Again, thanks for the kind comments from last weeks post Clouds-Part 1. It’s always good to get feedback both positive and constructive. Keep it coming! Clouds might be the most used figure of speech in the English language to describe something else. For example, we use the phrase storm clouds are approaching to describe something awful or frightening is about to happen; or a cloud hangs over their heads to describe someone who doesn’t have much luck; or clouds as a promise of rain or good times especially for those living desert or arid climates. So the word cloud has a lot of uses in our daily lives but then I digress!
It’s the Sunday before Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, here in the upper Midwest there’s hardly a hint of snow, unusual for this time of year. Although I can remember years when it was over 50° F and sunny and we went for a walk without wearing our winter gear. I also can remember some years especially in my youth when there was lots of snow. I recall the year (I was 16 or 17) my cousin and I were out driving around Christmas Eve day and I got my pickup stuck in a deep snowbank (on the road! It wasn’t plowed yet) and we had to walk about 1/2 mile in the cold to borrow a tractor to pull it out. We went home by a different route just to make sure we got there! Tomorrow (Monday December 24) is also my Mom’s 90th birthday, Happy Birthday Mom!! And many more but if you only stay off the lawnmower! And I digress again!
Back to the task at hand. This week I’m sharing more cloud photos from the US and other parts of the world but first let’s start off with a poem about clouds written by Naseer Ahmed Nasir and translated by Sameer Ahmed.
Watch those bears
Rows of elephants
A frail old man standing
Rearranging into children
Playing with balloons.
Sway on cradle of the wind
With toil and sadness
At times inflate
With joy and gladness
Heaven nor earth
They lie pendent
Between the two worlds.
Strolling since eternity
Telling strange fables
Of grand olden dwellings
With a world of ancient souls
When there was nothing, but
A fluid of light,
A landscape of mist
And a suspended caravan
Of several ages.
White clouds, now
Moulding into sombre faces, become
Storms sulking on the horizon.
Thousands of maladies thrive
Above and underneath the land.
Course through hearts,
The plasma flow of vessels.
I particularly like the first couple of stanzas that create images in my mind of clouds I’ve observed in the past. Much like these clouds we appreciated above the Oregon Coast with the fog rolling in off the Pacific and the sun lighting up the clouds above. It was a spectacular site!
Another unusual cloud formation we saw was in Nevada where we often experience clear blue skies without any clouds. I had to stop for this photos due to it’s unique look in the setting sun.
In a similar vein, this photo taken at Thanksgiving time in North Carolina a few years back. I was out walking down a hill towards this old barn when I noticed these beautiful clouds above. Sometimes it’s so obvious!
Clouds helped these photos go from decent to good. The top photo is from our stop at the George Rogers Clark Historical Park in Indiana and the bottom photo is from our visit to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona last winter.
These clouds peaked over the top of the mountains and seemed to nestle the mountain tops while we were gawking at the beauty of Artists Palette in Death Valley National Park earlier this year.
The next five cloud photos were taken during my week long visit to Taos, New Mexico this past April.
In this photo, I like the contrast between the rusty iron cross and the clouds and blue sky behind it.
This photo was taken as I as driving towards Nambe in New Mexico and stopped along the road to photograph something else. Then I saw this unusual cloud formation and it became the main subject in this photo.
That cloud formation must have kept moving because when I reached Nambe, the clouds were above the church like a crown of glory, another metaphor for clouds. This is my most favorite photo taken during 2018!
Now on to a few cloud photos taken outside the US. This first group was taken in Havana, Cuba. It was sunrise along the Malecón (the 5 mile long broad esplanade, seawall and road) and the angry waves splashed water over the seawall creating puddles to use for creating interesting and dynamic photos.
I particularly like the brightly lit downtown Havana against the heavy rain clouds moving in from the west. It didn’t take long before the rain started forcing us undercover for a couple of hours.
This photo is one I took several years ago on the first morning of our first visit to Costa Rica. We were visiting our daughter who was staying with a host family in Siquirres located towards the Caribbean side of the country near Porto Limon. The building is this city hall as view from across the main plaza.
This photo was taken along Lake Garda, Italy a few years ago. I like the rays shining through the clouds helping to create a dramatic photo.
The last three photos in this series were taken during our visits to Scotland in 2014 and 2016. The proximity to the ocean and the ever present winds help to move clouds across the landscape. They also bring almost daily drizzle or rain but the clouds soon move on and the sun reappears.
To end this cloud series here’s a quote by Rabindranath Tagore: “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” They sure do! Hope you enjoyed this two part series on clouds.
If you celebrate Christmas, here’s wishing you a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas! Happy Holidays everyone!
Until next week, travel safe.