When the thunderstorm began, I shut down all the electronics. I don't trust the grounding in this house. It was a bit surprising to have a thunderstorm this early in the year. Afternoon was all tumbling clouds and soft mist, and then there was a sudden flurry of hail and the sky lit up and the windows rattled with the first boom. It continued for an hour, with furious gusts of wind that sent the woodpeckers flying for cover on the lee side of the utility pole. The lawn was white with hailstones, and the rain dashed from the overflowing eave gutters to splash loudly on the walk. It was quite splendid. The clouds began to break up in the west just after sunset, and a wide swath of deep blue sky opened, revealing the thin rind of the waxing moon. Now the clear sky is filled with bright stars, and the cold air smells of wet grass and wood. Tomorrow might be sunny, but the clouds will be back by Wednesday. Maybe February will begin with another thunderstorm.