This is a shot of a small waterfall on Fletcher Creek, which is about 15 minutes from my house. Although I have lived in central Arkansas for more than 20 years, I discovered this creek just this past February. Since it was in the middle of winter, the trees and vegetation were still dormant, but I stopped to take several photographs anyway. I never really cared for any of the images I had made that day, but I told myself at the time that I would come back in the spring because the area would certainly look more vibrant and alive than it did that cold winter day.
I finally made it back yesterday. Well, actually, I made back twice. I first arrived about mid-morning and was going to get some pictures of a covered bridge that crossed another part of the creek. I got to the bridge and found a spot from which to shoot. However, when I turned my camera on, nothing happened. After several attempts to get it to come on, I noticed a small indicator blinking on the panel – the battery indicator telling me the battery was dead. Apparently, when I had turned my camera on the night before to make sure it was sufficiently charged, I forgot to turn it back off. So, my trip ended up being both short and short-lived as I left to go home to recharge the battery.
I got home, put my battery in its charger and plugged it in, and watched some television while I waited for the battery to charge. When the battery was finally charged, I headed out for the second time. As I left home, I noticed clouds had moved in. I checked the radar and saw that several storms had popped up, but they were probably 30 or 40 miles away. I wasn’t too concerned about them since I knew I wouldn’t be gone very long and would be back home well before the bad weather reached me.
I arrived at the creek and began photographing. Within about 20 minutes of my arrival, I thought I began to hear a sound you don’t want to hear when you’re outside standing under a bunch of trees – thunder. At first, it was pretty faint, and I wasn’t sure if it was really thunder or just the sounds of lawnmowers and blowers since there several people out mowing grass. However, after about another five minutes, there was no mistaking the sound. I decided it was time to head for home.
The storms that were coming through were the kind that can generate some pretty large hail. If you don’t want your vehicle to get beat up, you want to be home with your car in the garage. Therefore, my goal was to get home as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, I ended up getting behind several people who decided that it was in everyone’s best interest for them to drive as slowly as they could without coming to a complete stop. Before I was half way home, the storms really hit. The rain was coming down so hard it was difficult to see the road, and the wind began blowing so hard that I could feel it pushing my truck. I was desperately trying to get home, but I was stuck behind people who decided to drive as slowly as they could and, on occasion, stop at intersections that had no stop signs. All the while, the wind is continuing to blow like crazy, trees are bent over at almost 90-degree angles, and things are starting to hit my truck.
I finally got back to the safety of my house and was ready to put my truck in the garage to get it out of the bad weather. However, the storm had knocked out the electricity, so I couldn’t open the garage door from my truck. Instead, I had to park my truck, get out in the driving rain that was actually blowing sideways, run to the front door and open it, run through the house to the garage, and manually open the door before getting my truck out of the storm. Only after all that could I finally relax.
Naturally, within about 15 minutes of getting home, the storm passed, the wind stopped blowing, and the rain ended. After about another hour, the clouds cleared, and the sun came back out.
The weather forecast is calling for a good chance of more storms for most of this weekend. I think I’ll stay home!
Settings: Canon 5D, Mk II, 70mm, 1.3 sec, f/22