I Usually Like It When Nature Finds Me, Not Last Night

Being a Nature Photographer, my life is made much easier when nature finds me rather than me going out in search of it. However, in the early hours of this morning nature found me in a drastic way.

I love a good thunderstorm and here in the dark hills of the Algarve it can put on a great show. Last night it got a bit too close.

Around 3am I was awoken by an approaching storm, the rain was battering the roof and faint flashes of lightening followed by thunder was approaching. Within 10 minutes, it was overhead and I was lying in bed watching the flashes. Suddenly, there was a bright but small flash with a loud bang followed by a huge bright flash and an incredible crackling boom. This sound coincided with the sound of things breaking and being thrown through the air and even smashing glass.

I won’t type what I actually shouted as I jumped out of bed but I thought a window had broken so my first thoughts were our cats.

The power had tripped so with just our torches on our mobile phones we opened the bedroom door to find pieces of plastic on the floor. I picked it up and realised it was an exploded ADSL filter, quite a long way from the telephone socket. The power was fine, it had tripped on the board so with light returned I could investigate the damage. There was no broken window it was an outside lamp that had been broken by a flying plastic door! The lightening strike had gotten into the telephone line and exploded the cables, connectors and ADSL filter. It had blown the socket off the wall, the modem in the router had exploded and the strike travelled into my LAN (wired network in the house) taking out a few components along the way. The home phone also exploded.

MEO router destroyed

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The Quinta Was A Natural Stadium For A Passing Storm

If you live in Portugal, you may have noticed we had some unexpected storms this afternoon. One particular storm passed to the north of the Quinta and as we are on top of a hill, our view north-east as the angry clouds passed us by was amazing.

I set the camera up to constantly take photos and I captured 8 separate strikes. It wasn’t one of our usual heavy, loud, wet and windy storms, but amazing to watch it pass us by.

Here are all 8 strikes merged into one photo.

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Passing Thunder Storm
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A Very Loud and Wet Afternoon

I have been predicting a huge storm for a few days, today was the day. This morning it was a hot and sunny day and in the afternoon the temperature reached over 37 deg and the clouds began to build. The storm gathered and approached from the North East, over the hills from the Alentejo region. It moved very slowly, but when it finally got here it was loud. The strikes where coming to ground all around us. Imagine my surprise when I had an alert on my Fogo app (fire alerting app) that pinpointed a fire almost directly on our house. I went to the bottom of the drive to be greeted with the GNR and 5 Fire Trucks. They were called out for one of the strikes, but there doesn’t seem to be any damage and they spent the next hour checking the area for other evidence of strikes.

As the storm was slow-moving, I set the camera up and managed to capture this fork as it approached.

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The Approaching Storm
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