Granted, Wilton Manors is in a Heat Shadow of Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Storms come from any given direction, and they tend to separate around us. The Thunderstorms that used to be so predictable will skip over us and rain on neighboring towns.
They can be dramatic to watch. Giant anvil headed things floating past the window, slowly. Sometimes lightning will spark and cause a great bass note to arrive some time later.
Flash and Count… One One Thousand, Two One Thousand, Three One Thousand, Four One Thou… BOOM! That was close.
The dog hates those. Rack, The McNab SuperDog(TM) may be intelligent but he truly turns into a shivering ball of fur in a corner when those storms come through.
When I am walking East on Wilton Drive, an hour or so before sunrise, I see them off in the distance. Like a picket line, they must be just off shore, a couple miles apart, regularly spaced like a hair comb with a few missing teeth.
Anyone who takes a picture from time to time gets the idea of taking The Perfect Beach Picture. You know the “Postcard” shot I am talking about. The beach should be deserted. Sunrise hasn’t yet happened, but it is close. The clouds are backlit and glowing gold, brass, and copper on the bottom and sides. The skies themselves are turning from purple to a lighter blue. The seas are a mill pond calm with only a few splashes here and there. The beach sand is a welcoming place. Warm and coppery in the morning light.
Get your camera out, tripod, take that picture.
That’s it, I’ll have the worlds best picture of Fort Lauderdale Beach!
Fire off a few more in case that doesn’t look quite right.
Play with focusing and timing if the camera will allow it and see what you can see.
Seagulls give more drama, why aren’t there seagulls?
All this was running through my head. Rack was with me. I’m at the midpoint of my walk talking to another person who is up at stupid o’clock getting his morning walk in.
I flash back to the house and think the Jeep has gas, it’s not blocked in the driveway, and I’m not too worn out from the walk. I could do this!
Then I realize that no, I couldn’t. I’d have to get to the beach quickly, avoid traffic, with all my gear. Get down there within 30 minutes. Find parking, it is free until 8AM down in Hollywood, who knows what those people charge in Lauderdale. Cart all that machinery out to the beach, set it all up, and maybe get a few shots.
All of this running through my head as I look at my watch. Sunrise was in 30 minutes. Too late. Would have to plan this better, get up even earlier. The people here are used to seeing me walk my dog at this hour. Walking around there aren’t that many people up and about at 5AM give or take a few. A half hour earlier and hopefully everyone would be in bed so we could get our walk in uninterrupted.
Then go through the logistics to get to the beach.
Ugh. There has to be a better way.
Sure. Procrastinate. December. Sunrise is much later then. I could drive down there, have my pick of beaches. They would all be deserted then. Even the snowbirds would be asleep.
Just remember if you’re in the car from midnight to 5AM, there is probable cause that you have been drinking…
But Officer! Photography Equipment! Pictures!
So I stand near the house in the middle of the street. May as well take a test photo, it is just about the right time of day for it. Looks good on the little bitty screen I’ll have to check it inside on the laptop in big format (TM).
Yuck. Grainy. Digital Photography is showing its limits again. Maybe I’ll just blow it off until the next generation of cameras.
Or December when the later sunrises happen.
Don’t know. Procrastination for the win!