Amazing storm here yesterday evening. Now the skies are clear and calm. The only camera I would have taken out in the storm yesterday would have been a Nikonos.


So nice I posted it twice...

This seems to be the year for high drama weather in Austin. We had the week of the "Great Freeze" back in February and, strange as this will seem to non-Texans, there are still a number of people waiting to have their pipes and other plumbing replaced from that disaster. It's been the wettest Spring I can remember and, when it does rain, Mother Nature seems in a hurry. Gone are the long, gentle rains; they've been replaced by torrential downpours. Like the rain we had at 6:15 yesterday evening. 

A strong West-to-East cold front brought 75 mile per hour winds and dropped nearly three inches of rain in our area in less than an hour. Then the winds died down and we had on-and-off thunder and lightning for most of the night. When I got up to drive to swim practice this morning my front yard was covered with small branches and a blanket of ball moss that had been blown right off the trees. Miraculously, we had no real damage to any of the trees or the structures on our property. Our neighbors all over the place were not as uniformly lucky. Four enormous trees were uprooted in the surrounding blocks. Every where I looked there were downed branches; some up to ten inches in diameter. In three places the road was partially blocked by large, heavy, fallen branches or the remnants of split trees.

We never lost power but the swim club and the surrounding residential neighborhood has been without power since 6:30 p.m. yesterday (I'm writing this at 2 p.m.) and they are still without electricity. All the traffic lights between here and there are blinking red and that's a very, very hard thing for Texans to cope with, intellectually. They all want to go at once at most four-way stops. 

When I got to the club the locker rooms were dark and, outside at the pool, the digital pace clocks were blank. We got our money's worth this morning from our coach on deck. She had to keep the repeat times for all seven lanes and call out to send us off for each set. We got through our usual yardage but there was no hot water in the dark locker rooms so no showers today. If you needed to rinse off the chlorine you could always wait your turn and spray off with the chilly water coming out of a nearby garden hose...

I spent a good chunk of my post workout time walking through the yard with a giant trash bag gathering ball moss and small branches. I'll spend the rest of the daylight hours breaking in the Sigma 24-70mm Art lens on the front of the Leica SL2. The city is progressively becoming unmasked so I might actually get to photograph some smiling faces. That's my hope anyway. 

I'm trying to learn to be more "camera-dexterous" and expand my camera preferences from just the SL to also include the SL2. Familiarity with cameras is good. 

Maybe, with a little practice, I'll be able to make portraits like this one...