Lightning 7-21-09 Marana Desert

The 16 images here were taken over a period of 35 minutes.  In that time there were perhaps 100+ strikes.  The first image shows a strike connecting to the top of a western mountain.  I measured the distance on Google Earth and the mountain is 9.9 Miles away.  Most of the other images are toward the west and later to the north west.  A total of 381 images were made at various exposure settings to capture these.

7:51 Still some light from the setting sun, but what a sight behind the sheets of rain!

7:56 Cloud to cloud lightning


 A lucky juxtaposition of the back lit rain storm on the left with a strike in a cave like setting on the right

This is an enlarged view of the "tiny" strike in the previous image


The next 4 images all take place in roughly the same area. 
They appear to be behind the tree, but are actually pretty far away.  The hills to the west are about 3 miles away.

An enlargement of another image


These are 4 times enlarged (1/4 cropped)


8:10 How awesome are these!

8:11 Strike


8:13 Strike

8:14 Strike


 8:18 Strike

8:17 Fire Basket - high cloud to cloud lightning


8:21 Strike - The long branch on the left is probably a mile long.

8:25 Strike - too close for comfort (time to get indoors)
Note the almost invisible fine branches in the upper left.