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Picture of the Day
Thursday
December 6, 2018



Excerpted text from Two Years
                                Before the Mast, recounting Corpus
                                Sancti, what appears to be ball
                                lightning
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Dana was intended as a proto-muckraking exposé of sailors' hard use by miserly owners and abusive captains, and it did do some good to that end, but now 180 years later it still reads fresh and opens a window on a relatively recent time when it took months of death-defying travel to get from Boston to California.

« This passage struck me because I too had first-hand experience of a corposant (a neat contraction of corpus sancti). It was the tail end of the single most memorable day of my life, while riding in back of pickup truck being taken by strangers to unknown fate, that I saw a ball of neon yarn unfurl across the sky, scrawling a trail of electric fire. I expressed my amazement at what I'd seen to our impromptu hostesses but Crystal brushed it off, "Oh, that's just bawwl lightnin'." No big deal.

This occured after an intense late summer thunderstorm, a common occurence because of the topography. So if you ever hope to see it, you might do worse than to visit Lake Wallace.