“Oh no,” I said, “here comes another storm!” It showed up as “small” on radar and I didn’t think much of it. What arrived, however, was one of nature’s natural fireworks shows, and in time to close out the July 4th holiday; the small thunderstorm came through dry and full of lightning. Most of the lightning was cloud-to-cloud and there were plenty of what I call “crawlers” — discharges that appear to move in branches across the bottoms of the clouds. I was caught by surprise! I love shooting photos of lightning, or, at the very least, trying to capture those images. This was the perfect opportunity — no rain to get in the way or ruin my lenses — but all my gear was stowed! I quickly gathered camera and tripod and headed to my sheltered observing post. It was a great show though, with a storm this active, I didn’t know where to aim for the best shots. Out of maybe 150 exposures, I got a good number with at least some streaks of lightning; out of those, I’d managed to get a couple of good images. Displayed here is the best of tonight’s bunch.
We had a very nice, quiet Fourth of July. After sleeping in –a rare pleasure for this sleep-deprived fellow– we headed out for a four-mile hike on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park's Boston Run Trail. It's a woodland trail with paths ranging from packed earth to river gravel surface and terrain from rolling to hilly. Though it was a cool morning, the climbs quickly warmed us and we covered, probably, four miles. The photographic highlight came as we crossed a wooden footbridge over a quiet stream. There, flitting amongst the plants, were several damselflies. The lace-winged beauties alighted on green leaves, sat for a while near each other, then zipped off in singles or pairs possibly in a mating dance. This gave us many opportunities to photograph them. The "one that got away" was a beauty bearing a green iridescent abdomen. My photos just were not clear enough to show. I think the floater in my right eye is interfering with my manual focus and I can't trust the camera's auto-focus in situations like these: razor-thin depth of focus with sharp-edged objects surrounding the actual subject. The hike began under mostly clear, intensely-blue skies but when we emerged from the forest the sky was mostly cloudy.
After lunch at Burger King (a pretty fair BK Veggie) and a stop at PetSmart to stock up on canned food for Tasha, we headed home. Camera at hand, I shot a few photos in Her garden: flowers, a ladybug, and this tiny, really, really tiny, bee on the petal of an Asiatic Iris. For this kind of "wildlife" photography one needn't always go far.
She is making a dinner of veggie barbecued ribs (yes, it can be done), corn, and red, white, blue dessert (tapioca with strawberries and blueberries). I'll enjoy a glass or two of wine. Hoping for a fine, relaxing evening.