Cloud Gazing


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)

One thought on “Cloud Gazing

  1. Just this past Sunday I was pointing out the beautiful clouds to my 3 year old granson. He asked, “Grandma, may I touch them?” Wow, this lead to a very interesting discussion. I told him that when I was little, I liked to lay in the grass and pick out pictures in the clouds. A concept that he just does not grasp yet, but I am looking forward to doing this with him. I love the October sky and already I see some trees, maples and walnut starting to turn color.

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