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User / photography by Derek G / Waiting for Lightning
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With no clear idea of where I was going, I grabbed my gear and left. There was a thunderstorm that I wanted to catch but other than that I had no plan.
Over several ridges of mountains and down into the plains beyond I drove towards the storm. Then I turned onto a new road that led into rolling hills where meadow larks where singing and the grass was swaying with the storm-wind.
Finally after 95 miles I had reached the storm's edge. I got out of my car and climbed to the top of the closest hill as thunder echoed through the folds of the earth. Soon after the storm subsided, while rain now blessed the valley far below as the dappled sun played upon the ground through the shape-shifting clouds.

I continued down the road and found a small turnout with a beautiful view of the rolling hills receding and falling away into the Great Central Valley. A patchwork of vineyards, orchards and fields stretched as far as I could see until the scene faded into the hazy distance. It was here that I watched and waited, enduring multiple passing bursts of rain, rolling clinging clouds, thick drab fog and ceaseless wind. In all I spent two days and two nights here.

As the sun set and twilight gathered, the valley below began to shimmer and sparkle as the lights of human civilization fought in vain to fend off the coming night. Along the horizon the last glowing embers of the dying day outlined the purple towers of the few lingering thunderstorms far off beyond the lights. As Below, So Above, the stars in their magnificence mirrored the landscape that spread out before me, while somewhere in the darkness an owl screeched.
I sat outside admiring the view for as long as I could bear the cold, unceasing wind. When I had had enough I climbed into my Jeep, crawled into my sleeping bag and went to sleep. Every so often a large gust would rock my car and briefly wake me.
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Dates
  • Taken: May 26, 2019
  • Uploaded: Jun 2, 2021
  • Updated: Sep 18, 2021