One of the benefits of watching birds is that I've gained an appreciation for clouds. The beautiful ones are almost as ephemeral as birds, forming and dissipating in a matter of minutes. I noticed this principle on Sunday at Lake Arthur.
It was a warm sunny day as I walked the trails along the lake shore. Eventually the sound of the water and wind lulled me into sleepiness. Hammock time! But I didn't have a hammock so I sat down on the grass. Pretty soon I lay down and looked straight up.
A few birds caught my attention but the big attraction was the cloud layer that looked like a honeycomb, as shown here.
Cirrocumulus are the highest clouds. Formed of ice crystals above 16,500 feet, they often have an iridescence that I can see with my polarized sunglasses. Below them were a few altocumulus, mid-level clouds at 6,500 to 16,500 feet and one beautiful lenticular cloud, a lozenge in the sky.
If the altocumulus clouds had been thicker, they might have meant a weather system was approaching. Instead, they broke up and floated away leaving a clear sky Sunday night with a bright, full moon.
Summer clouds make me happy. I will try to remember this in November when Pittsburgh's clouds blanket the sky.
(stock photo from Shutterstock)