Summer’s nighttime light shows are spectacular

I absolutely love summer nights in Wyoming. The heat of the day fades away, and you’re left with perfect temperatures. And sometimes, you get a dazzling light show to provide some beauty and natural wonder.

Like much of the West, we could often stand to get a bit more rainfall. That’s not really the case this year, because we’ve had more than our fair share.

We’ve had quite a few pretty good rainstorms lately, at least down here in the southeastern corner of the state. But in normal years, we get a whole lot less rain and a lot more cloud lightning.

I’m not complaining about that. Whether it rains or not, I love to watch the clouds seemingly lighting up from the inside with those electrical light shows. They might be pink, purple, blue, orange, or even red or greenish, and as far as I know, the cloud lightning seldom does any damage down on the ground. Which is a good thing, because since they hardly ever come with any actual rain, the ground below them is a bit of a tinderbox.

When I was growing up in Riverton, my dad used to sit out on the back deck each night of the summer, taking in what he called Long Shadows Time. That’s the last 45 minutes or so of the evening, when the sun is nearly down, and even a two-foot tree casts a 20-foot shadow. I still like that time of night, but now that I live down here on the plains, we don’t have much around us tall enough to cast those long shadows. So I sit out in that golden light, waiting for the inevitable light show.

And every so often, that light show brings with it a good, healthy downpour to help feed the thirsty plants below. That was the case Monday night. I watched the lights dancing in the clouds for an hour or so, then the rain chased me inside.

I do miss those long shadows of the Wind River country, but these lightning shows are pretty darn cool, too.