Thunder On Chimney Mountain


I have hiked up Chimney Mountain with a group of campers who are exploring Eagle Cave. A counselor and I stayed out of the cave and are siting on the ledge above it watching the storm clouds scuttle around the horizon. We are in sunshine for now, but thunder rumbles in the distance. Clouds come and go casting shadows over the mountaintop where we sit. The cloud shadows move fast across the view shed, in an ethereal game of chase. Thunder growls louder, we can see some other storms making rain on distant peaks. Thunder mumbles farther away. We listen and watch as the storms get closer and then pass us without our perch getting hit. The thunder seems to circle us but never attains our position. Sun and shadow play across our rock ledge as thunder grumbles nearby closer then further away. It is fascinating to watch this interplay of earth and sky, to feel the energy ebb and flow in the air, to be so close and yet so far away from the scattered thunderstorms.


Blue And Gold Sunset


Gore Mountain looms high above me, a solid green black darkness in the western sky. The sun has just disappeared behind it, leaving golden sunbeams radiating through the pale yellow and pastel blue sky still bright from the sun’s light. High above that stark contrast of mountain and sky, strung out like gnarled hemp rope, are long and thick undulating clouds, bulbous and corded, shaded with every hue of blue possible between light blue grey and darkest indigo. I catch my breath at the brash beauty of nature and stop to watch the gold and blue sunset fade into purple darkness.

Sunset Over Gore Mountain


Driving down the road a while after sunset, wanting to back at the tent before full dark. It has been raining off an on all day, the trees are wet and drippy, the sky is overcrowded with grey lumpy clouds. As I am driving around Gore Mountain I gaze up toward the west through the windshield and glimpse a deep burgundy red sun lit sky behind dark bruised blue grey clouds. The contrast of sky and cloud grabs my attention, so I pull over and watch the last of the red sunlight disappear behind the now purple grey clouds over the mountain. More rain is coming, but for now the vision a red and grey sky keeps me smiling.

Storm Clouds Through The Window


Evening, sun has set, fading light in the western sky overlooking the road framed by newly green trees. Standing at the kitchen sink gazing out the picture window, dark grey, heavy, ponderous clouds are accumulating far out over the horizon. The last of the sunlight shines defiantly blinding silver rays radiating from behind the storm front. The edge of the storm is roiling, undulating, angry promise of thunder and lightening to come. Here over the house all is calm in the darkening evening, save for a whisper of wind that soon will whip up into a fierce frenzy, and a faint hint of impending electricity in the air. Impressive summer thunderstorm is brewing!

Driving Into The Storm


I drove down the mountain this evening to see a friend. We hung out for a couple of hours knitting and talking while her youngest child tried very hard not to go to bed: “I need to use the bathroom, I need a glass of water, I need to tell you something, I need to say goodnight to the gold fish, I’m too hot and itchy to sleep” She got increasingly creative. The humidity had increased to uncomfortable as a storm was brewing. We had three wonderful warm sunny days to build energy that promised to make a wicked thunder storm. As I got ready to leave, thunder was rumbling in the distance and lightening flickering behind the trees, noise and light coming from the direction I would soon be traveling. The storm was over the mountains and quickly headed this way.

As my car finally attained the main road, the wind kicked up buffeting my vehicle, and spewing new green leaves, flower petals, and litter across my path. The first tiny preliminary rain drops fell, spattering on the pollen coated windshield. Lightening arched across the night sky, illuminating the landscape with strobing electric blue light, the mountain (my home) a dark silhouette on the horizon. The pursuing darkness was blinding. Another couple of miles down the road and the sky opened up dropping a deluge, slowing my progress, wind pushing the car around, so that I had to hold tightly to the wheel. Lightening everywhere so that the darkness was almost effervescent. The bolts streaked across the whole sky, too numerous to count, blanketing blue, purple, white, and pink through the roiling clouds. Searing thick pulsing electric bolts hit the earth, revealing black mountain tops solid against the shimmering boiling strobing purple night sky.

I actually got a little nervous at the ferocity of the chaos erupting around me because I knew that kitties at home don’t like thunderstorms and I wasn’t there to comfort them. I however, love the thrill of experiencing thunderstorms: seeing lightening dance in the sky and the pink sparks and flames shower upward where it hits the earth, hearing and feeling the tremendous thunder shock rattle through the house, smelling ozone in the air from all the electricity, the tingling sensation of electric air, the humming sound rocks make right before lightening strikes, the sudden chill of gusting wind before the hail starts, the immense power and surging energy unleashed, sudden, random, and violent. Then when the storm passes, the perfect peace and tranquil quiet that follows after mother nature has blown off all her steam.

This storm passes quickly, as most thunderstorms do in the mountains. Ten miles down the road, headed up, I drive out the other side. Rain fitfully sputtering, steam rising off the the wet pavement, giant frogs all over the road soaking up the heat. I try not to run over them. Back at home, the rain has washed the pollen away, refilled the rain bucket, cooled of the oppressive humidity, and given all the plants a drink. As I step out of the car, the stars are visible through the last high wispy trailing clouds. Inside, the cats greet me lovingly, and we all climb into bed.

Blue Mountain And Misty Clouds


Driving along a state highway, gently curving along a mountain stream, meandering through the valley. The surrounding mountains look dark blue in the early morning light, misty bluish whitish clouds dancing, around their tops. Dark bare trees climb their flanks, the mist twirling, curling, swirling on invisible air currents, the sun trying to break through the heavy morning haze. Water droplets cling to branches, mist solidifying as it ebbs and flows, dark blue mountains standing firm and tall, still sleeping, but soon to wake as winter slowly relents and spring creeps in.

Clouds in Sunset


Standing in the parking lot of the grocery store, sun has already set, western sky is fading pastels, random snow flakes flurry around in the stiff cold breeze. I put bags I the trunk and quickly scoot the cart into a corral, back at the car I look up again and see that in just those few short minutes of business, the whole western sky has changed. Now there is a long, thin, dark purple cloud hovering above the horizon, with parallel long thin ripply clouds above it spreading out into the open bale blue nothingness. The dark purple is just a thin line of denseness in the middle of the cloud, the color shifts to a bright orange pink and then fades a pale pink around its outer edge. All its ripply friends start off bright orange next to the mother cloud and fade to fluffy pale bluish white as the spread out. The eastern shy is turning dark and by the time I pull out of the parking lot, it all has condensed into one grey cloud bank desperately clinging to the horizon as darkness takes over the sky.