Thursday, June 03, 2010

Zooming Around the State

Wednesday evening while heading home from Pana which is located in SE Christian County, I saw distant lightning off to the NW. Upon arriving home I was surprised to see that it was associated with storms all the way up near Galesburg. Heading back out, I took a short drive N so to attempt to catch this lightning with the 300mm. I've done this before with storms at Peoria but not this far. Arriving at a suitable location, cloud streaming up from new storms to the SW would obscure the NW view but this night was far from over...

Best capture of the above, cloud/haze is ruining the scene.

While at the previous location, I began to notice intense flickering to the SE. Radar showed a new cluster of storms in that direction but all the way in Indiana! Abandoning the NW attempt and moving a short distance to be away from power lines, I was treated to an even better opportunity.

As if that weren't enough, a distant multi-cell cluster was moving up from the SW along I-70. From the same location, I pointed the camera S to get it as well. Now approaching midnight, I took off S for an intercept of sorts not to get under the storms but to simply shoot lightning on the back side.

Arriving at a suitable location SW of Assumption, the lightning was fairly intense and helped to reveal some interesting features for which I changed to a standard lens. I'm not even sure how to classify what you are seeing other than maybe a non-rotating N side meso or else looking S at a comma head? However you want to define it, it was certainly cool looking and fairly long lived as it would eventually transition into a blocky lowering. I should have been shooting video for aside from the weirdness of this feature, there were several toads in close proximity getting freaky with their squeaks, grunts and other sexual noises lol.

Moving E, I stayed with it. At the next location I chose which was within a grotto of trees were all manner of critters. Most notably was some rodent a few yards away that sounded like a canine squeak toy. I have no idea what it was but it kept wanting to get close to me so I continued to chase it away with the flashlight. It didn't freak me out much but a muffled grunt from out in the corn field coming from some kind of larger mammal did so I didn't stick around long.

I would eventually abandon this feature near a tiny town called "Dollville" that lies in the middle of a triple point between Assumption, Pana and Tower Hill.

Leaving out, I stopped at their church which appeared to be the only notable building in the area. Stepping around back so to get the steeple with lightning to the S on yet another small cell riding the line was also a bit unsettling though not as much since it was a church. It was now 3AM yet without a soul in sight, the fields, trees and weeds were teeming with animal activity.

When it comes to memorable weather experiences, sometimes it's not about where you go but when...


Suz said...

awesome lightning!
I love that tree shot...the lighting is wonferfully exciting
and to hear you talk about those small much history I'm sure..Christian county...they could never get away with that now!
Thanks so much for showing me so much of the state I love.
We had some pretty intense storms here too..but I ran inside!

Dann Cianca said...

Nice! Love the yellow bolt! ... and the great subject matter. :)