Another week in 2012 has gone into history, and the week was as unique as the previous one for Project 365. This is Day 237 through Day 243 of 366 photos for the year so far (you can see the full gallery on Flickr here). Seems I can’t get by a week without having some different sunrise or sunset photo. The weather here down in the south has been dynamic as far as the clouds go, just without much rain. This week was a hard week for different reasons, and for different people. Often it seems there are so many different people and situations that need and deserve prayer, yet it can quickly become overwhelming if you try to take it all on yourself. Of course that’s not the point of prayer, and thank God He is never overwhelmed by our prayer requests, or number of prayers we offer.
The photo above that leads off this post is a draft of a poem on prayer I worked on this week. Surprisingly, once I started working on it, the bulk of the verse came together faster than any other poetic attempt, and I really only had to rewrite it a few times. If you have followed this blog at all you will know I have tried to put my creative mind to work through photography, reading, and writing, which includes poetry here and there. Poetry is one of those art forms our culture has ignored to such a point that it captured my attention, maybe because it has been so highly ignored by my generation. This is not to say I am a poet, but I do make attempts. Poetry is like photography in that if I never took any photos, there is a 100% chance I would never improve.
One thing I have learned about poetry is it’s every bit as difficult as I thought it was. It is difficult to understand at times, it’s extremely difficult to write, and overwhelmingly difficult to write well. Anyway, what I have learned about poetry is that when simple prose are inadequate to express the greatness at hand, poetry steps in and creates an entirely different level of expression, and that is incredible. Look for this poem later in the week, but this week, the images of the week include this attempt at poetry on prayer. If you are wondering about the bubbles image below, check out Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple, Oil and Water for an explanation.
For the last few weeks when I finally got around to reviewing the images for my Project 365 (see gallery of all P365 images here) I always seem to have a unique sunset or sunrise photo I like. The above shot wasn’t actually an official P365 image, but I really like how the abstract, somewhat pastel, sunrise turned out. This shot above was taken with my iPhone out of the window of my office-study around 6am while I was doing my daily routine of reading.
This week was a super busy week all around, and the images are really from all over the place. Two images in this set are part of larger posts, one of Deborah, which was posted yesterday, and another below is one image in a full set of images to be posted later in the week. These images represent my week well, and they are really all over the place, but my favorite image really has nothing to do with good photography, it has to do with the power of a yellow sticky note. I’m not sure I’ve ever received a more encouraging note on a computer left for me to fix. On a day I had almost no extra time to do anything I was handed a computer that didn’t work because of an unfortunate coffee spill directly on the computer’s keyboard. This note, and the fact that the computer was actually able to be cleaned up and get it fixed within about an hour was such a great end to my work week.
It was a dreary cloudy day in Auburn today, but almost 80*F in the middle of November, until this really fast moving storm system sort of caught everyone saying “what just happened?” These storms have now moved east doing about the same damage as they head towards the east coast. We didn’t have any damage at our place but there was pretty significant damage all around Auburn in the form of downed trees and power lines, some turned over cars, and apparently some damage to Auburn High School and Haley Center on campus. We are thrilled to hear that, so far, there haven’t been any injuries associated with the storm.
The only reason Deb and I happened to be on campus at lunch time today was to get her out of the house for a quick lunch in Foy Hall where they have one of her favorite places to eat. Once the sirens started going off on campus (see a really splotchy video here) everyone headed for the hallways and campus became like a ghost town. It’s just part of living down here in the south, glad no one was hurt. I did however get some photos while we were walking/driving around trying to get home (all taken with my cell phone here). Stormy weather always makes for such great lighting conditions, even if it is just on your cell phone.
It seems like these storms have been way to far and few between the past few years, but at least we are getting a small amount of rain. This thunderhead rolled by yesterday afternoon about 2pm and today it’s the photo of the day. Down here you see these nice little points developing in the clouds and you start to take notice. This one never picked up any rotation to it, but it made for some nice dramatic cloud shots. This image was taken just a few miles from my house when I was on my way to work, I literally stopped on the side of the road and rolled down the window to get the shot. My favorite part is how this tiny little truck way off in the lower right corner looks like it’s trying to outrun the storm like it’s the movie Twisters or something. It would be nice if we could get these every afternoon for the rest of the year.
