Sun, Rain and a Hearty Helping of Lightning along Jacksonville’s Scenic A1A
Rumor had it that a very rare unicorn-level car, the 10 million dollar Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, was headed our way as part of the Gold Rush Rally that we posted about earlier today. So, after finishing up photos at the Ritz-Carlton, we headed south on A1A, to the spot where we had begun our afternoon. We never did get to see the car, but what we did get to see was just as amazing.
As we waited in vain for the CLK GTR, something special began to materialize in my rear-view mirror as the sun began to set. It began as just a hint of color underneath a growing bank of ominous clouds, but quickly matured into an impressive shelf cloud, plowing the sky ahead while the sky behind began to glow. Camera in hand, I could feel the noticeably temperature drop as the summer thunderstorm rolled to the south, tracing its course along scenic A1A.
As the sun continued to set, the lower tendrils of the shelf cloud, now directly overhead, began to warmly glow – lit by a small gap in the western wall of the thunderstorm. As day gave way to night, and hopes of seeing our automotive unicorn similarly darkened, we left Big Talbot Island and Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, heading south along the marsh-lined road.
But creation wasn’t quite done with the show just yet. Heading south, the sky was all but continually lit by lightning – and as we approached the Sandollar Restaurant, along the northern shore of the St Johns River, we decided to stop and see what we could capture. Now typically, when I do this sort of thing I manage to time it just as the storm is fizzling out – but not this time! The lighting show was absolutely amazing – a cherry on top of a great all-around day of photography. Be sure to click the link below to see over 100 high resolution photos and panoramas from our thunderstorm adventure!
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