Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Colorado Cloud Atlas

Colorado has spectacular skies!
An ever-changing, constant show,
free for the taking.

              Altocumulus Floccus

Last Friday, I trudged out the door 
to walk to my favorite 
Parkway Bar and Grill 
for Friday Night Date Night.
Reluctantly.


  Altocumulus Floccus Merging into Altostratus Opacus

I just didn't want to walk the 3,696 feet 
in the hope of burning off 56 
of the 125 calories in that glass of merlot
Des would place in front of me
as I sat at the bar and waited for my date.


Altocumulus Floccus Merging into Altostratus Opacus

Sometimes, 
when you are trying to rack up one more mile 
on that long walk to St. Anthony, Newfoundland,
that fogbound, iceberg-skirted community
seems a million miles away,
and 3,696 feet closer
just doesn't motivate!


                                     Altocumulus Floccus Merging into Altostratus Opacus



And then I looked to the west and up!

      The ever-constant ineffable! ~  

Altocumulus Floccus

~ To borrow a phrase from David Mitchell.
            (Mitchell, David, Cloud Atlas, Vintage Canada Edition, Toronto, 2004, p. 373.)

You can have your Colorado mountains;
I'll take its skies!

Cirrus and Cirrocumulus (or your guess is as good as mine!)

Suddenly every whine and wine was forgotten.
As I snapped yet more dozens of Colorado skies.
East, west; it did not matter.

Altostratus Opacus with a Twist of Cumulus

Life was easy teaching third graders clouds,
a simple matter of cirrus, cumulus, stratus, and nimbus.

But Colorado skies are never easy;
and, at times, they defy classification!
For a guaranteed headache go to List of Cloud Types (Wikipedia)

                                                                                         Altostratus Opacus

What wouldn't I give now 
for a never-changing map 
of the ever-constant ineffable?  
To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds.
 (Mitchell, David, Cloud Atlas, Vintage Canada Edition, Toronto, 2004, p. 373.)


  Cirrus and Cirrocumulus with a Touch of Altocumulus Floccus


Three thousand six hundred ninety-six feet?
No problem!
A sunsetting sky with multifarious clouds.
Help!
How high is the tropopause?

I think I'll take that glass of merlot, Des!
No problem!
She was already poring it as I walked through the door!
Cheers!


                                          Altocumulus Floccus Merging into Altostratus Opacus

Caveat!
I am not a meteorologist,
rather more of a third grader
making her best guess!

For a fabulous read, don't miss Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell!

"The tropopause is the atmospheric boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere.  
Going upward from the surface, it is the point where air ceases to cool with height, and becomes almost completely dry."  

Cloud formation ceases at the tropopause because above it the atmosphere stabilizes and 
cloud-forming convection does not occur (Arasan).

20 comments:

  1. Hi Louise, it's Barb, I wish Des had been pouring a Glass of wine for me too! Colorado is a lot like Alberta - big sky country - I love it and will miss it so much when I return to Nova Scotia - but Nova Scotia never ceases to call me home ... one day it will reach you too ;D ... now if it could only snag Terry
    Cheers,
    Barb

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    1. Snagging Terry is the problem, Barb; although, I'm not sure if I could leave Colorado permanently! I do so love it! I wish we were sharing glasses of wine at PB&G right now. I hope you headed home after we talked last night. It's pretty bad when I hear the cleaning crew vacuuming your office through the phone! Retirement is great! ;D ... I'm learning all kinds of little symbols. Terry will be like this when he gets home: :0 Cause the Christmas tree is still gorgeous! Hee! Hee!

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  2. Beautiful skies...beautiful photos! We never think to look up as we're walking; there's so much beauty right over our heads. Friday night date night --- I like that!

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    1. Hi Martha! Thank you for your comment! I highly recommend Friday Night Date Night! Have a good evening!

