Five Minute Friday: Willing

5minutefriday

It’s Five Minute Friday!  Where I (and a large community of bloggers) write for five minutes.  No editing, no overthinking, no backtracking.  Here I…

GO

I’m willing to try to find beauty and joy in winter.  I figure I should at least try… considering we get about six months of it.

To see the beauty in the mountains of snow, bitter cold and endless white.  I’ve been struggling with it.  I know that this season, like all seasons, are a creation of the Creator.  I’m sure that winter is good for many reasons.

Sadly, I have trouble finding those reasons.  Sure the kids can go out and build snowmen and toboggan… but it’s so cold.  The need for 15 layers drives the fun out of that experience for me.

We got (my snow-blowing hubby says ‘a foot’) though I swear it was closer to 3 feet of snow in the last two day.  I was grumbling and whining and maligning the snow and it’s efforts to hamper my journey through the city.

But then, a ray of sunshine.  Well, not actually sunshine… but a Facebook post.  My favourite photographer posted some images that caught my eye and stole my breath.

Craig snowflake 2

Magnificence.  Yes, Craig Hilts is super talented and, I’m sure, could make garbage look beautiful… but these are stunning not only because of the talented photographer but because of their creation.  Look at the image above.  Look at the lines, the craftsmanship that has gone into that one, tiny snowflake.  Not one is the same as it’s cold neighbour.  Each with it’s own intricacies and beauty.  Stunning.

To think that I have billions of these little works of art in my yard -in my city.  It’s like living with an art gallery in my own yard.  Suddenly, I don’t have to work so hard to be willing to see the beauty and joy in winter.  Suddenly, it’s everywhere.

Thanks Craig.

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You can find Craig’s website HERE!  The awesomeness doesn’t just stop with snowflakes.  Oh no.  He’s got some amazing photos.  Go visit his website… you can thank me later!  😉  Here’s a whole series of snowflake shots that Craig took.  They are just too awesome not to share.

Craig snowflake1 Craig snowflake Craig snowflake 7 Craig snowflake 6 Craig snowflake 5 Craig snowflake 4 Craig snowflake 3So beautiful!  (Keep scrolling for some more images that Craig took!)  Thanks for joining me for Five Minute Friday.  It’s been a while since I did one of these.  This is the time of the week where we just write for five minutes without worrying if it’s just right.  🙂  Unedited (YIKES) and unscripted.  Just five minutes to free-write.  Want to join us?  The rules are simple!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back to Lisa’s website.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule.

The heart of this community is amazing!  See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/

Find Craig on Facebook and Twitter!

~Sarah

Craig bubble Craig bubble 2 Craig bubble 1

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Chat with Chris Chittick of Team Tornado Hunter

Chris Chittick

I’m excited to be able to chat with Chris Chittick.  A man of few word and great skill with a camera.  I first saw Chris on TV a few years ago and really liked his quiet presence and passion for what he does.  This year he teamed up with Team Tornado Hunter and I was thrilled.  He brings a new element to the team and they fit really well together.  This summer I really enjoyed watching the three of them banter back and forth while on chases.  Chris has been one of my favourite chasers for many years and I was honoured to be able to ask him some questions!

Thank you Chris for being willing to chat with me!  Tell us how you got into storm chasing and storm photography?

 I got into storm chasing back in 1998 as a hobby.  I fell in love with it in 2000 when I saw my first tornado in WY.  I didn’t start picking up the video camera until about 2008….I realized I have the photographic eye and have been in love with shooting and editing ever since.
You certainly do have great skill with a camera!  Do you only chase tornadoes or is it all weather you love to chase?
I chase all extreme weather from ice and snow storms to hurricanes to tornadoes.
Well, you’ll certainly get a chance to chase snow in Canada!  Can you tell us about the very first tornado you remember?
First tornado was in 2000 in south-east WY.  It formed over our heads and dropped just to our west close to some hills and I fell in love with it right there.

What made you get behind a camera when storm chasing?

I first picked up the camera in 2008 and shot some things then realized I was really good at framing and just shooting in general.

Did you then take classes on photography or are you self-taught?

