Late Spring and early Summer is storm season in my Appalachian Mountains. The heavy dark clouds rake across the ridges and the sky takes on that ominous hue. I have been watching the tulip poplar all day. Just before a storm they turn the underside of their leaves outwards and begin to shake and sway. Once as a child I heard my paternal grandmother make reference to the poplars doing a rain dance. “Thems trees are gonna make thunder”. She said in her old time mountain dialect. She was from Jodi which is the little village on the right side of the river in tonight’s feature image. But I digress.
I knew that the view from the Gauley River always offered a spectacular image during inclement weather. Having just come from the west I estimated that had just enough time to jog out to the middle of the bridge before my gear and I was soaked. By the time I got to just the right spot the sky was really getting dark. Small birds were darting around in a flurry taking advantage of the disoriented insects that were caught in the breeze. Just a few minutes later the flight of the birds was replaced by the leaves that were blown down from the mountain. I had to work quickly if I wanted to be dry when I made it back to my big blue truck. I was able to get a few exposures before the sound of approaching rain began to echo up from down river. It was time to move and move fast. I could hear the stormfront gaining on me as I stretched out my stride in order to pick up speed. I dared not look back while I fumbled with the fob and repeatedly pressed the unlock button. As the door slammed shut the large globular drops impacted the windshield. I raced back onto the highway and straitened a few curves in an effort to beat the storm to my home. I managed to get there just as the storm caught up with me. In it’s final act of wrath the storm managed to keep me in the truck for a few minutes but as it was drawing it’s second breath I slipped out of the garage. In my final act of defiance I closed the door to the house. I suppose that this time my race against the storm ended in a draw.
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