Breaking a Lens

Twiggy decided on a dip in the river before the storm started

Twiggy decided on a dip in the river before the storm started

This evening, I slipped out with Tisen in a hurry to get him out and back in before it started to rain.  A storm was promising to break lose at any moment–the smell of rain hanging in the air as if the deluge was over instead of yet to begin.  Whether it was the tickle of electricity forming far away in the clouds or the accumulating energy evidenced by the swirling winds, Tisen and I both had extra spring in our steps.

We didn’t make it very far before we ran into some neighbors–everyone was out with their dogs.  Tisen made a couple of new friends and caught up with several old ones.  Then, Twiggy and her daddy arrived on the scene.  Tisen was beside himself.

I let Tisen follow Twiggy, his favorite trail leader.  We meandered along and followed the dogs.  Distracted by Twiggy’s feminine wiles, Tisen was suddenly oblivious to the impending storm.

Tisen looking worried after the first clap of thunder

Tisen looking worried after the first clap of thunder

When a loud clap of thunder sounded, he became momentarily airborne and immediately started looking for shelter.  I had trouble keeping him out from under Twiggy’s daddy’s feet as underneath our friend seemed to be the best shelter Tisen could find.

We made our way back, but not in time to avoid a good soaking.  I was prepared with my rain jacket, but it rained so hard, my pants were dripping and my sandals were soaked by the time we made it back to the building.  Tisen was soaked through.

But I was smiling–it was our first summer storm.

The image that caused me to play with the positioning of my lens

The image that caused me to play with the positioning of my lens

When Pat came home, we sat on the balcony for a bit, watching the clouds and the rain, listening to the sound of gallons of water falling from the sky in a giant curtain of water hitting the pavement below.  I had the sudden urge to take a fisheye photo of the sky and the rain and the distant ridge.

The fisheye lens for the iPhone attaches purely by magnetism.  I made the mistake of fumbling while trying to get the lens centered around the phone lens.  The lens popped loose and we watched in slow motion, our mouths opening, sound forming, and a long, “Ohhhhhh . . .” coming out of mine as the tiny lens tumbled to the floor of the balcony, landing at my feet, and rolled.  It rolled for what seemed like 10 minutes while I stood frozen in place, still forming the word “Ohhh” and watched it roll right off the edge of the balcony and fall, and fall some more.

The bent rim of the lens after its fall

The bent rim of the lens after its fall

Still in slow motion, I leaned over the balcony and watched for another 10 minutes as the lens fell 7 stories to the patio below, and suddenly, the one piece became at least 2.  I sighed and reminded myself it was a $20 lens, not a $2000 lens, but really, I haven’t gotten $20 worth of fun out of it yet.

I was able to retrieve the pieces and it may even be repairable–we’ll see.

The pieces of my broken lens

The pieces of my broken lens

Riding the Storm Out

Today was crazy busy.  I got out of bed, started working immediately following Tisen’s walk, and didn’t get a chance to shower, eat or even take a break until well after 5.  When I did take a break, it was largely because my father had been trying to reach me to make sure I was still alive.  Apparently, I was just missed by a tornado and I failed to notice.

I vaguely recall realizing it was raining hard.  I remember Pat coming back from his noon walk with Tisen soaking wet.  And I remember the smell of wet dog wafting up, alerting me when Tisen was at my feet.  I also remember commenting on the ridiculous number of sirens today.  But I was clueless as to why.

As it turns out, the worst is yet to come.  I decide to take Tisen out for his evening walk, figuring I’d better get him out before the next storm comes through.

As we finish our lap around the park, lightening charges across the sky in a display that makes me wish first that I had my camera set up and then that I wasn’t standing in an open field.  I’ve never seen so much lightening all at once before.  It was like a giant spider web illuminated in the clouds.  Thankfully, none of it headed for the ground.

As large drops start to fall from the sky, I start running.  Tisen is not initially sold on the idea we had to hurry, but after a few more drops, he starts to move faster.

From our balcony, I watch the storm come in, camera in hand.  As much as I probably needed a tripod, I was feeling rushed, like we might have to run for safety at any moment.

This, of course, doesn’t stop me from firing off shots for as long as I can stand on the balcony.  It starts hailing like mad.  It’s the biggest hail I’ve ever seen in person, although I did have a car pummeled by grapefruit sized hail in Dallas once (fortunately, I was in Columbus at the time; unfortunately I flew and left my car at the Dallas airport).

After the storm dies down, the aftermath starts.  We watch the weather on TV and listen to sirens.  A bigger storm front is approaching.  Tisen will not settle down.  It’s a little nerve wracking to be in a top floor apartment even if it is only the 4th floor.  We plan to head for the first floor and hang out in the stairwell if things get really bad.

I decide I’d better shower and clean up in case we end up in a crowd  That done, I wrap up some unfinished work and then start shutting down computers and unplugging them.

Tisen walks around with his lamb in his mouth.  Pat thinks he is preparing for an emergency, taking his most valuable thing.  Pat asks me what I will take.  My first answer is my camera.