Last night just around midnight we finally had a thunderstorm go through our property. Feels like the first one that has come across our house this year, but it brought some nice lightning with it, for a very short time period. I took these shots right out my office window. I rendered the one image above both in black and white and color so you could see the vapor trail from the previous bolt that hit just prior to my shutter being pressed. Look on the black and white just to the left side of the image and you will see where the bolt that is no longer visible went through the clouds. I really love shooting lightning, wish the opportunity came about more often than once a year or so. You would think being in the deep south that wouldn’t be the case but we seem to be lingering in a 5 year drought. As usual the exif metadata can be found on flickr if you want to see how the shots were taken. This was really the last time I have been able to get some decent lightning at our place, back in the summer of 2008, see How to Successfully and Safely Photograph Lightning and Humidity, Storms, and Lightning in Alabama are Back for my last two examples.
This week was one that won’t be forgotten any time soon in the state of Alabama, especially not in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham or Dadeville, but I think in many ways the storms took so us by surprise. At the moment there are at least 320 people dead from all the related storms and tornadoes and the news just seems to just keep coming even days after the storms have passed. It took about 24-48 hours for people around here to even realize what had happened but the videos from Tuscaloosa and Birmingham are just incredible. The Big Picture has a few images from the storm at Tornadoes kill over 200, and they are bound to have more soon. Some of those photo really are worth at least a thousand words.
I am reminded that even among all the damage, the flowers still blooms, the plants still grown, and God is in charge, even if we like to think we really are. A man at a gas station tonight was showing me photos of his cousins mobile home that took a direct hit from a tornado in Dadeville and there was nothing but an empty spot on the ground with a mailbox. He made the remark to me that “what would have taken months to clear by bulldozer a storm did in 30 seconds”. Yes, the power of man is no match for the power of nature.
I took these shots today on my iPhone as I walked around our property. While we did have a tree or two go down we were basically untouched by any of the storm damage and wild flowers were blooming and corn was growing in the fields. Such an amazing contrast for just 30-40 miles away from here. Our church is taking a collection up on Sunday to deliver to Tuscaloosa, if you are in the Auburn area and would like more information please visit Tornado // Disaster // Relief. All of the photos above were taken with my iPhone today except for the one of the rain, which was taken the day all the storms hit as we were driving back from Columbus, GA. I almost didn’t make it this Friday but with 90 minutes left in the day, this is my Friday Feet post. Have a good weekend everyone.
This Friday for Friday Feet the plan was to focus on the day at hand, Good Friday. We had a nice relaxing day at home on Friday in preparation for the Good Friday service and it ended up being one of the more memorable services that either Deborah or I have been to in years. Just about half way into the service the tornado sirens started sounded. The service was interrupted for about 30 minutes while we all hunkered down to one side of the worship area.
What made the service so memorable was how unscripted the whole evening was. As we came back together and stared to focus on what makes this day special, the hail, thunder, and lightning started to come down in full force. This was not a “traditional” service but the way it came together was so special. I am thrilled to be a part of a church that is willing to interpret worship in many different ways.
On the way home it became apparent that the storm system that went through the area had made its way out to our property. Tree after tree had been uprooted, snapped in half, and literally thrown all over the place. The photo below at night was what we found as we drove in from the service. A cedar tree topped and covering the road. Once morning arrived we found about a 75 foot pine tree that was just blown over, making my Friday Feet image.
After surveying the damage out this way we found out that there were one and possibly two tornadoes that came through the property. They were small, but had two visual sightings and see to skip around the houses for the most part.
Last weekend we tried to go camping but the rain never really let up. Not only did it not let up, but the severe weather down in the gulf kept getting worse so we decided to give it a go this weekend. We are or were pretty avid campers in the day and we have camped in just about every state in the country but haven’t been in quite a while.
I am looking forward to a bit of relaxing on the beach with some time to read and write, hopefully we will see a bit of sun while we are down on the gulf this weekend. Below are some of the cloud formations we saw in the storms coming through this week. I love clouds, they are almost like snowflakes, day is different and they are constantly moving.