Tuesday, October 5, 2010

CRAZY lightning + Mumday interpreted

1. We had SUCH a crazy lightning storm night before last. Bear woke me up at 1 a.m. (HOW was I sleeping through it?!?) saying (Mr. Understatement) "There's quite a show, here."

This map is from an amazing program that is only available to folks involved in fire management, but I just grabbed a screen capture from a friend to SHOW it to you. SOOOO cool they can map these strikes. So, here's the storm:

Each tiny blue "-" or red "+" is a strike (with different charges). Normally there's space between the dots. Not this storm. CRAZY intense lightning. And this only measures GROUND strikes. All that cloud-to-cloud action is not recorded (I believe). As you might imagine, these data are SUPER helpful to fire folks as lightning starts are a pretty key ingredient in wildfire.

Just so you know I think about you, during the storm I tried to figure out (without a video camera (DRAT!)) how I could possibly convey the intensity of this lightning show. So, I started counting (biobabbler? counting?!?), e.g. "one thousand one, one thousand two..." etc. in between strikes.

A "!" means a single lightning bolt has flashed.

This is pretty much how it went:
"One th (!!!), one thou(!), one (!), o(!!), one thousand (!), one thousand one, o(!! !), o(!!), one th(!)" etc. I think I got to one thousand two maybe TWICE in 5 minutes. INSANE!!!! But it had very little thunder (maybe that's what you get with ground strikes, and this was cloud-to-cloud, mostly).

Talk about a workout for your pupils--blinding flashes of light interspersed with black night. Yow.

2. Mumday interpreted:

I like what the movement of Tenaya Lake did to the reflection of the clouds.

Blueberry plants (these), huckleberry plants (Mt. Rainier, e.g.) turn the MOST amazing colors in fall. Truly a spectacle. (sigh)

More fun cloud reflections. This cloud looks like it wants to take over the world.

Looks better big (vs. the "blog friendly" size here), but MAN is this landscape heaven to my eyes. I love rock and water. We spent probably 20 minutes here on our way through the park, headed toward the East Side, and at the end of this little side trip I announced "From here on out, everything else is gravy." SO happy here. Again: (sigh)

To get a sense for the SCALE of this place, the eastward descent toward 395, click on the picture, and see the TINY speck on the road? That's a CAR. I cannot IMAGINE building this road on what is basically a HUGE, temporarily withheld rock slide.

This picture barely captures it, but the clouds made the MOST amazing patterns of light and dark on the landscape. Just SO yummy.

I like clouds. And stormy clouds are so dynamic. Wonderful entertainment.

Don't know what this red plant is, but loved it on the WHITE tufa with the nutty stormy clouds behind. My kinda red white and blue. =)



  1. I really do like the uniqueness of your blog, bb! Keep at it. And, thank you for sharing a part of your natural world.

  2. @Nature ID: Wow, thanks so much =) I'm SUPER glad you enjoy it--I certainly do! xo

  3. All this is just fabulous! Loved the photos and your (ahem) "counting" of the lightning! NICE!

  4. OH! and I LOVE the lighting map.

  5. I think you conveyed the storm's intensity quite well! I'm impressed with how much lightening you had. I've only seen one really impressive storm here, out over Monterey Bay, about 12 years ago I think. Lit up the sky most of the night. Love your storm cloud photos, just gorgeous!

  6. Ever been in (or under) a storm where the lightning made hissing and crackling sounds? Completely worth the lost sleep. And it's a landscape for giants on the east side, isn't it?

  7. @ Melissa: =) So glad you liked it. And yes, I enjoyed the counting. =)
    @ CVF: I've only seen a storm like that once before, centered over Hell, Michigan 20 years ago. Frankly, I didn't know one could happen here. Silly.
    @CP: Indeed. Landscape for giants is the perfect description. It IS! No, I don't think I've heard the crackling. I don't remember--I take it you have?

  8. Hi BB, Looks like heaven to me too - so much clarity in your images, I could dip my toe in the water. Absolutely fabulous

    p.s. like the uniqueness and versatility of your blog

  9. @PatioPatch: So, really, is it Be Kind to Bloggers Week, and no one told me? THANK you. =) SO very glad you enjoy it. It IS heaven.

  10. Re: the crackling lightning--in College Park MD a couple years ago. It was a perfect Calvin and Hobbes situation, too. "What do you think? A thunderstorm, or a space alien ray gun invasion?"


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