Our Earth

The week before last, walking through my Alma Mater in Dublin, I came across a sculpture that was at once stunning but woefully out of place.

It was a gorgeous golden sphere by an Italian Sculpture that reeked of modern symbolism but clearly didn’t belong in a university whose roots (and buildings) extended back to the late 1500’s.

There is only one picture in this blog and here it is:

According to the artist, the symbolism is a reflection of how this planet is both beautiful and complex, yet is alarmingly fragile.

I was happy with the shot as it showed the reflections of the skies and of the nearby building, yet neither took from the artwork itself but rather enhanced it.

It was really only this morning that I was looking back through images from my trip and I came across it and thought on how the wonderful message from the artist is lost because the piece itself is so beautiful.

I have written many times about how fragile our environment is and how we humans have chosen to destroy it for profit. I have spoken about how the greed and selfishness of the few is aided by the apathy of the many and how the world we all live upon suffers as a result.

So, I won’t go into all that again.

But what I will say is that when we soften messages of destruction and doom, we enable the nay-sayers and their masters, who profit to our detriment.

These profiteers view only the short term impacts of what they do (enriching themselves) and ignore the long term impacts. But parasites rarely think of their host when they suck the life out of it.

They don’t understand that when the host dies, they die too.

Some parasites have adapted to try to move from one host to another and prolong their miserable existence. And the ideas that many of these most powerful leaders have, to set up off-earth colonies in space stations or other planets, bear a startling resemblance to these advanced parasites.

The complexities of setting up a new host in space are incredibly more difficult than the alternative, which would be to save the planet we are living on and respect that we are only inhabitants, not owners.

But saving the planet would requires the greedy ones to be less so and the apathetic hordes to care more.

In all truth, neither is likely to happen. And one day this beautiful planet will give up the ghost on us.

As parasites, we are already at almost twice the number than this host can sustain. Estimates are that the natural resources of this planet, if managed properly could sustain life for about 4 billion humans but we now number almost 8 Billion.

An intelligent parasite would start to prune back the numbers to try to get our numbers down to a sustainable level but we race to have more babies and even legislate against those that might want to not have one.

And yet we happily believe that humans are the planet most intelligent life form.

Paraphrasing the Dunning-Kruger effect states it simply: Stupid people don’t understand how stupid they actually are.

… just a thought.

Greener Grass

My body clock seems to be a bit off for a number of reasons, not least of which the five hour time difference being mal-adjusted from my Ireland trip last week.

Going hand in hand with a general feeling of exhaustion is the repeated waking up around 3 o’clock each morning since I got back. Apart from annoyingly having to pass the early am hours alone in the dark, by mid-afternoon, I am generally flagging.

Well, I say “alone in the dark” and that isn’t exactly true. Since I got back, little Rocky has spend each night sleeping with me … by my side, or on my legs, or up near my pillow. He is such a sweetheart; I missed him terribly and he apparently missed me too!

When he does notice my awakening, he decides enough is enough and jumps on my chest or pushes me with his little paws. “Time for breakfast” is clearly one of the thoughts he is trying to convey. And so I oblige.

So, by five this morning I had fed everyone, released those who were locked into the office overnight, and even had my own breakfast. There were a few options in front of me as to what to do next and the one I took was grabbing the camera and heading down to Lake Parker to catch the sunrise. Or, more accurately, twilight.

I arrived there almost an hour before sunrise and was back in the car heading home by the time anything broke the horizon.

The boat launch and dock were open when I got there, so that is where I set myself up and watched the sky waken to shades of blue and gold and then transform into roaring reds and orange.

It was extremely invigorating and regardless of what others might tell you, there is no better way to start a day than to breathe in Mother Nature’s magic into your soul. You can’t help but feel energized.

I have attached some images that show the color progression and I hope you enjoy.

I think the thought that I emerged with this morning and ultimately led to this blog was how I had just returned from photographing some of the most amazing scenery along the west and southwest of Ireland. And the resultant blogs and images would make a person think it is the most beautiful place on earth.

