I have to admit that I was more than disappointed when the severe storm and tornado warnings came to nothing. I was sitting on my front porch, beer in hand—it was a saison called There's No Way of Knowing—waiting for something to happen.
The wind was strong, a couple of rain drops fell, but nothing that made me feel I should move indoors. Thunder rumbled in the distance as the sky grew dark from thickening clouds.
Disappointed, I grabbed my camera and hopped in the car. I drove north, where the storm seemed to be raging. I hit the Ottawa River Parkway and drove on wet roads, but the rain had already swept through this area. Looking north, into the Gatineau Hills, I could see that that was where the action was.
I was not going to drive that far.
With only 10 minutes to sunset, I realized that it was the summer solstice. The sun was fading on the longest day of the year. While the storm clouds had already promised to swallow the glowing ball of fire, its rays were reaching through.
I turned into the parking lot at Westboro Beach, carried my camera and tripod, and made my way to the shores of the Ottawa River.
The beach was nearly deserted, save for a few people with their smartphones and pocket cameras. A photographer with two swimsuit-clad models used a softbox to light up the beauties while the background outshone them all.
I missed the storm, would miss the full moon rising behind me: it, too, was obliterated by clouds. But the summer-solstice sunset still blazed away.
I didn't know what I'd find when I decided to head out with my camera, but that's the beauty of just getting out there.
There's no way of knowing.