Watcher of the skies

I consider myself a first class watcher of the sky. There are no skills required, only interest. And lately interest has been high, with monsoonal moisture on tap.

My local short rides are lacking in real mountain bike content and perhaps in truly natural scenic content (maybe half the time is spent on neighborhood roads). But sometimes a lack of technical trail to steal your eyes away is a good thing. In the summer these rides possess a beauty that is much more dynamic.

Stay home and you miss it.

Storms were building, so I did what any good sky watcher should do–head west to extend the light show. But don’t forget to look back.

An interesting pattern caused by a very small column of clouds a full 180 degrees away in the sky.

The jelly fish looked weak and friendly tonight. The tiny dots in the above shot are hundreds of bats taking flight, though I couldn’t get any pictures of them to turn out.

With the sun behind the mountains kinetic energy was fading. I thought the jelly fish would pull up their legs and float off, dissipate.

But I was wrong. Multiple jellies combined forces and the result was power.

So much so that I though I might actually get a picture or two. I’ve never tried to take photos of lightning before. Can you anticipate it?

I continued pedaling into the foothills and suddenly the temperature dropped and the ground was wet. Curious — I hadn’t seen any rain behind me. Some watcher of the skies I am.

Flashes lit the sky from all sides. I was testing a different lighting system but my eyes were adjusting to the sky’s erratic illumination. I saw some amazing colors from the vegetation, only briefly visible.

Spitter spatter. Rain drops like snow falling, glowing from my headlamp’s reach. Goosebumps. It’s summer no more?

I became aware that the column of doom, still lit in a pale orange from city lights, might be heading my way. The chase was on. The trails are memorized, but there was no lack of excitement tonight. Exhilaration only. It’s good to be alive.

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