Fire and Rain!


Fire and Rain!

Recently we moved from Texas to New Mexico's Route 66 town of Tucumcari.  The day of the move, I got bit by a stray cat on my thumb (he was squatting in a box in our garage and didn't appreciate being evicted.)    He bit through the Thumb nail and all the way to the bone, which became infected.  The infection was bad enough for me to spend a week in the hospital.  I am 57 and as of writing this, I have had my share of traumatic injuries. I can't count the stiches or broken bones.  I have lived an adventurer's life with my camera for sure.

But to be frank and I was shocked, one of the most painful things I have experienced was a cat bite to the thumb.  Granted all the knuckles became infected and because of septic arthritis (never heard of it till i got it) all the knuckles became frozen immobile.  The infection was so bad my whole hand swelled up.  The bone burned inside my thumb; I can't explain it but WOW.  When I was telling a friend Bary Nusz what it felt like and that if I didn't have medical care I would cut my own thumb off he made this comical image: 

Well to add insult to injury it was my dominate hand.  I found out that our thumbs provide 40% of the usefulness of the hand accord to the doc.    Do you know how much I do on my camera with my thumb?  90 Days on antibiotics, a week in the hospital on IV antibiotics and 3 shots of Antibiotics in the ER before they put me in the hospital.  I didn't even want to look at my camera to be honest. 

But storms don't last.  They might go a lot longer than we think we can stand, but the dawn always comes and this last week I have gotten a lot better. 

Just south of Tucumcari is Tucumcari Moutain.  It rises only 900 feet from the plains of New Mexico but is such an iconic shape and because of it sitting on the plains it is easily seen miles and miles away.  The Comanche named it and while there is some debate what it actually means and how you originally pronounced the name, the city of Tucumcari gets its name from the Moutain.  


I woke to thunder in the pre-dawn.  I looked at radar and the thunderstorm were east of town and was lining up with the Moutain.  I thought about it and for the first time in months grabbed my camera and ran.  (I have done a few shots but only ones that I needed to do this was my first "let's go have fun with a camera" shoot in months.)  

I put Tucumcari Moutain which with a wide-angle lens doesn't look very moutainesque, in-between the storm and me.  I set my camera up to just do a time lapse.  In part to save my thumb, as time lapses are just sequential shots set to go off automatically.  The other nice things about doing this is I can sit and watch.  Boy talk about a light show.  Not just from the lightning but then the sunrise as the storm moved off.


Before leaving, I did a pano shot.  A pano shot is a panoramic where you take multiple photos with the notion of stitching them together.  The sky was 180 degrees of gorgeous and all I was using was a 28mm lens which got about 1/3 of it.  The shot above is 16 images shot in sequence from north to south.  A lot of the lightning was anvil crawlers, meaning that instead of cloud to ground the lightning would just crawl across the cloud bottom.  To be fair the lightning here is from an earlier frame of my time lapse.   There was just no way to create what I was watching with a single frame.    


Who knew a cat bite could cripple a body up as bad as it did.  Well maybe this storm is easing a bit and I can get back to more normal art creation.  Lets hope the rain rolls away and clouds part for clear skies for a while.