Between the storms

_C1_8531.JPGThis month has brought a whole lot of rain: more than 7 inches so far this month, with another 8 (!) possible between now and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Yesterday’s storm swept away a homeless camp in Fayetteville, caused other flash flooding and caught houses on fire with its lightning, and that was with only 3 inches of rain. The ground is almost completely saturated, so be careful of all the runoff this weekend, and especially don’t drive through it.

The pauses in the mayhem, on the other hand, have brought great chances to see local waterfalls at their full power. The one above is a cascade at one end of Lake Wedington, which sits in a nearby patch of the Ozark National Forest. I took an early morning hike on the trail along the lake’s edge Sunday, my first time there.

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_C1_8524.JPGThe waterfall drains the lake around the trail’s halfway point and was absolutely gushing, tumbling 50 or so feet and throwing off curtains of mist. The torrent blocked me from going any further — the trail continues somewhere on the other side of this mist. But I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

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_C1_8642.JPGToday brought another break in the rain, so I hurried down to Devil’s Den State Park this evening. Some of the waterfalls there are going as strong as I’ve seen.

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By this weekend, the falls might look more like this. Stay dry, everyone.

And at the risk of being way too presumptuous or commercial, if you all like any images in this or other posts, you can get prints of some of them (in much higher resolution) here. It might take a few days after a post for the photos to appear, but I keep it pretty up to date. Feel free to tell me which, if any, you’d like to have available.

Thanks for looking,

Dan

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Hey, Lightning, It’s Been Too Long

_C1_2003The wind had slowed but the air was restless. Huge ribbons of cloud swept across the sky, framing stripes of inky black dotted with tiny but fiercely blue pinpricks.

The wind quickened. Chains clanged against flag poles. From the northwest lightning flashed silently, hidden within the clouds’ translucence. Then from the southwest. Then from the south. Flashes like camera bulbs, one after another with hardly any pause between. Still no thunder.

The wind gusted, blowing the first raindrop right in my eye. More drops fell, tapping the concrete and the grass. The first rumble of thunder.

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I love storms. Living in Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and now Arkansas means no shortage of them, but oh, how I’ve missed them. Their energy always has made me giddy.

I tried capturing some of this first spring storm. I hope these few are OK, but I have a lot more skill with people and buildings than with the unpredictable speed of lightning. I have a few hundred frames of nothing but black.

_C1_2758Most of the others are a bit blurry — my mistakes. But I love storms enough to share my attempts. I was interested in how these clouds were torn apart, their depths lit by blue bolts. And there were so many bolts, more than I’ve seen in a long time.

_C1_2688And out in this storm was a crew of highway workers. This afternoon a worker fell from the Interstate 540 bridge over Porter Road. He was conscious and alert when the firefighters and ambulances got there, but his injuries were severe, a fire department captain told me. I don’t know his name or how he is now.

More than 100 road workers die each year in their work zones. Give him your good thoughts, if you’re so inclined, and be careful out there.

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Thanks for looking.

Dan