Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Dark Stormy Sky Rushes Over Tampa
I walked over to capture a few images of the balustrades that line the entire 4-1/2 mile length of Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard. The "Boulevard of Dreams" that curves along the Hillsborough Bay from downtown to Gandy Boulevard is a gorgeous drive and is always filled with people and pets enjoying the grass and wide sidewalk. It even features exercise stations along the way. Just as I began to see interesting camera angles combining the downtown cityscape and huge billowing clouds that were hanging over the east, a crack of thunder turned me around. The western sky was turning very dark and ominous black clouds were rolling fast toward the east, toward me standing on a slippery concrete step that leads down to a landing at the water's edge. Bayshore is a really beautiful drive - at 40mph speed limit or else! - and is proud to boast of the world's longest continuous sidewalk. The Hillsborough Bay was growing choppy and it began to sprinkle as runners, joggers, bicyclists and a soon to be rained on photographer were getting in their last few minutes before the certain deluge. Owners of the majestic old homes and condominiums that line the boulevard have a fantastic view as dark clouds develop and rain moves across the water and waves begin to pound the sea wall. When a storm - not even near hurricane strength - comes ashore right at this point, the tide rises up and waves of water crash over the wall and balustrades. The Bayshore can quickly become inundated and yards and streets nearby fill with water. At first it can be fun to watch the power and force that can drive the Gulf and bay onto the land. Very quickly the fun leaves you as cars begin to flood and waves of salt water move further inland. With thoughts of certain sogginess in my head, I got off the landing and headed to shelter. I escaped a good drenching this evening. But only just in time.