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Really, I'm very lucky in Missouri – many more days than not are sunny (often with a little cloud to add interest) but this was not the case on Sunday.

I arrived at this idyllic Mississippi view near Mozier, Illinois only to have a heavy bank of cloud descend and a thunderstorm erupt all around me. A storm that would not budge for an hour.

Consequently, the only view I had was grey, rain-spattered and muddy. I passed time sitting in the car listening to a radio play about the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster. Maybe thoughts of that led my eye to this sluice valve control leading down to an underwater pipe.A very benign piece of machinery compared to the high pressure oil and gas pipelines that ruptured on that North Sea oil rig killing 167 people in a series of horrendous explosions and fires. Thankfully so.

Without much sign of shifting clouds, I headed home. Naturally, once I was well on my way, I saw brightening skies in my rearview mirror! Never mind, I will go back.

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