Wednesday, August 10, 2011

At The Front...

Yesterday appeared to be progressing like most days here in the bright and damp south. Intense heat during the day coupled with thick and heavy moisture hanging in the air, followed by slightly cooler evenings with the continuing humidity (which makes the slight dip in temperature virtually unnoticeable). The afternoon/evening of Tuesday, August 9th, showed me a sight I have caught here on the edge of the marsh only once before.

I was in need of some fresh air, and decided to bear with the heat and the wet. I never leave the condo without the camera when I head out for a walk of any length. There always seems to be something to see. I often see the same things here on the marsh in new ways. Sometimes those differences are subtle, but sometimes... My goal was to get some pictures of approaching storm clouds. Since moving east to the Georgia coast, I have developed a fascination with clouds. Maybe it was spawned by years of living under a blanket of smog in Los Angeles...who knows. The clouds here are massive puffs of depth, shadow, and varying shades of blue, pink, amber, and grey (depending on the weather). At times, I get mesmerized by how fast they can move. There is something so hypnotic about how they can shift and morph their shape, small silent explosions roiling out of the huge puffs of cumulus and cumulonimbus.

Through the glass doors to the screened porch, I had noticed a dimming of the sky. It was still day, but slightly overcast. A strengthening breeze had kicked up, as well. That breeze was a chief reason for deciding to take a stroll. I knew it would be toasty out, but the breeze would make it more bearable. There were also storm warning alerts on the TV. Nothing appeared to be out of the usual for that time of day. As I have mentioned before in some of my more recent posts, this time of year it is common for storm warnings to either not pay-off in the end, or for the warnings to be for other areas than ours. Camera in hand, I made my way to the usual spots. The pictures above and below are of my quick sojourn. Nothing very interesting beyond the usual calming view, and sounds of cicadas or the occasional squawk of a heron.

I returned to the condo with a few snappies, and a need for something cold to drink. The TV beeped it's warning again, and Glenn told me that a hefty storm band was headed our way. Sure enough, there was a thick green band moving our way, a heavy nucleic area of yellow and orange at it's heart. If it made it to us, we could be in for a bit of a slam. Interstate 95 is the decider with storms. If a storm is moving towards us, it can dissipate at the 95 because of sea breezes that meet it. It is such a let down when that happens. I curse I-95 on a regular basis at this time of year. The great 'Storm-killer'. However, this storm looked quite formidable, and I had doubts that the 95 would win against it. The great patch of green was moving at quite a clip. Before I knew it the sky grew quite dark causing streetlights to flicker on, and the wind kicked up considerably. I felt myself getting a tad excited. It looked like we were in for some serious weather.

From the time I returned home from my first trip outside, I don't think 20 minutes had passed when the dark clouds swiftly rolled in. They were really booking. Another walk to the marsh was absolutely in order, so I grabbed the camera again. Once out of the front door, I looked up to see the dark many layered clouds billowing overhead. I quickly walked toward the marsh with one goal in mind. To try and catch pictures of something I have only been able to witness once before. An actual storm front.

I was not to be disappointed.

The mixture of blues and greys within the swiftly moving clouds was really beautiful. I could see the headlights of cars get switched on against the approaching dark as they crossed the bridge from Tybee. The wind was getting stronger, and whipped around me, kicking up a stray leaf here and there and rustling the nearby vegetation around. I almost stepped on a small fiddler crab who waved his claws at me in a "Hey, I'm walkin' here!" fashion as he ran around a tree. I saw two different herons flap around looking for a good place to hunker down until things past. I was snapping picture after picture. Thunder started to crack through the rushing of the wind, and lightning made it's approach known with a few warning shots. It was really exhilarating being there underneath and inside it all. I felt kind of a part of it.

Witnessing something like that was so incredibly cool. I know the pictures can't do justice to actually being there, but I am very happy that I was able to be in the right place at the right time.

Gaia is a powerful gal...


  1. Hey Lisa: My new blog now lists your new blog.

    As for the link problem, it sounds like the url hasn't been updated. What I mean is although you edited the link the old link is still showing in your web browser because the page hasn't been refreshed since the update.

    I'm pretty sure that's the problem because I just went to your site & clicked on the link to my new blog and it worked.

    By the way I love watching storms, too, though with an element of fear now after the Alabama tornadoes this year. It is mesmerising to watch the clouds churn when a popup thunderstorm is developing... our new house is on the outskirts of town so now I can see more sky while cloudwatching.

  2. Oh good...I couldn't figure out what the problem was. One of those cases where I was pretty sure I was doing the right thing even though it was telling me I wasn't. Oh well...

    I think I get the same kind of zen feeling out of watching storms, as some people get by watching a fish tank, etc.

    I feel so bad for the people effected by the tornadoes, and so glad that you weren't hit. (I just heard a big thunder roll...right on...) When I lived in earthquake land, I always said that I feared tornadoes more than quakes. Quakes can really shake things up and cause massive damage, but tornadoes are like natures Cuisinart.