Saturday, June 11, 2011

Had my head in the clouds

I love clouds. I could photograph them forever with their ever changing forms and colors. There is a wonderful segment in the movie Girl with the Pearl Earring about Vermeer where he asks her what color the clouds are and she first says white then looks again.

Clouds if you are a painter or a photographer are seldom white. But I also like clouds on a more scientific level ever since I first studied weather for a pilot's license. Pilots have to know what certain clouds could mean as regards safe flying or not. The last few weeks of tornadoes, wild fires, and volcanic eruptions have created a plethora of pictures of fantastic clouds and I have been collecting them in my computer files.

This week's focus has been on pyrocumulus clouds. Per Wiki:

A pyrocumulus, or literally fire cloud, is a dense cumuliform cloud associated with fire or volcanic activity. A pyrocumulus is similar dynamically in some ways to a firestorm, and the two phenomena may occur in conjunction with each other. However, one may occur without the other.

Puyehue Eruption in Chile

Puyohoe Volcano blowing
 It is difficult to tell where the ash of the eruption ends and the clouds begin. The colors can be due to the ash in the clouds or as in the latter the glowing embers as well as the sun. the pyrocumulus clouds create their own weather complete with lightning as in the first photo. And with fires they create their own winds which don't help containment at all.

Pyrocumulus cloud created by fire
Wallow Fire pyrocumulus cloud
For more about clouds I recommend Phenomenon of Clouds. But no doubt I will also post more of my favorites here.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post and took me back to geography lessons. Great photos to illustrate this blog.

    If you want to know how out of it I am, I did not know until this morning that there had been an eruption in Chile. I have not had time for anything. When R talked to me this morning about the eruption affecting Australia and New Zealand and I looked at him blankly, he sighed and talked to me about my job! I have never felt like this before. Totally overwhelmed!


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