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Community photo entitled  by Diane Rains on 07/13/2023 at Hudson WI USA

On 07/13/2023 09:29 pm by Diane Rains| Hudson WI USA

Lightning and fireflies and house-shaking thunder BOOM! Oh my! 😱 It was lively around here last night! An intense electrical storm filled our sky with astonishing lightning bursts. Below, in our prairie, lightning bugs flew about their urgent procreative business with little care for their impressive namesake above. They flew even during all but the heaviest rain!

Lightning colors are formed in a process similar to that which fuels aurora displays. Oxygen, Nitrogen, and other elements in our atmosphere are ionized by the intense energy of lightning bolts. As result, light photons are released at specific colorful wavelengths for the different ions. Light scattered amongst the water droplets of storm clouds also produces color. This fantasia of storm and lightning color is usually invisible to the naked eye. But our cameras see it!

What a splendid, if intimidating, display!!

Panasonic Lumix FZ200

This image is a composite of three photos: our prairie during an early phase of the storm, intense lightning at its peak, and activity of fireflies that flew throughout most of the storm. Because my camera could not record the intense exposure of a lightning flash along with the subtle lights of fireflies, I used a separate, recent photo of our prairie fireflies taken during more hospitable exposure conditions.

To bring out the colors of the lightning and storm clouds, I tweaked exposure and saturation of the composite image.