Monday, June 3, 2013

Storm Chaser...

"Some are weather-wise, some are other wise." -Benjamin Franklin

Yesterday I did my first storm chasing.  One of the ladies in our photo club takes these gorgeous, and awesome pictures of storms.  They are incredible really.  I asked her if she would call me during the next storm so we could take pictures together.  She said she would, and true to her word, she called me yesterday morning.  "There's going to be a big, wonderful storm tonight," she told me.  Really, are you sure?  As we were talking, I went to the window to look outside.  It was gorgeous out--not a cloud in the sky, not much wind, and a nice temperature. How could there be a storm coming?  She said it would hit between 9 pm and midnight.  It did not seem possible that a storm was coming, but I was game.  I called my other photographer friend, Stephanie,, to see if she would like to go with me.  She did.  My storm chasing friend lives in the country just outside of Dexter.  Let me tell you, it was pitch black around her house.  We decided to go to Bottomless Lakes to catch some good lightning.  We set up on the side of the road after checking for snakes.
We found one in the road, and ran over it.  Hmmm.  Looks like I missed photographing the head.   Well, it was very dark out, and I was afraid it still might be alive, and I did not want to get bitten.  This looks like a rattlesnake, but I do not think it is.  There are not rattles on the tail, which I did get in the photo.
We were not there long when we could see a black moving mist coming upon us.  The wind got suddenly cold as well as hot, and we decided that we had better get out of there fast.  That is perfect tornado weather, cold and hot air mixing.  We were just in front of the storm, and arrived at her house when the wind and dust really hit full force.  It was horrible.  We set up on her back porch where the wind was blocked by her house.   I did learn how to photograph lightning which I did not know how to  do before.   Our cameras, and our bodies (clothing included) had a nice film of dirt on them by the end of the night.

My first capture of lightning.  I was very excited.

The camera was on a tripod, so the spot was the same.  Notice the difference in cloud structure.  Flat clouds like this are what tornados come out of.  At least, that is what my grandfather who lived in Oklahoma told me.  

I changed location here.  There seemed to be more lightning in the new spot.  

This lightning was way up in the clouds.  Interesting how the sky color changes.

I changed location again.  The storm was moving on.  We decided to pack it up and go home.  I got home at 1 a.m.
The storm was pretty far away.  We never heard any thunder to go along with the lightning.  We can have some pretty scary thunder and lightning storms around here.  We were careful not to be out in the open.  It seems Roswell got all the rain.  There was none where we were, so we did not have to worry about keeping our cameras dry.  I will say there were times when it was very eerie out, but it was fun, and I learned a lot.  Now I have to figure out a good, safe location for me to shoot storm pictures in Roswell.


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