Thursday, July 15, 2010

God Put on a Show Tonight

This evening,  Suzy and I were trying to discuss plans for our big party coming up, when God stepped in and said, "Shut up, I want to show you something."

I was trying to say something, and I kept interrupting myself with "Wow!" Or "All Right." And paying attention out the sliding door.

Suzy, of course, being the dutiful wife, would be looking at me and away from the sliding door, so she didn't get to say "Wow!" Or "All Right."

When God interrupts, it's a good idea to take notice, so we opened the sliding door, took two chairs out to the porch and sat watching the lightning storm east of us over the Dragoon Mountains.

Now, I consider myself a pretty good photographer. I've photographed grizzly bears, caribou, rivers and waterfalls. I've captured fireworks and rainstorms. I can get close to flowers and lizards. But I've never photographed lightning, and tonight was no exception.

But at least we sat out and saw the display. There were vertical lightning bolts, there were some that seemed nearly horizontal, there were some that seemed to be half circles on the way down. Some flashes were behind clouds, but most were right out in front. Most flashes were single line, but they were outclassed by the occasional multi-forked shots, looking like Neptune's trident striking at the earth.

There was little thunder noise at first, but after about twenty minutes we began to hear a little rumbling. The storm seems to have come from New Mexico and was trying to build up enough enthusiasm to be part of our Monsoon rainy season.

Another sight we have from our front porch is Interstate 10 coming west down from the Dragoons. So many headlights flowing this way, seeming to be fleeing the electricity from the sky.

Now at 8:15, our sky overhead is reflecting the bolts, and the storm is definitely creeping our way. Not stealthily, but openly, like an invading army. And the flashes are getting brighter and more frequent. The thunder is breaking over our home, and a few raindrops have hit the awning.

Hey wait! I did get one photo of lightning!

(The squiggly color at the bottom is not fire. I had to hand hold the camera for 30 seconds, so that's local lights getting all shook up!)

It's 8:45 now, and the show is right above us, bright and loud, and the rain is falling to beat the band. The storm will continue moving west, but we'll get the benefit of the rain!

Thank you, God, for the wonderful light and sound show! And, of course, for the life-giving rain.What a blessing for ... our Life on Wheels!


  1. I'm sure that was a beautiful display you guys had going down there in Benson. Your one pic of the lightening bolt was great. Desert storms are pretty interesting to observe...minus any flash flooding of course.

    Enjoy your weekend.

  2. Jerry, you have a special gift for using words to describe the scenario. We don't usually get those kinds of lightning storms here in the northwest. I have experienced them in Colorado, Alberta, Canada, and of course, good old Iowa.

    I'm so happy that you posted that wonderful picture!

  3. Great post!! You got a good shot of the lightning. I can only imagine the beautiful show God put on for you two.

    Take care!
    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  4. Nothing like a free show to brighten up an evening. We don't get much thunder and lightning up here on Vancouver Island, hardly ever in fact. So, it was nice to read your description of it and that photo of the lightning bolt was terrific!

  5. Yes, photographing lightning can be a real hit & miss affair alright. Easiest way is to mount camera on a tripod & focus on a section of sky where lightning has been happening. Set the cam on 'B' for bulb which keeps the shutter open for as long as you want. After lightning occurs in the focused area either close the shutter (old 35mm talk) or leave it open for more lighning strikes & by the time you close the shutter you may well have multiple lightning strikes in one photo. Too many people try to snap a lightning pic as it happens but unless your faster than lightning you will be disappointed with the results. Photographing lightning requires a lot of patience as well.

  6. Your verbal description is almost as good as photos, as you have a wonderful command of the English language, Jerry! And sometimes it's nice just to sit back and enjoy watching something without a camera in front of your face. Thanks for sharing this wonderful light show.

  7. We had a great lightening display at Aho, AZ one evening. There are just some things I don't attempt to photograph..lightening is one of them..Of course I don't own a tripod either. Sometimes it's just nice to sit back and "take a picture" with your mind..and develop it as a memory.

  8. Yep, I also love the way you describe things. Love your lightning pic. It does look like fire in the bushes below.



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