Giant cloud fist has second thoughts and lets Vankleek Hill live another day

Vankleek Hill nature

At some point while I was taking this series of photos, my girlfriend was yelling at Andrew (her oldest son, he’s in the fifth shot) to get into the car because she thought we were all going to die, and I was yelling at her to get out of the car because I thought she was going to miss an awesome cloud.

We were in the process of leaving the Vankleek Hill splashpad because it looked like rain, and there was thunder, and there was also a whole horizon of really dark clouds rolling in. But, as Diane rushed to put the boys in the car, I saw this amazing, tumbling, low, horizontal grey cloud getting closer, fast.

So I started shooting, and I noticed the sky behind the weird cloud had changed colour, and kind of glowed. And I thought “hey, that’s cool.” And I continued shooting. And as I shot, the horizontal cloud bent, and started to become vertical… very fast. And I thought “wow, that’s freaking awesome”, so I started waving at Diane, who was in the car.

And she was waving back. So I started pointing at the sky, and she was pointing at the cars dashboard. So I started yelling, “no no, the cloud, look at the cloud”, and she started yelling “no, get in the car”. But I couldn’t hear her because the windows were up.

So I thought she was saying something like “the cloud’s coming down” and nodded in agreement and continued shooting.

I guess, if things had gone really bad, I might have ended up impaled through a tree, but rescue dogs would have found my camera’s memory card by tracking my scent. So I might have had a legacy.

Anyway. No more than ten seconds — but probably five — after the grey, angry, cloud loosened and fell apart, there was a dull roar and we were hit with a wall of rain… I just had enough time to get my camera into the Ziploc bag I usually carry with me before I was soaked.

Vankleek Hill’s weekly newspaper published the photo… unfortunately, a grey shot gets greyer when published as a b/w image in a newspaper — low contrast, low quality ink, printed on low quality paper. So it looked like a grey rectangle with my byline under it.

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Vankleek Hill nature montage

…I had the exposure closed 1.7 stops, otherwise there’s no manipulation of the photos.

Vankleek Hill Photos copyright

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