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Serpentine by Michael Anderson

A warm tropical sunrise illuminates the lakes and dunes of the Lencois Maranhenses. I was happy to see the sun again after a powerful thunderstorm rocked my campsite overnight. I had watched with trepidation as a towering wall of black clouds moved in toward me after sunset. Huge cracks of thunder were breaking the silence. A powerful wind kicked up and I realized I better set up my Bivi Sack before the wind made it impossible. Just as I got it set up, the purple rippled bottom of the thunderstorm let loose with driving rain. I dove into the Bivi and waited for the thunderstorm to pass, hoping to try a few starlight shots when it was over. But the storm didn´t stop. It grew stronger as the night turned utterly black. Lightning was flashing through the fabric of the Bivi and I could feel the sand underneath me vibrate with the thunder. Lightning and thunder were flashing and crashing every 20 seconds. I had set my bivi up on a fairly low spot in the dunes, but it was still pretty wild out there and I was flinching with every crack of thunder. It was surreal being alone out there, and the sky was SO black except for the sharp flashes of lightning. I finally fell asleep, wet and cold from a leak in my bivi bag. When I woke up again, the last stars had begun to fade and I could see the storm had finally drifted off to the far horizon. I quickly grabbed my camera out of a dry bag and made it to this spot just as the first warm rays of sunrise hit the dunes and the sand began to dry out...

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Taken on May 31, 2011