Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Whoa there big fella



Sometimes you have to stop, just STOP, lean your head back and gaze at the clouds. I love clouds because they are almost always dramatic - well except for stratus clouds, universally known as the "boring" cloud.

In San Francisco when the fog came rolling over Twin Peaks, no matter how busy I was, no matter how much in a hurry or absorbed in other activities, I always stopped, faced west, opened my eyes and took in the drama. From my back deck, or from the living room at the house on York Street, or from underneath the rolling fog, such as in Cole Valley, that sight is completely breathtaking.

In Tahoe, (where it is mostly sunny and clear), every now and then lenticular clouds appear out of the nowhere. They are completely worthy of a slack jawed stare and at least one oh wow, oh yeah.

The clouds here in the American midatlantic are very different than western clouds. Last night the formations were incredible, reminding me of what the illuminist painters were trying to capture when they did those big ole landscapes. Yin clouds met yang clouds, a gold square screen of cloud and sky opened up for a few minutes just south of the Capitol (or so it seemed). A shelf of cloud hung just above some cumulus clouds. Earlier, a patch of cloud fringe dangled from the shelf into empty blue. Wow.

I'll admit I always chafe a bit when I read or hear that Buddhist aphorism about clouds obscuring the sky. I know they use that metaphor to help describe the ephemeral nature of passing emotions, passing thoughts. But what would the sky be like without my brothers, the clouds? Well? No clouds, no rain. No rain, no life.

I love clouds.

17 comments:

NanU said...

I saw an absolutely perfect cloud, with the sun trying to get around the edge of it, while riding the metro in from Rosslyn. I think everyone thought I was crazy the way I kept watching something mysterious out the window.
How right you are: gotta notice them clouds!

Everton Terrace said...

Clouds are my favorite part of the sky. We don't get enough of them here in Phoenix but when we do, ahhh the majesty of it.

Tom said...

yes, i noticed the clouds yesterday--and was thankful for their shade..they even tried to make things a little wet. Nice try clouds

ellen abbott said...

Another week of rainy days, they have been very dramatic here too.

Cyndy said...

They were particularly gorgeous in the DC area yesterday, and so full of personality. We must have had our cameras out at exactly the same time!

The Pollinatrix said...

I love clouds too. Have you ever read Annie Dillard's book For the Time Being? A lot of it is about clouds.

Recently I noticed a Latin inscription on an iron cross in the courtyard of the San Francisco de Asis church here. It says "occurrent nubes," which apparently means "clouds will intervene."

That first photo up there is beyond incredible.

steven said...

reya - i love clouds year 'round and there's something specially nice about summer clouds. they seem slower, fuller, softer and the colours - well you've shown them here. they're almost unlikely and yet that's really the beauty of nature - it's all so unlikely and then so very real.
i sometimes wonder how heavy they are, i mean they're carrying all that water!!!! steven

Linda Sue said...

rarely do we get clouds up here- just a purple haze, like flannel obfuscating the sky- so when clouds happen it is an event! ....I really don't know clouds...at alllll. Your top photo is amazing.

Elizabeth said...

Clouds totally rule
and stormy weather produces better and better ones!

Rinkly Rimes said...

Your sky photographs are absolutely lovely, particularly the first one, where almost straight lines accentuate the rolling curves.

Reya Mellicker said...

Tom it's so mean of DC to be so frickin hot whenever you're here. I hate that.

Ellen you have the best sunsets.

Clouds will intervene, eh? That's so right. thanks Polly.

Purple haze? Oh. That brings back memories!

Nancy said...

I'm with you - I love clouds! Scientists actually come to Nevada to study clouds. We have all kinds. I know the ones you are talking about at Tahoe. Yes, they are magnificent! I used to like the big thunder heads while living in Minnesota, too.

Liza said...

"I always stopped, faced west, opened my eyes and took in the drama."
I love the imagery that conjured up in my mind. Sweet!

"Yin clouds met yang clouds"
I had never thought of it that way. That puts a whole new spin on things!

Kerry said...

I could watch clouds all day and be perfectly happy. Those lenticular clouds are strange and rare, aren't they? Dreamy.

Elisabeth said...

I'm all for clouds too, not only are they beautiful they carry the rain. Thanks for these terrific photos, Reya.

karen said...

Hi Reya
I'm forever trying to catch up with your wonderful blog, and don't always manage to leave a comment! I just decided it is now Time to say hello, and how much I love these clouds.. Happy to hear that you have finally moved into the new apartment, and I've been really enjoying all your photos, as ever!

Karen said...

Oh my GOODNESS I wish I could show you what the sky looks like out here!!!!! (I'm in South Dakota, on the Rosebud Reservation.) You can see the weather coming for MILES, and it's dramatic weather, now that it's summer--lightning storms, incredible wind, rainbows, all different colors of sky, all different shapes of clouds, a cloudless sky that suddenly produces a dark puffy cloud... I've been watching the sky a lot out here. It's truly awesome.