For some reason we always seem to imagine the grass been greener on the other side and bestow more beauty to a sight in a foreign place, than one we see every day here at home.

So, standing at the side of Lake Parker and watching the colors play across the horizon, I accepted that, though very different, this scene was every bit as beautiful.

It is one of the perks of living in Florida that over half of the mornings here start just like this. Magical colors and wonderful clouds. And then again it plays out on the western horizon at sunset.

But because we get almost two hundred of these every year, they become a bit “blah” to us and we don’t give them the acknowledgement they deserve.

Similarly, the trails and the creatures that inhabit them in Florida are so common and pervasive that I almost bore my readers with images of what others would consider to be the most amazing birds and animals around.

Not to mention the wild creatures that come into my yard every night like possums and raccoons, armadillos, deer, owls, hawks, snakes, …. I don’t even need to hit a trail to see these guys.

The point is simple. Where we live is every bit as beautiful as where we wish we could visit. While we crave a visit to Europe, Europeans crave a visit to Florida.

We are each as guilty of taking for granted the beauty in our own back yard and swooning over a distant hill or cliff edge.

The simple truth is that beauty is within us. It is how we look and appreciate what is right in front of us. We take out those glasses when we visit other places and stare longingly at scenes that are ignored by those that live there. And then we put these glasses back into our pocket when we get home.

I remember years ago on a trail at Circle B, I was down off the trail in a bit of a gulley, taking pics of a thistle that was blooming. It was flowering in a gorgeous pink or violet manner and its pollen had attracted a little bee who was getting drunk on its nectar and covering himself in the process.

I must have spent fifteen minutes down there, getting shot after shot and a young couple pushing a stroller eventually passed me on the trail and slowed down to see what I was shooting. When I told them it was a thistle I got a “oh” and then they picked up pace and moved on.

I remember think at the time how they were completely missing the point and I still believe that. Beauty can be in the most simple thing. We just need to open our hearts and minds to see it.

Don’t get me wrong; every scene I witnessed in Ireland was gorgeous. I take nothing away from that. But so too is Florida … we are a lot more than a theme park.

… just a thought.

Loop Head

The final blog with last week’s pics from Ireland uses shots from our visit to Loop Head.

Loop head pokes out into the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the most westerly points on the island of Ireland, looking out at North America some three and a half thousand miles away.

I had never been there before and the absurdity of that fact slapped me on both sides of my face for having almost missed this in my lifetime.

I am sure I will have missed many wonders of the world by the time I die, so it isn’t that I have some innate need to chalk off as many as possible during my lifetime. But, being born and raised not sixty miles from such an amazing piece of coastline, it is truly shameful that I had never made the journey.

We explored the edge and it was quite a walk that sapped our energies by the time we returned to the car. This is not like America where many of the country’s wonders are commercialized and tourist-enabled. We were trodding up and down hill on grassy surfaces that were strangely spongey under our feet.

When we got to a cliff edge, there was no barrier to stop us taking a lover’s leap, nor any warning signs that the ground underneath us might give way. It was simply us and nature and we loved every step we took.

The danger of falling in, felt real. And we respected that possibility as much as we could. Inna put the brakes on several of my attempts to step that last yard to the edge and several times I found myself lying on my belly, leaning out with the camera in extended arms in order to get the shot I wanted.

At one moment, only the camera strap saved my expensive little Sony from beginning its own transatlantic journey on the waves below.

The gentle breeze and the relentless sounds of waves crashing into the cliffs below us created such a wonderful ambience that made the whole experience feel quite surreal. And by the time we got back to the car, our souls were bubbling with excitement of what we had just experienced.

I have added a number of images at the end of this blog. Some are taken with normal exposure and others in long exposure of 25 to 30 seconds. The normal exposed shots go some way to relaying the vivid power of the ocean as it beat its rhythm against the cliffs. The long exposure translated this experience into something peaceful and almost spiritual. I hope you enjoy.

The final thought from this adventure that led me to this blog was along the lines of how humans being creatures of habit can miss out on so much of life.