I am self taught.  I learnt a lot on the road and being next to Discovery Channel camera operators for 4 years.

Chris Chittick strom

That’s a great way to learn!  What was the most memorable chase you’ve ever been on?

The most memorable chase I have been on was this year May 31, 2013 El Reno.  It was unbelievable.  The sights and sounds and smells.

That was an intense chase to watch, I can only imagine the intensity of being there.  Besides tornadoes, you’ve also filmed hurricanes.  What makes a hurricane so interesting?

Hurricanes are interesting to me because it’s a whole other beast…. new things to worry about, like how am I going to get this shot etc…..It’s basically a really big tornado.

Will you be coming up to chase blizzards in the winter?

I live in Regina now, so yes, I will be chasing blizzards with the team.

How did you wind up riding with Team Tornado Hunter?

I had met Greg a couple of years ago and thought he was a great guy.  I met Ricky last year in the U.S. Plains and couldn’t get enough of him.  So, this winter I left my old team and Greg reached out to me…next thing you know I’m living in Canada.

Tornado Hunter Truck

I had no idea that you’d moved to Canada!  Hope that you like it up here!  What was the scariest moment you’ve ever had chasing?

The scariest moments I have ever had chasing was in the earlier years when we didn’t know what we were doing out there.

You sure know a lot now!  What advice would you give to aspiring storm chasers/storm photographers?

Go to some spotter training courses and soak up as much knowledge as possible, or go on a tour with a respected tour company and ask lots of questions.

Great advice!  If you couldn’t storm chase, what would you do?

If I couldn’t storm chase I would be a camera operator for TV shows.

Is storm-chasing your full-time job?  What do you do in the off-season?

Storm chasing is my full time job.  In the off season I do speaking engagements and get ready for the next season.

I’m already looking forward to watching you guys chase next year!  What do you like to do when you’re not out chasing?

I like to play golf hang with friends and family and most of all hang with my girlfriend.

Thanks again Chris for taking time to chat with me.  I look forward to watching you and Team Tornado Hunter chase this winter and, most definitely, next summer!

You can follow Chris and his photography on:

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

TORNADO HUNTER WEBSITE

Also, check out my other Chaser Chats with Ricky ForbesCraig Hilts and Sean Schofer!

Weather Wednesday

storm30

I was watching the US storm chasers last week and it made me crazy when I woke up to more snow this morning here!  I just want summer and storm season to begin.  I miss seeing my favourite storm chasers out there looking for storms in my neck-of-the-woods.  I’m sure that it’s killing them even more that this seems to be the winter that never ends.  I can’t wait for the update that says that Greg Johnson, Ricky Forbes, Chris Chittick and Craig Hilts are heading out to chase at last!

Greg

Greg Johnson
(Tornado Hunter)

RFD Ricky

Ricky Forbes
(Notanee Bourassa can be seen plotting in the background)

Chris Chittick

Chris Chittick

Craig Hilts

Craig Hilts

I’ve spent years being afraid of summer storms and this is the first year and I am excited to get some rolling through.  You know when you have an itch right in the middle of your back and it’s impossible to reach on your own.  That’s a bit how I feel.  Watching that first local chase will scratch it for me!  So, since I can’t see a storm for the moment… here are some pictures that are seeing me thorough until this years storm season begins!

storm29 storm33 storm34The photo’s above are all by Greg Johnson!

(click on the photos above to go to Greg’s website!!)

craig barn craig storm2 Craig storm craig storm1And these fantastic images are by Craig Hilts!

(click on any photo of his to go to his website!!)

Now, you can see why I am so very eager to get to storm season.  Not only is watching these guys chase an adrenalin rush, it’s also amazing to watch such beauty and power contained in a storm!!  The power of a tornado is breathtaking and I’ve only ever seem them on the computer.  I can’t imagine how awe inspiring they are in person.

Roll on storm season!!

(GREG, RICKY, CHRIS and CRAIG: If anything needs to be changed, or you want it changed, just let me know and I’ll fix it!!  Thanks!)

Do you like storms?  Do you hate storms?  I’ve been in both boats and this new boat is way more fun!  Check my post here to see how my view of storms was radically changed!!

~Sarah