Last week, I took a drive over to Amelia Island and I stopped at Kingsley Plantation on the way home.  I didn’t stop at the very secluded driftwood beach at the foot of the George Crady Bridge on the Nassau Sound because I don’t suppose it’s a smart idea for a woman to trek around alone in remote parks.  I figured that I’d bring Mr. B. with me next time.

The football schedule has been so heavy that weekends are no longer fully available for making day trips, which leaves Mondays for that type of excursion.  We set out for the driftwood beach despite early reports that the weather might not be cooperative.  Indeed, these early weather reports were a bit excited:  It’s not Kansas that has a chance of tornados today, it’s Florida!

We set out anyway.  The sky was bright and the clouds that normally mass up around Jacksonville weren’t doing anything unusual.  As we drove by the road to Kingsley Plantation I told Mr. B. that I thought he might like to see it.  I handed him my new Nikon and drove him down the long limerock road.

We spent an hour walking around the park and then started to drive towards the driftwood beach.  We’d gone about a mile when I saw some excellent storm porn just to the west and approaching quickly.  To qualify as excellent storm porn, a storm needn’t produce a tornado.  It simply has to satisfy the following criteria:

1. It must produce at least two types of lightning, and one of these must be forked.

2. It must either have a forming wall cloud or it must have what I unscientifically call “danglers.”  Danglers look as if someone has reached up and pulled down a good handful of cottony stuff.

3. It must blacken the sky and cause worried looks from pedestrians and motorists.

4. It should make intelligent people want to take cover indoors.

We ended up unable to go to the driftwood beach at all.  After taking some pics of the storm, we drove up to Fernandina Beach, exactly repeating the trip I had made last week.  I even took some of the same pictures and bought two of the same candles and had exactly the same Coke that was, as bar-dispensed Cokes usually are, weak on syrup and heavy on soda.

I pulled off the road to take this picture.  I will confess to sometimes stopping in the middle of the road, once I’ve checked for traffic. 

At the southern edge of Big Talbot Island, the storm approaches from the southeast.


Another view from the same location.

This was also taken in the same parking lot.  The storm provided a wonderfully saturated backdrop for the palm.

Here, too, and the bare trees make the scene look apocalyptic.


View from the driver’s seat, headed towards Amelia Island.


None of these photos has been Photoshopped.  You see it just as I did!

And finally, what is I think my finest storm porn photo ever.  Florida storms are lower than Midwestern storms.  This is a great illustration of how low they can get.

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