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  3. Hello Louise,
    Beautiful pictures and a glass of Merlot... We have one massive flat, mid-grey cloud hanging over us and it is really boring to look at. We need some sky, light and springtime sooooon please!!!
    Ivan

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    1. Hi Ivan! I wish you beautiful sky, light, and springtime ASAP! We still need snow and badly. It's going to be a hot dry summer with water restrictions without it. Have a good evening - and maybe a glass of your favorite red.

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  4. O yes, you do have ineffably beautiful skies! Thank you for sharing them in all their vast, breathtaking glory. P.S. You have a new follower! (I too like exclamation marks! :)

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    1. Welcome to my blog and thank you for your kind comment! I'm headed your way to see your blog right now! It's always such a thrill for me to get a new follower! Have a good evening!

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  5. Hi Louise! What gorgeous clouds.....and a glass of Merlot too??!?!?!?!?! Sounds heavenly. Can I join you on your next Friday Night Date Night? Just call me The Third Wheel!!! (smile)

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  6. Thanks Audrey! Please come! Terry's used to third wheels! Thanks for the chuckles!

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  7. I love our skies! I always say the sky is my ocean.

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  8. I never thought of it that way, Terry! I love our skies too, and now maybe I won't miss the ocean quite as much because our skies are as changeable, as moody, and as dramatic as the ocean!

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  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for following too. These are all beautiful photos. I will enjoy following you.
    Sharon

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    1. Welcome! And thank you, Sharon! Have a good evening!

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  10. This post brought back a few science classes in elementary school. I loved learning about clouds and you have taken it to an entirely different level, Louise! Thanks. Your Colorado skies are beautiful and you captures are great!

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    1. Thanks, Jim! I'm having way too much fun with my photos! Well, maybe not too much fun ~ more like spending way too much time having fun! I finally made it over to Picasa, and I just finished my first collage totally by trial and error! It will be in my Human Refuse #3 ~ A Northern Teacher. And I got a watermark on it. I'm feeling very empowered! You and Ron have encouraged a MANIAC! Hope you having a good evening!

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  11. Quite a subject you've chosen to tell us about this time!
    Clouds are fascinating indeed, and I can well understand you interest!
    Lovely photos, Fundy!
    In France, we call this type of flock: Sheep!
    It suits well the latin name! LOL!
    Keep well!

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    1. Hi Noushka!
      It was fun to hear that in France this type of cloud was called sheep! Cloud classification can have you scratching your head. We have such big skies here in Colorado, with such a variety of clouds. I'm sure there will be more cloud posts in the future.

      I hope that you have been enjoying your weekend. Here everyone is psyched about the Super Bowl, and I'm going to watch it with Terry. There are some overwhelming forces that are just easier to go along with, and the Super Bowl is one of them.

      Have a super week!

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  12. In amongst the Kajillions of photos of Sophie I captured a few of the clouds at Point Pleasant Park the other day. I looked up, way up and my eyes seemed to relax, feel rested as I saw the cumulus above. I`m not as knowledgeable as you but I am open to learning about those beauties.
    I loved the picture of Altostratus Opacus...quite lovely!
    When you have open vistas for miles and miles...what you see in the heavens must be so inspiring. No claustrophobia just a feeling of openness! So would love to experience that sometime...we did on the Prairies many years ago. I think I go the seashore so much because I feel it`s breadth and expanse and power of course.
    Thanks for this...!
    Ron

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    1. Thanks, Ron, for your kind comment.
      Terry likes the Altostratus Opacus picture too; he keeps looking at it on his iPad (he who only looks at the pictures in my posts!).

      I do love the openness here; and sometimes, back in Nova Scotia, I do feel claustrophobic. I go to the seashore for the same expansive feeling. They have been having some huge waves on the North Shore of Oahu in the past few weeks! Boy would I love to see that ocean right now. There's nothing north until you hit Alaska.

      I hope you, Jim, and Sophie are enjoying a great seaside walk today.

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.