It wasn’t that I took this place for granted. I didn’t. I just didn’t witness it at all. Sixty miles is nothing. I travel that distance routinely now for the most inane purposes. And I had been to Kilkee which is not more than ten miles away, a million times, which makes this all the worse.

But we all find a comfort feeling within our normal lives that takes us in the same direction, on the same road, to the same place.

It isn’t necessarily that we are all lazy in this, it is simply that we place more emphasis on the destination and not the journey to get there.

How often do we explore a new drive to work? Or a new path to visit someone? We don’t. We identify getting to work or to our friend as the important consideration and the journey itself moves across into the “most effective way” aspect of the consideration.

Sometimes, life hands us a detour because of road construction or traffic, perhaps. And we find ourselves down a non-familiar path. “I never knew this was here!” we might find ourselves thinking.

Yes there are natural explorers among us and I take my hat off to those Uncle Traveling Matts of the world. But the majority of us develop routines and stay with them.

Routines are good in many ways but we pay a price for them. Our brains develop no new memories in a routine. They only store information that is new. Don’t believe me? Pause for a moment and try to remember each of your drives to work last week. How much of these drives can you actually remember?

Getting away from our beaten track and exploring the world around us is an essential part of building a memory-rich existence.

When my life passes before my eyes as I check out of this world, I doubt very much of it will be dedicated to drives down Swindell Road to the interstate. But if the very last thought happens to be a reliving of that feeling standing on the cliff-edge at Loop Head with Inna, then I will die a happy man.

… just a thought.

Exposed in Doonass

In the second week of the visit to Ireland, Toria, Erin, and I took the short drive to Doonass, a local spot on the river Shannon about ten minutes from my parents’ house.

In my teen years, this was one of my favorite swimming spots and not having been there in thirty years or more, the memories came flooding back into my head along with an overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility.

I was never a strong swimmer so swimming in a river with real current was a particular challenge for me. So I tended to keep closer to the shore than most, while still feeling the thrill of a big-boy swim.

Later and still in my teen years, I took my girlfriend there and we walked across the footbridge and down by the shoreline just taking in the beauty and feeling the love.

Now with my new love, my Sony A7, I was back there for a different purpose and while Toria and Erin went off and dipped their feet into the water by the shore, I set up the camera on tripod on the footbridge and proceeded to take some long exposure shots with my very dark high-density filter.

I love the flexibility that this filter gives me, allowing me to shoot long exposures in full brightness. A month ago, I wasn’t even aware that such a thing existed and now here I was on a sunny day, exposing the shot for 30 seconds, rather than the 1/400th of a second that the camera would otherwise require.

Such long exposures on rapids creates a smooth silky feel to a glassy river and I have attached a number of images at the end of the blog. The first two are at “normal” shutter speed (without the filter) and the balance are 25 to 30 seconds using the filter. I hope you enjoy.

It was later looking at the images, that the thought for the blog occurred to me.

“You can never go back”, was a sentiment I read long ago and it was essentially saying that though you may be physically able to return to a place you have been, you orand the place or the circumstances around you will have changed to where things are never the same.

Here I was in Doonass, the scene of many a memory from my youth and while the place was actually very much the same, everything about me was different.

Not just my reason for being there, or my companions on the day. Not just the age in my eyes or the slight thinning on top that I now have fallen victim to.

No, it is all about how my life is nothing even remotely similar to what it was back then. Both my parents are gone, of course, and I am now older than Methuselah, the loves in my life have transformed to where I am married, have lovely children, and an amazing granddaughter.

But none of that is what I am talking about.

It is the inner me that truly defines the person I am. Not the outward trappings. And the inner me is nothing at all like the teenager that walked the riverbank or swam so clumsily close to the shore.

For the seventh time in my life, I know what I want. And this is different from the other six times before now.

I appreciate certain things that I barely noticed before. I think certain thoughts that are nothing like those that crossed my mind before. I enjoy certain feelings from aspects around me that I heretofore ignored or downplayed.

Now the fact that I boldly stated “seventh time” above is about as true as my reference to slightly thinning. I have no idea how many versions of me there has been in the past.

