Star Struck by Lightning

lightning in joshua tree national park captured by patricia knight photography

With thunder rattling the upper atmosphere and lightning charging the skies, I grabbed my gear and prayed I wouldn’t get struck by lightning as I chased the storm cells in Joshua Tree National Park.

Lightning in the distance as night falls on the desert

Lightning in the distance as night falls on the desert

The past 48 hours have been a whirlwind of weather.  Which is unusual for the desert.  Usually it’s just hot.  Miserably hot at times.  And windy without all the drama of a hurricane.  Thursday morning I was pulled from my dream by a rumbling sound about 2:39 AM.  Yes, a few hours before the sunrise.  At first I thought it had just been in my dreams.  But there it was again, a loud cracking sound from above.  I would say it was loud enough to wake the dead but my husband was still sound asleep next to me. 

Alas, the storm they said was circling back around had indeed arrived.  Too often we are forecasted to have a storm only to have it skirt around us.  I tried going back to sleep, it was more like a cat nap as I was stirred from my slumber just before sunrise. And oh what a sunrise it was.  Amazing colors as the sun peeped through a small break in the clouds. 

Throughout the day, the sky was filled with stormy skies, the constant sound of the crackling thunder and the sudden outpouring of water.  I don’t even remember the last time we had such a storm move through the area.  Many say a storm is near its end when you see the rainbow.  Well I saw several throughout the afternoon, yet the storm persisted.  Near sundown I decided I was done viewing the storm from my front porch and head out into Joshua Tree National Park to chase the storm as it continued to pound the desert.

These are just some of the images I managed to capture and create yesterday during the storm.


Fun but scary at the same time.  Especially when you are out in the open with joshua trees standing tall and megawatts of electricity striking the earth all around you.  It’s not easy capturing lightning.  Without special gear, all you can really do is open the shutter and hope that lightning will strike somewhere within the frame.  With a strong El Nino churning in the pacific ocean, perhaps I will have several more opportunities to practice my lightning capturing skills during the fall and winter months ahead.

How is the weather in your necks of the woods?  Do you get excited when weather happens?

xoxo, Patricia

Posted on October 16, 2015 in Landscapes, Night Photography

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Responses (8)

  1. Marcie
    October 16, 2015 at 3:11 pm ·

    This is awesome! I love your photos here. I have always loved pictures with lightening in them. The colors in these pictures are so nice. Great job. I enjoyed reading the description of the storm coming in. Thanks for sharing this with us.


    • Patricia Knight
      October 16, 2015 at 4:45 pm ·

      Welcome Marcie! And I’m glad you loved the images. Nature is beautiful all on its own!

  2. Alina
    October 16, 2015 at 4:49 pm ·

    These are amazing!!

  3. NaDean
    October 16, 2015 at 5:00 pm ·

    Scary but beautiful!

    • Patricia Knight
      October 16, 2015 at 5:56 pm ·

      It was scary at times out there. But definitely worth it!

  4. Van Tabbert
    October 16, 2015 at 5:06 pm ·

    Such awesome pictures!

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