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Working at my desk on a recent evening, I slowly became aware that something unusual was going on outside. The second thunderstorm of the day had arrived, after dark, and later than predicted.

Silently, it had morphed into a giant fireworks display, sending rapid-fire flashes back and forth across the night sky, brightening the southeast quadrant for over an hour (I later learned). The thunder was muted, no doubt by the distance and the heavy cloud cover.

As I watched, the display seemed to be slowing, so I skipped the tripod, and braced the camera on the edge of the open window. (The slideshow is a bit blurry as a result.) Luckily, the rain had stopped.

Photos can’t fully convey the awesome nature of this spectacle. During just the few minutes that I watched, I counted some fifty flashes. There were few lightning bolts, mostly flashes, the bolts no doubt diffused into flashes by the thick cloud cover.

The date was June 1, 2011, about 9:30 in the evening.

See related post: Pocket Lightning*.

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