I look at several of the prior versions and I hide my face in shame at things that I have done and thoughts that I have had. In many instances, not only would I not get on with the prior versions of myself but I would ardently hate them.

Each one of us goes through several gyrations of who we are over time. For some indeed it may be seven. For others, seventeen.

We get shaped by our environment and we grow based on our experiences and the challenges we face.

Some people grow inwards and become nastier, meaner, more extreme. I hope that isn’t me. I like to think that the version of me now is more tolerant and more open than any of the prior versions.

But howsoever I have changed, I have changed.

And this change alone ensures that there is no going back.

We move through life in one direction and though there may occasionally be times when things are so rough, that we long for simpler or happier times of yore, those times don’t exist. They quite possibly never existed at all and have been reshaped into better times than they were by the fog of age that creeps into our older brains.

So, if we can’t go back, we need to tackle our present in whatever form it is and do our best to shape our future, because that is where our happiness must lie.

In that sense, reminiscing on the past only serves as a distraction from what we must do, now and in the future. People who reminisce such, generally fall into a depression or maudlin state, wishing for something that can never be, not likely ever was.

I have met many people who spend their days talking about the good old days. Things were so much better back then. Life was much simpler. They focus their thoughts and energies on a longing for something their memory has convinced them is real.

But the only real part of all this is what is happening around them now and what will happen tomorrow when they wake up.

So, I guess the point I am trying to make is that in our one life, we have an option to long and reminisce or to plan and do.

Never accept that your best days are behind you, and you will create room for some great days ahead.

… just a thought.


The second set of images from the Ireland trip are from our drive down to the old Head of Kinsale on the south coast of the country.

It was another amazing blue-sky day and my camera was screaming to get out of the bag. So, we set off early and arrived in Kinsale in time to have a breakfast at a small restaurant in the village itself.

Body nourished, it was time to feed our souls and so we headed off along the coast road away from the harbor in search of some scenery that would suffice. And we weren’t disappointed.

We gorged ourselves on scene after scene that played out in front of us. And by the time we were finished, we couldn’t consume another morsel.

Just off the head of Kinsale (in case you don’t know) is where the Lusitania sank taking with it almost 1,200 poor souls to the bottom of the ocean.

So, we had to take a somber moment and visit the memorial to the loss of life, which was just a little down the road from the head itself. Somber it certainly was and though it all played out over a hundred years ago, the tragic loss of life was still evident.

It sank in relatively shallow waters just 12 miles off the coast at 2pm on an August afternoon and you couldn’t help but imagine being there on shore watching it play out on the horizon.

As we stood there surrounded by the most beautiful of scenery, Inna pointed out how one man’s heaven can be another man’s hell and frankly it was easy to now see that.

I was already quite familiar with the Lusitania story, so there wasn’t really anything new in the story for me. But it was this aspect of the trip that brought home the idea for today’s blog; how people and governments tell the most stunning and shameless of lies and get away with it.

And that is why I wanted to lead off with one non-Kinsale image from the day before. We had brought Erin to the old ruins at Carraig Ui gConaill and marveled at her innocence and wonder at what was before her.

She believed each possibility that was offered to her about “here is where they kept the prisoners, or here is where the guards watched over the approach from the Shannon.”

Though we were trying to make it all more interesting, she had no reason to disbelieve our suggestions.

Similarly, when the US and the British government got together and told their big Lusitania lie, there was initially no reason for their citizens to believe otherwise either.

They blamed the Germans for sinking a passenger liner and used it as justification for the Americans entering World War One and as a method to demonize the Germans and sell more war bonds.

Yes, it was a German U-boat that fired the torpedo but they had warned in full page ads in American papers that they would do so as the US was sneaking arms and explosives to the British and prolonging the war.

One torpedo shouldn’t have been able to sink such a liner but the impact caused at least two huge explosions in the hull as these secret explosives went off and the ship sank in just 18 minutes.

Even the ill-fated Titanic took three hours to sink, so it should have been blatantly obvious that it was on-board explosives that truly caused the disaster.

