Posted: October 28, 2016 in Bridges, Minnesota, Night Photography, Photography, Rain, Wabi Sabi
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The second night anchored on a sandbar near the bridge in Winona, Minnesota.

The thunderstorm rolled in around midnight. Loud! Holy Mother of Pearl! Had you told me cannons were firing from the upper deck, I would have believed you.

The only cannons firing, though, were mine.

Okay…Canons, not cannons.


There was no way to go out on the deck to shoot, though…not unless I wanted to sacrifice my equipment to the storm so I spent my time running back and forth from the front of the boat to my berth, shooting through the glass and playing with colors and focus. Lovely jagged bolts of lightening would have been splendid, but this wasn’t that kind of storm. The sky kept blowing up all blue-white which was enormously cool to watch, but not much for photographic drama.


Eventually, I ran out of shots to take, stowed the cameras and climbed into bed. By positioning myself just so, I was able to fall asleep to the sounds of thunder, wind, and driving rain while keeping the bridge in sight.


This makes my short list of Best Nights Ever.

  1. andykidd says:

    I love each of these and your excitement 🙂

    • Thank you, Andy. It truly was a one-time-only experience. 🙂
      The giant canvas canopy over the upper deck was ripped free during the storm and ended up about 200 feet away, all mucked up in tree roots and water.

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    Lovely photos and obviously an exciting night for you. 🙂

    A tip: Put a plastic bag over the camera with a hole cut for the lens, secured by an elastic band. Greater versatility if you don’t mind getting wet. 🙂

    • Thank you…I have read the plastic bag advice before, though under those rent-a-boat circumstances, there weren’t many supplies available. Could I have crafted something from marine toilet paper and empty wine bottles?

      Have you actually done the baggie thing and how successful were you? Circumstances might arise and I would like to know.

      • Lignum Draco says:

        You were on a houseboat on a river. If you’d put a net over the side, you would have caught several plastic bags soon enough.

        I know how to do it, but have never had to do it. The information is in my memory bank for my next “MacGyver” moment.

    • Gotcha. I actually have a raincoat for my cameras which I received as a gift a few years ago, but that stays safely at home in my camera cupboard and I have never used it. (duh…)

  3. Jane Lurie says:

    Oh, my goodness, Patricia. Talk about great minds thinking alike. I love your shots — the colors, the drops… and on a boat! In a thunderstorm! Now that is creative dedication. 🙂 Wonderful.

    • Thank you, Jane. I never tire of shooting through a rainy window. I think the possibilities are endless.
      Re: the houseboat, it was remarkably solid in all of this (we were anchored on a sandbar) and there was little or no movement.
      Or would it be better to say that we were tossed about violently by the river gods? 🙂

      • Jane Lurie says:

        Couldn’t agree more about the creative options. Such fun. Sure you could make up an adventure story! 😉

      • The thunderstorm was the SAFE part of the adventure…for real. The engines shut down a total of 5 times when we were on the river, the first time as we drifted towards a lock and dam. A 64 foot houseboat and when we called…deeply concerned…to the marina, the owner told us this wasn’t happening and it had never happened before. So it was impossible to be happening no matter what we said. Seriously.

      • Jane Lurie says:

        Oh, wow. I would have been a bit freaked out. Glad you made it in one piece!

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