkle system by it. I have (sprinkler) heads right next to the first tree and the second tree.” Both strikes resulted in considerable tree bark being blowing off the trees and onto the street, but it appears both trees will survive. “It’s just amazing that lightning hit that close together,” Merlin said.

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