But the US and the Brits lied to the world and claimed that they would never use a passenger liner to smuggle such dangerous arms and explosives at a time of war.

Those who bought their ticket for the voyage didn’t imagine for a moment that they were being transported with almost 175 tons of dangerous cargo.

But the story took and the whole world (almost) bought it. The Germans were vilified and the surge of hate and propaganda swung the war against them and they ended up losing the war.

The Americans used the lie as justification to enter the war and sell war bonds. The British used is as propaganda that showed the world how they were fighting for good against evil (Germany obviously pure evil).

It was only in 1982 that the US finally admitted that it had indeed shipped large quantities of munitions to the Brits on board the Lusitania. And that they had done so on many other ocean liners at the time.

If you think this is an isolated incident, read a little about the Katyn Forest massacre at the start of World War Two

Not familiar with it?

The year is 1940 and the Soviet Union is in control of much of Poland. At the Katyn Forest they executed 22,000 polish officers and intelligentsia and dumped the bodies into mass graves. Most were shot to the head, but others were just beaten to death or buried alive in order to save bullets.

Let me say that number again … 22,000 … can you imagine?

Nazi Germany discovered the graves in 1943 but lo and behold, the Soviets denied any knowledge of it and told the lie that the Nazis must have committed these murders and were now trying to blame the Soviets.

Once again the whole world (almost) bought the lie and the evil Nazis were blamed for an atrocity that motivated such hate and momentum against them that once again Germany lost the war.

It was only in 1990 that Russia finally admitted that the Soviets had committed the murders at Katyn Forest under the order of Stalin himself.

By this time, as in the case of the Lusitania lie, all those involved in the commissio0n of the act or the lie that ensued, were long since dead and beyond reproach.

If you haven’t already arrived at this understanding, then you will appreciate one of my favorite Hitler quotes: “History is written by the victors.”

While all lies eventually come to the surface, if you are powerful enough, you can keep it submerged during your lifetime and therefore get away scot free with it.

Lies are pervasive. Everyone tells them. Except me, of course.

They are part of the world we live in. When they are individual lies, they are often damaging enough but when the lies are organized and spun by those that rule countries, they are incredibly dangerous.

They are the weapons of mass destruction that justify invasions. They are the claims of stolen election that justify insurrection.

They are swallowed by their ignorant believers without question. Yes, there are millions of American’s who think the dotard won the election. These are the same morons that believe Hillary and her fellow democrats were engaged in human trafficking and child sex ring under a pizza restaurant in DC. They believe that Russia did not interfere in the prior election and that it wasn’t really the dotard’s voice describing how he liked to grab pussy and force kiss young women.

Ignorant people believe what they choose to believe and the problem with ignorant people is that they are too ignorant to know they are ignorant. But when you begin to accept as plausible that an ocean liner could be sunk in 18 minutes by a single torpedo, then you are choosing to be ignorant.

Common sense is one of our main defenses against lies. Even the big lies.

When someone tells us that the top secret documents seized by the FBI from their home were miraculously declassified and that the whole thing is just part of a political hit job, we need to take on the responsibility of what makes sense.

Otherwise, we become that proud mother watching the parade and commenting on how everyone else but her Johnny is out of step.

Most humans are not stupid. Yes, there are some genuinely low IQ folk who truly don’t know any better. But if your IQ is above 80, then you have a responsibility to inform yourself and be responsible for what you accept as truth or lie.

Just because the lie was told to you, does not mean that you were OK in believing it.

You are not absolved of responsibility when you follow lies. You become complicit in what you believe. So do your due diligence and confirm the truth for yourself.

Believing is easy. Confirming takes a little more effort.

… just a thought.

A Greater Power

I just got back from two weeks in Ireland a couple of days ago so the next few blogs will be using images from that trip. Forgive me!

The first set were taken on our trip to two of my favorite childhood spots in Kilkee; The Pollock Holes and George’s Head.

These areas lie to the west and to the east of the beach area and little village of Kilkee itself, the main summer destination for Limerick people.

I remember as a child visiting Kilkee yearly and suffering through miserable cold and rain along with the freezing North Atlantic to swim in, on an annual basis.

