Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Thunderstorm Party!!!

The Arizona desert sure knows how to throw a party!  I was thinking last night how nice it would be to have a big monsoon storm come through.  Be careful what you wish for!  I could hear the thunder coming down the valley, but most of it seemed to be missing my little corner of the world.
I ran outside to get some lightning pictures when I got FIVE alerts on my phone.  Good grief!  I think that's a record!!  I snapped a couple more pictures and covered up my barbecue.
Next thing I know .... CRACK!!!!!  I jumped about three feet high and held my ears it was so loud.  That was WAY too close for comfort, and blinding to boot!!  Forget taking pictures!  I ran back underneath the patio cover.  Yikes!!  That one either HIT the railroad tracks, or landed VERY close to it right in front of my house.
I had heard the train whistle as it came into the crossing just before passing through my property, but no train ever showed up.  That was weird.  In no time the rains hit, harder than I have ever seen in my life.  
Lightning was striking everywhere at once and it rained so hard I could barely see past my little fence.  I stayed inside until I couldn't stand it any longer.  I HAD to take pictures.  The lightning got bigger and more fantastic!  What a party THAT was!!!
It starting lighting up the entire sky before sending a bolt to the ground.  Still no trains.  It must have knocked out their switching system or something, because pretty soon there was a pickup driving the rails and guys getting out to walk the line.  
Guess I don't need to water the cactus today, since the sideways rain watered everything for me, even everything underneath the patio cover.  This went on from 3:00 to 5:30.  The power went out once for about five minutes.  I have to give Arizona credit.  My California house would have been out of power for three days after a storm like that.
At 6:00, the trains began to move, but stopped again around 7:00, right in front of my patio.  They were shut down completely.  Not a sound from the engines.  I've no idea when they started back up since I finally went to bed.

At least the night was quiet as the partygoers went on down the valley.  It's a chilly 74 degrees this morning (HAHAHA) and the winds are picking up for the next round.  It just amazes me there is so much rain in the desert!!  Unfortunately, the coming monsoons mean no more water station images.  But lightning?  I can't wait!!


  1. I thought maybe we were going to get a storm but we did have lightning in the distance. How about sharing some of that rain.

    1. Wish I could! Seems Green Valley and Sierra Vista have been getting all the wet stuff. I got food warnings yesterday when it was sunny!

  2. Fantastic pictures of lightning! Next year we may be in Tucson for monsoon, I haven't been there for a long time to see it.
    To answer your question about the viaduct, it used to carry 3 lanes of traffic each way, they replaced it with a tunnel that carries two lanes each way.

    1. I wonder whose great idea that was? Nothing like slowing down traffic!! June is the worst for heat. From mid July on it's not too terrible. August is when the real rains come.

  3. Now that would have been a sight to see thanks for the pictures , and I know you will keep watching.

  4. Nancy,
    What settings do you use for the lightening photos? Those were terrific. 1/500 @ f8? or wider?
    Thank you

    1. On my Nikon I set it to about ISO 1200, F5.6 and BULB. Then I set the focus to infinity and hold the shutter open until I catch a strike, then let go of the button. Sometimes you have to mess with the ISO. All on a tripod.
      On the other hand, I cheat and use the video on my IPhone. When you play it back, you can stop the action at any frame and do a screen shot. MUCH easier!!

    2. On a Tripod
      One other little trick is to set your aptitude as tight as you can preferably 22 set your timer for 15 seconds open during the daylight
      If you're doing it at night you could do it for about 25 seconds you'll probably get multi strikes
      If it's too bright use less open Shutter time

  5. WOW, that was some storm. I hate those strikes that feel like they are right there...did the hair stand up on your head and arms??? I had that happen once in Arkansas when it hit the power pole right in our backyard. Then there was the time at church (still Arkansas) when the guy preaching slams his hand down on the pulpit to emphasize what he said and BOOM, lighting hit the building and down onto the ground, blowing circuits, demolishing the sound system. Outside, we saw where it hit and put a slight hole and crack in the concrete.

    1. What did you say? I can't hear! LOL It sure can be some scary stuff!!!

  6. Hi, Nancy

    Your lightning storm photos are great to look at, but Jeezz, be careful. You could be French-Fried at any minute!!!

    I'm Interested in your ghost-town treks. Much cheaper than making multi-colored blankets to give for free to others. Pack a lunch…enjoy!

    What's up with Bumgarner? (Giants Baseball) Tonight, here in Chicago, they say that this might his last appearance.
    Retiring? Trade??

    Lately I have had an invasion of tiny ants here at the house. Thankfully controlled by 'Terro' bait traps. I'm so, so, so glad that I do not have an invasion of tiny (or big) scorpions or B-W spiders!!

    P.S. Don’t water the cactus’s so much. They are Cacti !!

    The Big - Boy Train will be here soon. It will be interesting to see it "Live and in person" after hearing about it from you.

    Time to close.

    Hello to Patsy in Canada and Nick in Brevard County, Florida.

    (I read you guys every morning)

    --Barb, (“the Palms”) You should post more often. I miss your news.

    -Chicago Robert

    1. Hi Robert!!! So nice to hear from you!! I have heard they might trade Bumgarner. What a HUGE mistake that will be!!! I don't think he is retiring. The last two games against the Cubs have been the most exciting in a long time. AND WE WON!!!

      Yes ants would be much easier to stomach than the scorpions that I'm sure will come out of the woodwork with the storms. Eeeek!!

      Definitely go see the Big Boy. You will be amazed at the massive beast. The crew has been the best, even going so far as to oil the tracks so it could make the two tight turns on the way there. It's a once in a lifetime event!!

    2. Hello Chicago Robert! Thank you for the shout out and for reading my post every day. :D
      I'm with you on the spiders and scorpions even though I grumble at the teeny little ants. They must come in around the window frames, we've sprayed everywhere else!

      Nancy - absolutely beautiful pictures today. But Robert is right, don't water those cacti too often. I water mine once a month.