We had a gorgeous couple of days early last week: really blue sky, billowing white clouds, warm breezes and sunshine. It was perfect. The winds brought with them a change in the weather, though. Thursday's mugginess turned to leaden skies, and by midday the first thunderstorm of the season was upon us. Nora and I were returning from downtown and had a great view of the approaching storm from the elevated freeway. As we pulled into the school the first flash of lightning arced just beyond our campus walls (or so it seemed), so I hurried to prepare Nora for the thunder. I told her that we'd be hearing a big boom-boom-boom, but not to be scared; it was just like elephants walking around. Immediately the thunder rolled over us, and Nora buried her head in her hands: "I don't like elephants!" We made it home, getting drenched in the short walk from car to door. The storm lingered for several long, rumbling hours. Nora hid her face at every flash, but was as brave as she could be. We pulled the blinds and put on loud music to keep the scary stuff away.
The weekend brought cool days, lots of rain, and nothing but grey in every direction. It made Easter feel a whole lot like Easter in the Northwest, though, so it was rather homey (I even wore a sweater). Now and then, though, Nora would peek at the drizzling skies and say, "Elephants are scary," or, "I don't like bumblebees." This last part is a puzzle. Maybe it's how she's remembering the word thunder, or perhaps it's an association with lightning. Whatever it is, I'm afraid she'll be off bees and pachyderms for a while.
We also had a little excitement underfoot. Easter morning, about 6:40, Tim and I were shaken awake by another temblor, same location as before but not quite as strong (6.2). And again this morning, about 9:30, a weaker but nearer quake (4.8, in Chiayi) gave us a little jolt. I suppose it's good to release the built up pressure in a series of quakes like this, but it is a little unnerving. If the weather cooperates we plan to go camping in Taitung with some friends this week, so any more quakes will be right under our noses. I think, though, I'd rather be in a tent on the beach than just about anywhere else.
I didn't feel these last two quakes coming, by the way. I guess my career as a human earthquake prognosticator is dashed. Not a job I really wanted anyway. Too much pressure.