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Thunder and Lightning (Bugs)

July 12, 2009

To quote a line from an old Bob Seger song, “I woke last night to the sound of thunder….” Only I didn’t sit and wonder how far off it was. Instead I leaped out of bed, dressed quickly in the dark, grabbed my camera bag and dashed out the door. On my way out, I glanced at the clock. 12:32.

I had long been scouting a location where I really want to get some lightning shots. I thought last night would finally be my chance. On the way there, I watched the flashes in they sky as I did calculations in my head. Then I realized that my vantage would have me facing west while the storm was already to the east of where I would be standing and was moving further eastward. It was impossible to reverse my vantage. There would be no lightning shots tonight.

Since I was already more than halfway there, I continued on. As expected, there were no lightning shots to be had. At any rate, I got some nice nighttime shots of the location.

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Then an amazing thing happened. I looked down from where I was standing high up on the St. Georges Bridge and saw lightning bugs in the trees below. Thousands of them. I had to have been after 1am by this point. I’d never seen lightning bugs in the middle of the night before. As far as I knew, they were only active during the few hours surrounding dusk.

I took several shots from my vantage up on the bridge, then I walked down under the bridge and into the forest below for several more. The underside of the bridge was neat and I took a couple of shots of it too. Color balance was way off. I could have been correctable but luckily this was the type of subject that lent itself well to black-and-white.

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It looks like none of the lightning bug shots came out well enough to show but I learned more about stalking them and think I’m close to getting some that I would be proud to show off. Stay tuned!

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