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Downpour

Between playing a game of Scrabble and cooking supper, I  thought of riding my bicycle to the legislature grounds to take pictures of the water fountain and play with different shutter speeds. It was getting dark out for mid afternoon and  I thought that I would still go to the same destination but changed to the car for my mode of transportation-just in case.

It was cloudy and I was excited about the possibility of getting  some lightning shots. No rain yet, I parked and walked a half block from my car and took pictures of the sky. Definitely some threatening clouds there. The wind was picking up, and I decided to head back to the car. I heard a sound like a crack. Did a branch break? I looked around. No, nothing apparent. A second later, another crack.

Hmmm. What was that? I perused the area then saw, on the sidewalk in front of me, a hunk of ice. I picked it up in my hand -wow, this was almost the size of a golf ball! Hail. Big hail. I started to quicken my pace and stopped at the parking attendant’s shack just as the hail started plummeting. He was just shutting the door and turned his back to me. Well, that’s  a “no go.” I hunched  my shoulders over my camera and thought it might be painful getting to the car so I ran as best I could. The hail was heavy  but I don’t remember getting hit-I was more concerned about my camera. I got in the car quickly.

I didn’t drive away. It was raining too hard to see and the pellets of ice were making a racket as they bounced off my windshield and car hood . All sorts of leaves were blowing around and stuck to the hood and windows. This was scary! So Loud! Oh my God, is my windshield going to break? I calmed down and got the camera ready and took pictures out the window thinking how exciting and a little scary this all was. The pictures were almost impossible to take as streams of water ran down the windows. And if I opened the window I got soaked.

When the rain and hail slowed down I got the wipers and fan going because it was fogging up quicker than I could clear it. Took a couple of photos then it was okay to drive. I backed up and realized there was a huge puddle behind my car-always an ominous feeling because I didn’t know how deep it was going to get. I was able to turn before fully backing out and stopped long enough to get another shot of the flooded parking lot. I was feeling sympathy for the people who get caught in tornadoes and cyclones and the like, knowing this was so minor in comparison.

It was rush hour-oh, nice timing -and everything was slowed down because the streets had flooded and it was still pouring but not as heavily as before. The pedestrians were walking on the streets parallel to the traffic because they were trying to cross the road and couldn’t bridge the water flowing down the curbs. Every time I got to an intersection a car would send up a wake of water as it turned a corner or drove through. I had to wait a couple of lights and took pictures,wary of the distracted driving bylaw. I saw others with their point and shoots, a couple of us doing this when we were stuck at a light and going nowhere.

Finally got to Jasper Avenue. No, I was NOT going down the main street.I took a detour knowing the street took a dip a few blocks away and would be in worse shape than what I was seeing. I slowed down for the big puddles and got home just fine. That was my little bit of excitement for the day. I am still surprised that I never got hit by the hail. Haven’t checked my car yet.

Here are some pretty bad photos but hope they give a sense of the moment.

©Jane Chesebrough  Approaching Storm

©Jane Chesebrough  Bouncing Off the Ground

©Jane Chesebrough At the Base of Tree

©Jane Chesebrough  Close-up of Hail

©Jane Chesebrough  Flooded Parking Lot and Boulevard

©Jane Chesebrough  Flooded Streets

©Jane Chesebrough   Sidewalks Flooded

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10 responses

  1. Incredible. I have never such an experience. I am glad that finally everything went well for You.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:37 am

    • Yes, a beautiful day today except cooler. I guess after all these years it is the first time I was caught outside in a hail storm.

      August 24, 2012 at 8:46 am

  2. What a story Jane… an adventure! You were meant to go out just to experience the hail storm!! Like the 2nd to last shot a lot – can feel the energy there!! xo

    August 24, 2012 at 9:57 am

    • Maybe it is the combination of the clarity and the blurred motion-appreciate your feedback, Robyn.

      August 24, 2012 at 10:05 am

  3. Wow that was one heck of a storm that blew through! Glad you are safe and didn’t have to feel what a/or many golf ball sized pieces of hail is like!
    The first photo really shows the impending storm!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    • it was so quiet just before it hit. Yes i was happy for me and my camera.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm

  4. Glad you made it home safe & sound Jane! I hope your vehicle is fine.

    August 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

    • there are a few little impressions on the trunk and looks like more rock chips on the windshield and I wonder if that is from the hail but nothing that I am going to claim on insurance.Love your work with the hawks and badger.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm

  5. Oh my goodness, that was scary Jane! Impressive-sized hail, glad you and your camera didn’t get hit, but sorry to hear your car got hurt a bit. I know I would have been like you, worry about the camera the most! 🙂

    September 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm

  6. i haven’t fully paid for the lens yet, that would have been a tragedy. Ha Ha.

    September 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm

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