I could be wrong, a condition in which I frequently find myself, but it seems like the weather was particularly tame this spring.

Oh to be sure there were spells when the temperature was above normal for March, April and May and below average. There were stretches of sunshine and moisture, some of which fell in the form of early spring snowflakes. There was even the occasional rumble of thunder.

In years past spring thunder was a reliable indicator that another season of lightning photography was at hand. And while spring lightning for an assortment of reasons is not particularly photogenic as a rule, it does serve nicely as a subtle reminder that it is time to make sure that the camera battery is fully charged, that I haven't made a rookie mistake by forgetting to put a memory card back in the camera after the last time I took it out to download some photos, attaching a tripod to the camera body and making sure that all the camera settings are correct for shooting lightning.

Since spring has transitioned into summer there have been some opportunities to go storm chasing. I was curious how I would react when I witnessed lightning that I could not photograph, which is essentially the situation I find myself in now because of the blasted Parkinson's with which I am afflicted.

Family members insist that I can still shoot storms, but I do not share that outlook. I have enough trouble remaining upright on any given day. Add in me wrestling with a tripod and camera, and it is a recipe for big time trouble on a dark and stormy night.

Because I am no longer driving, I must rely on the generosity of others if I was to attempt to photograph a storm. Last year I shot lightning twice, once with my oldest son, Caleb, serving as my chauffeur. The other time it was my wife, Nancy, providing transportation. While I appreciated their help, I recognize I cannot count on it since Caleb lives three hours away and Nancy is just not a big lightning fan, especially when it is close, which I fully understand.

A couple of weeks ago there was an awesome display of what I call "finger lightning" running through the sky on the backside of an energized thunderstorm. For an extended period of time I stood staring out the kitchen window of the Henley hacienda waiting for the next volley of God's fireworks show to appear.

A few days later I was on the telephone sharing my experience from that night with my son, Jacob, who is an accomplished lighting photographer himself. He suggested that even though I may no longer be comfortable going out and shooting lightning on my own, there is certainly nothing wrong with watching it for beauty's sake.


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