We would be sent down to the water and told to be sure to come out when your fingers turned blue. I have memories similar to the movies that you see of Vietnam where the new recruits arrive on helicopters or planes and walk past the injured and maimed coming in the opposite direction. Kilkee was our Vietnam. Lots of happy little children would run gleefully down to the water, passing untold numbers of blue children running in the opposite direction cutting through the wind and rain hoping for some respite in a dry towel back at their parents.

Well, every cloud has a silver lining and the lining to the global warming disaster is that places like Kilkee suddenly have warm water and sunshine.

Ireland was in the middle of a heatwave when I got there and temperature in the nineties sounds fine until you realize that almost none of the country has air conditioning. So, heading to the coast was a wonderful way to catch a breeze that seemed to escape cities and towns further inland.

With Kilkee our first port of call, I was determined to start at the Pollock Holes, which are a series of pools and rocks exposed when the tide has gone out.

The trick is to get all your swimming and exploring done before the tide comes back in. If not, then calmly drop to a knee, say two Our Fathers, and seek forgiveness for your sins because you are about to meet your maker. Or the bottom of the Atlantic, whichever you believe in.

By the time we made it off the rocks, the tide was returning with a vengeance and we had to climb to safety as our return path was already under water.

Inna was worried for those still on some of the rocks that appeared to be getting cut off but I told her not to worry. This is why Irish people have such large families; if you lose a few to the Atlantic, sure you always have someone else at home to pick on.

After that, we went to the other side of the bay and took the wonderful walk along the cliff edge that is George’s Head and watched the waves pound the base of the cliffs with such base that you could feel it in the pit of your stomach.

I have included a set of pics from both locations at the end of the blog and I hope you enjoy them.

I also have two pics here of Inna discovering a bunch of sea urchins in one of the pools at the Pollock Holes. Fabulous little guys, as long as you don’t step on them.

Anyway, the trip to Kilkee left me with many thoughts and the one that began to form this blog was really related to the awesomeness of the experience in coming face to face with such a power as the ocean.

When you stand there with the wind in your face and feel the pounding of the waves on the rocks beneath you, when you hear the endless rhythm of wave after wave, when you see the swells break all around you … these are the moments when you realize you are truly in the presence of a Greater Power.

Oh wait … you didn’t think I was suddenly getting religious, did you?

True religion is the realization that as a human, you are merely a part of the story of this planet that we all live on. This planet, that some happily destroy in order to swell their bank accounts, deals with all the crap we have to give it and still sits there bigger than life itself.

When we talk about destroying the planet, we are really talking about its destruction as a place for life. Or at least, life as we know it.

When all of us are longs since gone, the planet itself will continue. It may evolve into some else and possibly even something that can only support life forms different to us animals. But until the day when it finally loses its orbit and falls into the sun, it will still be here.

The planet has seen several extinctions already in its history. We all know of the dinosaur one, but it would be stupid to think that there weren’t others.

Our own extinction will happen. Of that I am certain. Mankind is too greedy and destructive a parasite to change our trajectory from the end of days we happily are accelerating towards.

How many other living creatures we take with us, is anybody’s guess. It is quite possible we will take all but the cockroaches. But who know … maybe we will find a way to take them with us too.

How long it takes for this extinction to happen is something that we can affect. We can each do the things we already know are good for the environment. These are little things like reducing our carbon footprint.

But there are things that can have a much greater impact, if only we will commit ourselves to them. We need to vote in governments and leaders that put the planet ahead of wealth and industry. When we allow lesser issues to affect who we vote for, we are not just a fool unto ourselves, but we are giving a death sentence to our children and our children’s children.

We are taking away their right to live on a planet where they too can one day find their own cliff to watch the majestic ocean as it lives and breathes around them.

Of all the gifts a parent can give a child, the most important gift is a future. When we do things that take that away from them, then shame on us.

Whatever rights we think our god gave us, or the constitution gives us, the most important right of all is the right to live in an undamaged world and to live our potential unhindered by a fucked up environment.

This is the right to life we should all be concerned about.

