27 November 2005

Location, location, location!

Last night, we had a splendid sunset — magnificent colour gradients, exciting cloud shapes, interesting optical effects (clouds lit up oddly with combinations of direct and reflected sunlight) — generally looking gorgeous.

Next, we were treated to a short but energetic set of spectacular lightning storms. Some of the cloud-to-cloud forks covered 40 to 45 degrees of sky, and many of the ground hits were long-lasting multi-strikes. Much “oooooh” and “aaaaah”.

This was followed by the Wanneroo Agricultural Show fireworks, which not only had the usual gaudy flashes and bangs (much more colourful than the lightning if nowhere near as powerful), but had them against a background of cloud, and in a stiff and stratified wind (I estimate 120km/h where the bulk of the fireworks were bursting, 80km/h up where the big ones went off, 40km/h at ground level). The fireworks would go bang and form a big octopus of smoke, which then drifted intact from the showgrounds to out of sight over our roof in 20 seconds. The clouds and smoke were constantly being lit up by the more or less continuous play of fireworks near the ground, the intermittent flashes of their peers, and occasionally bursts of lightning from the departing storm. Definitely an unforgettable experience, and quite photogenic.

Sadly, my camera is broken.

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