A journey into the eyes and mind of a naturalist.

Red Sky at Night

“Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.  Red sky at night, sailors delight.”  This old saying is a non-scientific method of weather forecasting used by sailors for hundreds of years.  Today we have radar, satellites and a myriad of other instruments to predict the weather.  Despite all of our advancements in technology weather can still be very unpredictable.  This year alone has witness some of the most deadly tornadoes in the history of our country.  The warning time is rarely more than 10 minutes.  Those ten minutes can literally mean the difference between life and death.

From a photographers perspective storms and severe weather are some of the best times to go out and shoot.  Now I’m not suggesting to go out during the storm but before and after will offer some phenomenal lighting and color.

Living in Minnesota we get our fair share of summer thunderstorms.  I get visibly excited when these storms move through.  I’m that guy who is outside watching the storm brew in the middle of the street.  For me it puts life in perspective for a moment.  As humans we think we are the all controlling force on the planet.  I realize that there is more energy and power in a single thunderstorm that we can imagine!

We all know the power that can be found with a single storm but that same storm can also produce some of the most beautiful sights in the natural world.

Last week a severe storm moved through just before sunset.  After the storm moved through an eerie rainbow appeared for just a moment.  There was even a second rainbow that was faintly visible.

This rainbow was very different than most.  It lacked all the colors of spectrum because it occurred just before sunset.  All but the reds and oranges were visible with the other colors filtered out through the atmosphere.

This rainbow was visible for just a minute or two.  It was unlike any other rainbow I had ever seen before.  I would not have had the opportunity to see this sight without being outside immediately after the storm passed.

Humans have been watching weather since our ancestors came out of the trees.  It is engrained into our psyche and culture.  A deep respect and reverence for weather is a part of human nature.  It is not something that should be feared because it also the source of some the most beautiful skies found on the planet.

Up Next:  Assassins and Dragons

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One response

  1. kathy lane

    Jimmy,
    Once again you bring a tear to your Mothers eye. Beautiful photos & and wonderful story!

    July 12, 2011 at 12:31

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