Sunday, June 9, 2013

Clouds are poetry.

No doubt you've read about the wrath of the skies passing over Oklahoma recently - mother nature can sometimes be a bitch, an awful angry one. But this is the exception and not the rule - clouds help regulate temperatures, and bring us most necessary rain. And they can also be downright poetic sometimes, two of my favorites are cirrus clouds and sundogs.

Some basic info:

( is a good site, give it a bookmark!)

Cirrus clouds:

"Give the upper atmosphere dust, and it will make cirrus clouds.
new research, detailed in the May 9 issue of the journal Science, finds that the clouds condense and freeze, or nucleate, on very specific mineral and metal particles high in the atmosphere. That makes cirrus clouds unique: Most other clouds form primarily by condensing onto organic particles said study author Dan Cziczo, an atmospheric chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."


"Sundogs are formed from hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds or, during very cold weather, by ice crystals drifting in the air at low levels. These crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them. As the crystals sink through the air they become vertically aligned, refracting the sunlight horizontally so that sundogs are observed."

Here's one instance i shot in Oregon a few years ago.

Here's one lonely *dawg* shot mid-afternoon in Marin County CA, showing the color of the beast.

Here's a few more instances of 'poetry' - how these form, i have no idea, i guess it's all about air and moisture rising and falling, and moving over the land, the irregularity of which compresses the atmosphere. OK, you can tell i fell asleep in science classes alot, hunh? The last few look sort of like lenticular clouds, but they are so far away, i can't see the ground beneath them which would confirm them to be lenticular.

(This one looks like an exclamation point, doesn't it?)

I do believe this last one is definitely lenticular, I am not sure about the one above that. They form around mountains, are shaped like a lense, or a lentil. Really, that's what my Mac Thesaurus says, a lentil, check it out next time you're in the grocery store.
It's summer here in California, and for me, being just a few miles from the coast, that seems to mean high pressure over the eastern Pacific Ocean, and clear blue skies from horizon to horizon, day in, day out, week after week... with one exception - FOG!... at the coast. It can be fascinating stuff, I've shot it for many years.
My forecast for some of the next few entries....? 
You guessed it:

There's a famous bridge out there somewhere... i think.