Tag Archive: storms


I spent the Saturday yesterday shooting waterfalls and chasing storms.  I found a small set of falls in the town of Berne, about 30 minutes from Albany.  I was a little weary leaving to go there, as it was raining on and off.  Just to be on the safe side, I brought another set of clothes, a bucket hat and a second waterproof jacket. The sun came out just as I was getting to the falls.  At one point while shooting the falls, however, it started pouring.  I was under some trees at the time, so I wasn’t getting very wet at all.

I took off the bucket hat and put it over the camera so I could keep it dry until I got to the car and grab the waterproof jacket.  Once I had the jacket, I put it over my head and the camera, looking sort of like the really old 1800s cameras where the photographer went under the curtain and took the picture.  I am sure that if anyone saw me doing it, they were probably thinking I was a little crazy.  Boy, are they wrong.  I am a lot crazy!

Here are a couple pictures I got at the falls…

Later that day, I ended up in Thacher Park a few times as I was exploring back roads and finding out where they went. It was a great deal of fun!  On my last trip to Thacher Park, I saw an amazing scene. The storm had moved past the mountain and was now over the valley and passing the city of Albany. There were these huge puffy white clouds and then some darker sky off in the distance.  So, I decided to try a panorama shot.  When I got out of the car, I had no idea I was going to do a pano, so I had no tripod.  I just did it handheld instead.  I am including the original and the Topaz versions so you can see the difference.

What do you think?  See ya soon!

The sky is falling!

The driveway

The driveway

Well, maybe not the sky, but last July it was hail.  Big, giant hail fell that day.  I remember it very well.  I had been home from work about 45 minutes or so.  I was sitting in the living room checking my email when I heard two or three heavy thuds on the roof.  What the — ?  Within seconds, I knew what it was, without even looking out the window.

I jumped up and ran out to get Rose’s car into the garage so it didn’t get trashed.  As I got in, the hail was slamming the windshield.  I was surprised it didn’t crack it.  The noise was fierce.  I got her car in the garage and went back in the house.  At this point, the hail was pretty small,  maybe a 1/4 of an inch.

I went straight for my camera bag to get some pictures of the event and got even more of a surprise.  By the time I got out to the porch, the hail was much bigger.  It was a lot louder hitting the house as well.  I was standing on the porch taking pictures, and I could hear the thunder and lightning getting closer.  The storm was getting much more intense by the minute.

As I m standing on the covered porch, I keep hearing this loud surge and seeing a flash of light.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what it was.  Down the street about 50 or so feet, a power line had come down and the transformer was shooting sparks and the power was surging, until eventually going out.

The police and the rescue squad came to shut down the road, and a little later National Grid came and got the power back on.  I measured the hail in the meantime and it was 2 inches in diameter.  Huge!  I had never seen hail like that before.  I can’t believe it didn’t break any windows in the house.

After the storm ended, and the power crews finished up, I made a startling realization.  Just 45 minutes before that storm started, I arrived home on my motorcycle.  I can only imagine what would have happened had I been stuck in that storm on the bike.  I get chills just thinking about it.

The pictures below show the size of the hail.  If you look closely, you can see the layers that formed as the hail fell into the atmosphere.  I picked the bigger ones up to measure them so you could see how huge they are.  On one piece of hail, I put a quarter on top of it to show the size a little better.

On more than a few occasions, I have mentioned Assateague in my blog.  I have also mentioned that I grew up close to the area and really miss it.  Last week, I got a chance to head to Virginia, and while I was there, I drove over to Assateague to shoot some of the wildlife.  What I saw there was pretty scary.  A winter storm had caused some serious damage to the beach and the wildlife refuge surrounding it.  Trees were down all over the place.  Sand was blown from the beach all the way out to the toll booths some half a mile or more away.

The beach was almost gone.  The roads that usually branch off to the parking area were roped off and giant dump trucks were working feverishly to replace the sand that had been blown or washed away from the beach.  I have never seen it this bad in all my years going there.  Even the day I was there it was very windy.

While I was there I took a few shots of the wildlife.  It is my favorite part of visiting Assateague.  The wild ponies are almost always around, and this time was no different.  There were quite a few out in the pasture.  There are also always some great birds there.  Herons, egrets, ducks, geese and many others.  It is a photographer’s dream.  Here are some shots that I got that day…

Wild ponies and some downed trees

Wild ponies and some downed trees

He took off just as I was trying to get the shot

He took off just as I was trying to get the shot

Soaring away

Soaring away

Hiding from me

Hiding from me

Where is your favorite place to visit?  One that stands out in your mind…

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