For the past….ten years…. or so I knew I’d be leaving Los Angeles at some point. For the past five years I knew I’d be leaving California altogether. Earlier this winter, knowing the baby numero dos was on the way, my backpack and I made several trips to the Denver / Boulder area and within five weeks was closed on a beautiful house in between Denver and Boulder.
With the pregnancy, the move, a curious and ceaselessly energetic toddler and the inevitable 9-5 grind it has been a strikingly long time since I picked up a camera or hit the nature trail (though I did get to go camping in January in Death Valley.) Along with a massive and slow seasonal melt, all of that is starting to change.
I started this blog as I learned to use a nice camera I purchased. I still have a long way to go in terms of honing my skills but I at least know how to use the equipment now. The things I’ve learned along the way have had little to do with the actual gear, and more about learning to work with nature and the thousand forces that affect what I’m trying to accomplish.
The latest – and among the top of the heap in terms of importance – is the weather in Colorado. Specifically, the weather along the eastern plains once you get east of the city of Denver. Because the weather here will try to kill you if you are not careful.
Baseball sized hail, tornadoes, electrical storms. All of these are new to me because I’m from California where all we really worry about are earthquakes every 50 years or so. I’ve been studying local weather patterns relentlessly: convergence zones, dry lines, dew points, wind shear, storm fronts, low pressure, high pressure, various types of clouds, wedge tornadoes, rope tornadoes, funnel clouds, dustnadoes, inflow, outflow, down drafts, super cells, front line cells, multi cells, where the bear cage is and most of all: Doppler and how to read those funny colorful pixels on a map.
I am now a certified storm spotter, and learning to read Doppler has been a huge help in teaching me about storm tracks, positioning and planning.
Best of all, there’s been a lot of times so far in just the two months I’ve been here that I haven’t had to go more than steps out of my backyard to catch a killer electrical storm.
So as I learn how not to die in this new environment, please enjoy my latest shots!