I stood there in Kilkee and felt the greater power around me. I lost myself in the almost infinite view of natural beauty and with each wave, I breathed in a little part of it.

I felt humbled.

The biggest stories in life begin with humility. The humility that reminds each of us that this world is not here for us. This life is not about us.

Our life is only as important as the love we leave behind us when we are gone.

Love each other. Love your children. And love the planet.

… just a thought.


Last night, I had just done the final chore of the day cleaning the upstairs litter trays and was carrying out a bag to the garbage can. Next stop was bed, having already taken my nighttime medicine.

But in that short walk to the trash can, I saw that there was some special lightning going on above me in the clouds and so I made a last minute decision to grab the camera and head for the ball fields down the road.

When I got there, the skies above me were flashing like crazy. There were no vertical strikes coming down to the ground; everything was playing out in the actual clouds themselves.

Because I hadn’t planned for it, it took me several minutes to get set up to start shooting. All my camera settings were wrong, I had left one SD card out of the camera (it’s a two-slot A7 iii) and so it also refused to take a shot until I went into the menu and told it that recording to just one card would be ok.

Of course, I was going through all this in the darkness of a ball-field and was very conscious of all the great flashes that were playing out above me while I was fumbling with the setting.

But eventually I did get it right and started shooting with the very wide 11 mm lens pointed up mostly at just sky.

With all the lightning playing out within the clouds themselves, they were never going to be crisp sharp shots that a strike against a clear sky would give but in this instance, I didn’t care. I also thought the offset would be the additional glow that the clouds themselves would give and would hopefully be good.

And I wasn’t wrong. I was pleased with the shots that I ended up with and have thrown together a decent selection at the end of this blog.

The air was positively warm and when finally the storm moved a distance northeast, it ushered in the most fabulous breeze right behind it and the temperature dropped a sudden ten or fifteen degrees.

I have never witnessed such a light show. I ended up taking over three hundred shots and I must have missed about another five hundred opportunities while the camera was processing each shot just taken.

The exposure time was 1.6 seconds, so in general I was probably taking a shot every four or five seconds.

I stayed there for around an hour or more and felt very humbled to be in the presence of such a wonderful display of Mother Nature’s light show. It was mind-numbingly awesome!

About fifty yards to my right were a couple of cars and the young people in them, like me, were happy to just stay and watch it all play out.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy some of the pics.

The thought I was left with as I drove home was how the decision to go was the right one, even if I didn’t have the setup properly planned for optimum photo-taking.

And that’s what led to the idea behind this blog. Spontaneity is often a good sense to follow, even if it does mean we can’t be as prepared for everything as a planned event might produce.

I acknowledge my normal planned approach to life. My girls referred to me as the “plan man” when they were growing up so I guess this trait wasn’t a particularly well-kept secret.

And I stand here and reaffirm that my belief in life is that we need to have a plan. We need to know where we want to go and develop a plan that supports our getting there. Without such a plan, we can often flounder and miss all sorts of opportunities to truly develop our life’s journey.

But every so often, we have to be willing to just do something instinctively and follow a gut feel, without knowing for sure where it is going to lead us.

Spontaneity is best realized when it is coupled to our gut-feel. This is the sense that just makes us believe in a course of action, without necessarily having thought about it.

When we go through life with just the five physical senses to guide us, we can often sell ourselves short on the experience that life was actually offering us.

Of course some people have a horrendous sense of instinct and if you are one of those, then don’t do anything spontaneous. Life’s adventure is not meant for you.

But most of us do have some sense of guidance coming from our gut instinct and more often than not, it turns out to be correct. It won’t always be correct but nothing in life is so don’t turn it off just because it got things wrong once on you.

Often times people don’t follow this instinct out of a fear of some sort. A fear of being wrong. A fear of looking foolish. A fear of being judged.

But fear is never the right guide to live your life by.

Sometimes, you have to just hop in the car and go follow those clouds and see where they take you.

And if you find yourself alone in a field, looking up at the sky, then congrats. It sure beats going nowhere and looking down at your feet.

… just a thought.