Storms at Sunset

Storm clouds at sunset, Cedar Park, Texas
We live in interesting times. If current events were not enough (!) there has been a rash of storms across the country recently that have come through just about sunset time. Last week, I was working at my computer when I got a text from some friends. Turns out some storm chasers I know had been visiting from Europe. As they were storm chasing, the got word of a major storm with, “insert lots of technical storm chasing details here,” about to hit very close to my house. When I say, “close,” I mean the text I got went something akin to this:
Them: “Hey, we are headed to Williamson County in Texas. Do you know where that is or whereabouts it might be? Is that like four or five counties over from you, right?”
Me: “Um, that’s actually the county where I live. WHAT’S GOING ON?”
Them: “Not much. We’ve stopped at a convenient store. To get, you know, snacks and stuff. They have good snacks here. Oh, yeah, and a big tornado is going straight towards your house. Hope you’re well. Say, ‘Hi,’ to the family in case we don’t see you, you get blown away or the like…”
Gee, thanks, guys! Thanks for the warning. I must confess, I don’t know which is worse, getting hit with a storm by surprise or getting to know there is a giant tornado barrel assing towards your home and you are a bit like a sitting duck. The good storm chasers warned me that my friendly neighborhood supercell had a mere 5% chance of turning itself into a giant tornado, complete with grapefruit sized hail balls and the like. Still 5% too much for my liking but there you have it. This is Texas and this is what we do. LeSigh.
One of the interesting things about tornadoes (if they can be said to have any “interesting” things about them at all) is that they make for nice weather. It’s true, really. The next day, the day after a tornado strikes? It’s almost always lovely, nice, sunny, you really can’t make this stuff up. Another thing about active and strong storms is that, especially when they come through around sunset time, I’ve learned from experience they make for the most beautiful sunsets. There’s just something about the sky, the way the sky looks, after a big storm comes through. Hard to explain, this is, but really very beautiful to experience.
I’ve always heard it said that the worst weather makes for the best images and there’s probably a lot of truth in that. The stormier the skies, the more interesting. The greyer the day the more fascinating, the more personality the images seem to have. Stuck in a blizzard? Prepare to get some great pictures out of that. It makes for some hard living but really great shots if you can manage it.
So, after the big twister missed my house, I ran outside with my camera. I didn’t have much time, as I was literally chasing light. I grabbed my shoes but didn’t even stop to tie the laces and I ran down (well, waddled actually but this is the Internets so “ran” it is unless you can prove otherwise) to my local park which also happens to be the nearest clearing from my house. It was still wanting to rain outside, a bit “drippy” as I like to call it. Moist. Yeah, that. My camera loves that (OK, no, it doesn’t but it makes me feel better to say it does.) I survived the drippy weather and waddled over to the park where I pulled off a bunch of frames as the sun made its way over the sky in a wonderful display of pink, purple, blue, yellow, and a bunch of other colors, some of which you see here.
I must now confess. I rather like storms at sunset. At least, they tend to make for interesting skies. I think it’s the skies I really like, not so much the storms but, I’ve learned, you really can’t have one without the other. At least, if I have to have the tornadoes, I really want the nice skies to go with them and I love getting to take pictures of that, even if it means running about with untied shoes just about the time it gets dark outside. I hope you’re enjoying your storms one way or another.
Until next time…

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