Mother Nature Puts On Real Fireworks Show On July Four

Wyoming photographer Tim Mandese had a dilemma on July 4: keep his camera on the fireworks or take photos of the show Mother Nature was putting on...

July 07, 20212 min read

Lightning 4

The Fourth of July is the annual holiday that celebrates our nation’s independence, and for young and old alike, the climax of the day is the evening fireworks display. 

But in Casper, Mother Nature provided a fireworks show to rival the city’s annual celebration.

This Independence Day, quite a few Wyoming communities had to forego a public pyrotechnic display for various reasons including extremely dry conditions and a lingering covid risk.

Fortunately for Casper, recent rains allowed the city to proceed as usual with its fireworks show at the Ford Wyoming Events Center, even though residents were asked to view from afar and maintain social distancing to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

As the sun set about 8:46 p.m., people anticipated the 10 p.m. fireworks show. In the interim, dark clouds gathered to the west of Casper. 

As the skies grew darker, my attention was increasingly drawn to flashes in the west. A small but intense lightning storm was taking place at the same time as the first bursting mortar shells began brightening the skies over Casper.

Now your photographer had a dilemma. Do I keep my camera trained on the man-made fireworks, or do I turn it toward the show Mother Nature was putting on? 

There were other private fireworks displays going on around around me as well. Some were near Casper College, in the direction of the storm, so I decided to put my camera into an automatic mode and let it capture lightning photos, while I watched the fireworks around me.

What you see here are a few of the best of the 2,018 photos my camera took that evening. 

Most of the photos showed nothing at all. One of them, however, is the lucky snap of a lifetime —lightning AND fireworks together!

I guess this is what happens when Mother Nature says “Oh yeah? Here, hold my burger!”

Share this article