Wednesday, July 18, 2012

BAD WEATHER................makes for good pictures.

The weather here in Holland can change drastically from hour to hour.
When I arrived here in Elsendorp in the Netherlands on April 29th, the weather was still a little chilly, in the 40's at night, up to the 60's in the daytime. Then as May turned into June the weather got progressively better, temperatures climbing, falsely lulling me into getting used to the onset of summer, a seemingly elusive season here in Holland.

Not so fast.

Before I knew it, a week long series of storms and generally overcast days put it right back into April weather again.
And now it's half way through July and after a warm beginning of the month, again the weather takes a turn and the grey skies roll in and the massive storm clouds form in early morning, depressing most here, but for me, it gives me and my camera a spectacular palette of colors to photograph and a chance to test out just how waterproof a Nikon D3s really is. 
Remarkably waterproof actually, and I speak from firsthand real world experience.
But I digress.......

This was a very colorful and fast moving storm cell that rolled through Elsendorp  at about 5:30 am on Sunday, July 8th,lasted all of 6 minutes.

I usually set my alarm for 5am, I get up, take a peek outside at what Mother Nature is setting up in terms of weather and associated cloud formations and color palettes, and depending on how interesting it looks, I'll reluctantly forgo my morning coffee for the sake of art, and sluggish and bleary eyed head out with my camera. If it doesn't look too promising, I fire up my MSR Dragonfly camp stove and get my Turkish ground coffee going and do some photo editing instead.

This particular morning was looking good, real good. No coffee for me.

The metadata capture time of this image is 5:40 am.

I had intended to go out that morning and shoot the rising sun (or rather the revolving earth turning to reveal the sun), but looking west, the storm cell that was approaching looked a hell of a lot more interesting and colorful than the sunrise. It also looked like I was in for a soaking.
  Rolling and boiling dark grey clouds were picking up speed, colors were getting weird, Twilight Zone weird, they were picking up and reflecting the colors of the orange sunrise to the east which gave it an almost theatrical feel to it.

A voice, in the distance, "You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop......."?.

This was the last shot I took that morning, capture time on the metadata is 5:46am, so all of this happened within a six minute time frame.
The sky let loose what seemed like a few million gallons of moisture, I got soaked, my camera got soaked, but, it's a Nikon D3s, waterproof as I found out when I got back to LBS. Those things are tanks, best camera I bought.
 I threw my gear into the sidecar, jumped on the bike, and rode the 3 kilometers back to the house.
After the storm had passed on, all of 10 minutes later, the rest of the day was grey, wet and generally crappy.

Interestingly enough, the following morning was, for all intents and purposes, a nice, relaxing morning, clouds drifting slowly, taking their time going where clouds go in the morning. Morning cloud meetings maybe?. Moisture content checkpoints along the hemisphere?.
It seemed like an apology of sorts really, for the anger and the mayhem caused just one day prior.
Probably not, it's just weather, right?. 
Nothing to see here folks, move along now.

And here's an interesting, odd, and annoying little ditty for you, annoying for me anyway.
It doesn't get dark outside here in Elsendorp until 10:45 pm, and it gets light at 4:50 am. It's a little disconcerting for m going to bed at 10:30 while it's still light out, it feels like I'm in the movie Insomnia in the scene where Al Pacino tries to put anything and everything up against the window in his motel room to block out the constant daylight in the northern parts of Alaska, as Maura Tierney ( the innkeeper) looks on with a bemused but understanding look on her face.

But I digress yet again.....

I took a little ride the other day, over toward Oudedijk, the road that leads from the village of Odiliapeel to Middenpeelweg, or more commonly known as the N272 roadway.

Upon approaching this sign, I had a flashback for a moment, the last thing I expected to see in the Netherlands was a town called America, but there it was, dead ahead of me.
A town of about 2100 inhabitants in the Dutch province of Limburg and named after the continent of the same name, America, the Netherlands, even has it's own Facebook Page.

No America, or is it leaving America?,
This could be interpreted in a few different ways, but here in Holland it just means that you're leaving the town boundaries.

Some upcoming posts here on that are waiting in the wings are Pt II of "Murph's Holland, the Bicycle Diaries" which will be up this coming Monday, and Pt IV of my BMW Mobec Duo-Drive Sidecar Conversion that I came over here to the Netherlands for in the first place that will be posted the following Sunday.
If you missed out on the beginning of the build you can always catch up and read about it on these links,




Meanwhile I just got back from leaving America again, and cooked up some grilled chicken with garlic, green peppers and some onions and my secret ingredient...... 

Well, what did you expect?. I am Irish after all, and Celtic Sea Salt is by far THE most wonderfully tasting salt I have EVER tasted.
It's best when used raw, no cooking, like on salads or a diced or sliced avocado with freshly squeezed lemon juice, but the trick is to put the Celtic Sea Salt on the avocado after you squeeze the lemon juice on, otherwise it just washes it off.
It has a great moist sweetness to it, and a sprinkle is a great accompaniment to a fruit salad, sounds strange, but the sweet and bitter of the fresh fruit with the hint of minerally flavored salt work perfect.

Have the day of your choice........



Charlie6 said...

Beautiful pics Murph!


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

IRISH Murph said...

Hey Dom, thanks. I had fun taking them too, an interesting 15 minutes.