Texas Two Steps
It's appropriate that these lightning strikes appear to be doing a dance with one another, because they were in the land of the two step...two step leaders, that is. Step leaders are the fast, faint downward-directed runners of charge that set the stage for the visible stroke -- when extreme electric current surges up through the resulting step leader's channel. Without step leaders to carve their path in plasma, the bright return strokes like these don't happen. Two other lightning photos in this gallery (one at this location, one later in Oklahoma) were among many I was able to shoot from this thunderstorm complex. The next photo in the gallery suggests a more intimate dance!
3 WNW Wheeler TX (16 Jun 6) Looking ESE