An ode to clouds

We can travel to some of the most remote corners of the earth to see unique sights and experience incredible moments. Yet some of the most amazing natural wonders can happen right over our heads, wherever we are in the world. As someone who is constantly staring up and pointing out cloud formations to my long-suffering wife, I thought I would share a few of the more unusual cloud-related sights I have managed to capture. To demonstrate how universal these spectacles of nature can be, the first three pictures are from my bedroom window in St Albans, England; hardly a hotbed of astronomy or of dramatic weather. The top picture shows the phenomenon of mammatus clouds, occasionally seen after a severe thunderstorm.

Below are two pictures taken at sunset – both in the same week after a major volcanic eruption in Russia: a frequent precursor to dramatic sunsets due to the increase of ash particles in the atmosphere.

Sometimes clouds just form unusual shapes or dramatic backdrops, particularly when building up for a storm. Here are a couple more images, these from our travels, of clouds that caught the eye.

One final image, the one time we experienced when to see the clouds we needed to look down, not up. We went to sleep at this campsite on the Inca Trail in heavy rain – when we woke and emerged from our tents, we were greeted by this spectacular sight of the clouds tumbling beneath our campsite.

While I appreciate the eye-candy of clouds I cannot claim to know anything about them. There are however those who take their passion for clouds to a new level. Take a look at the Cloud Appreciation Society website if you don’t believe me.

Ironically, as I write this there is a thick low level of dull grey cloud outside, and I wish it would disappear and leave us with a beautiful sunny day!

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2 Responses to “An ode to clouds”

  1. Jim Lesses #

    Yes! I have had a 'thing' about clouds for many years. I particularly love those huge rolling clouds you see before or after a big thunderstorm. I love their hidden power and the way they seem to pile ever higher above our heads. "I've looked at clouds from both sides now…" ~ Joni Mitchell

    September 1, 2009 at 12:06 am Reply
  2. Andy Jarosz #

    Glad to hear I'm not alone in admiring clouds! Great quote too… thanks Jim

    September 1, 2009 at 9:53 am Reply

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