My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Friday, September 6, 2013

SkyWatch Friday: Sky Drama

I have to admit, I've continued to suffer from "blogger's block" (like writer's block, only worse because it includes feeling uninspired to take photos!) So I wasn't going to have a post to share for today's SkyWatch Friday, till I stepped onto the front porch last evening to turn on our garden lights and saw this massive storm system to the north, dramatically illuminated by the setting sun. Old habits kicked in and I ran for my camera, then ran barefoot up to the end of our block for an unobstructed view and took these with my telephoto lens...


Here are a couple of detail closeups - that "mist" boiling up from the center of the bigger cloud intrigued me, especially the way it seemed to be spotlighted by the sun...


And I wish I could tell you that I was talented instead of lucky, but I honestly didn't compose this shot this way on purpose (I'm too rusty for that these days!) I just lucked out that the clouds and the tree lined up the way they did...


My timing was perfect, as almost immediately after I took these, the sun set and the clouds darkened to an ominous deep gray color. On my way back to the house, a couple out for their evening walk called to me, "Did you get it when it was lit up?" I told them I had and they said they'd debated running back home to grab their camera. I know how that feels, and it's too bad they missed out on capturing it, but at least they got to experience it in the moment.

Don't you miss out too ~ check out incredible skies around the world at...

Or better yet, look up, snap a photo, and participate! :-)
And have a great weekend!

And to my friend Spud, fellow cloud-gazer who's celebrating his birthday tomorrow
 and to whom I dedicate this post, I'd like to wish a...
May your birthday - and the year ahead - bring you only beautiful skies, dear Spudly!


A note to my following friends: I really DO intend to post the second half of our Seattle trip (and beyond), as well as catch up on my visits to everyone's blogs, honest! I'm still feeling haggard after our trip, my visit to Mom's, and my in-laws' visit last week, not to mention the oppressive heat we've been experiencing for nearly a month. I'm having to walk the dogs before sunrise to beat the heat, and mowing the lawn is a real treat if sweating buckets is your thang (whose brilliant idea was it to get a reel mower? Oh, yeah. Mine - what an idiot!) BW wishes people would stop ordering stuff when it's this hot too - delivering 150lb packages in a dark brown uniform in nearly 100ยบ heat isn't all fun & games either. Oh well, we'll be whining about the cold and snow soon enough! :-)

Anyway, I'll be back soon with Seattle Part II. Meanwhile, speaking of BW ~ here's a photo of him with his folks on our front porch...

30 comments:

  1. I'd say running outside barefoot WITH your camera means you've got over your bloggers block. I'm glad you did and glad I followed Yogis suggestion to visit the last post ..at least as of this minute, on SWF.. Love the name of your blog...fun visit!

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    1. LOL, I think your diagnosis is right, Sallie! :-) Here's hoping that this post gets me back in the blogging swing. It's so easy to get out of sometimes.

      How sweet of Yogi to suggest a visit! I'm glad you followed it too, and I thank you very much for both your visit and your fun comment! :-)

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  2. These are spectacular shots. Glad you feel back in the photo swing. And thanks for stopping by.

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    1. Thank you on both counts, and you're more than welcome! I really loved your gorgeous Grand Canyon sunset photos, they're absolutely stunning.

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  3. Lovely and dramatic photos of the clouds and sky!

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    1. Thank you, MJ! I'm glad you enjoyed them!

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  4. fabulous anvil clouds! love 'em!!!

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    1. Thanks, Tex - that was a great anvil cloud, wasn't it?

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  5. These beautiful skies are lovely! Wonderful photos!

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  6. Your clouds look like big, boiling, caldrons ready to erupt at any moment. You caught them at just the right time! As always....super job ;-)
    Nice to "meet" BW's folks. And why is it when you have awful weather, we have the opposite, and vice versa? As for the reel mower...well....you said it all ;-). I honestly considered one at one time, but I'm glad I didn't. If our yard was 40 x 40 maybe ;-). Mother Earth thanks you though, except for all the sweat you disperse into the atmosphere ;-)~. xoxoxo

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    1. Thanks, Spudly, the timing really was perfect - I shudder to think how easily I could have missed this beautiful sight (and photo op!)
      I guess I hadn't realized our weather is usually at opposite ends of the spectrum! We're having thunderstorms now - some may be severe (to quote NOAA) and will bring heavy rain. I'm hoping we dodge the large, damaging hail that's possible, but the rain and the cooler temps are more than welcome. We sat out on the patio for quite a while last night and watched a really amazing lightning show - the kind that illuminates huge thunderheads - off to our east. And a big thunder clap that shook our house woke BW this morning (I was only vaguely aware of it and didn't wake up till a pheasant in the field behind our house started yelling!) :-)

      Yeah, rub it in about the reel mower! It works great for the front yard, but that back yard's fescue is so thick and that yard is so big - we've actually talked about getting a second-hand gas mower for it, but so far have resisted the urge. But it's a beeyatch to mow, especially if it gets away from us because of rain! And all my sweat is what makes me "salt of the earth," so I doubt Mama Earth minds TOO much. :-)

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  7. OMG! I thought your wonderful tribute was a link and it threw me off...lol. Thank you so much!! xoxoxo....yeah, blame it on senility ;-)~.

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    1. LOL - you goob. :-) Happy birthday!!!!!

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  8. I am so glad that nature DEMANDED that you take photos and come back to us. Thank you - both that stunning sky and your return are very, very good to see.
    Now look after yourself. Stay as cool as possible.
    And, our Floriade opens next weekend - so I will be contacting you soon(ish) about fridge magnets.

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    1. Ellie, you are so sweet - thank you for your lovely comment! It's nice to be back, and I hope it sticks this time - at least until I have to wander off again for AdventureJo's visit in October. (But she's coming during the annual library Quilt Show, so I'll definitely have lots more photos to share! I'm going to be swamped with pictures if I don't get some more of my PNW trip stuff posted in the meantime!)

      And thank you for remembering about the Floriade magnets! Can't believe it's here already. The time, she flies!

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  9. These are incredible!! So much of photography is just being in the right place at the right time, and you nailed it!!

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    1. Thank you! I'm really glad you enjoyed them (especially since your incredible photos are always among my very favorite SkyWatch submissions!), and you're right on about my timing! Sure glad it worked out that way, I would have HATED to miss seeing (and photographing) that amazing sky!

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  10. Wow!Most of the cloud here look very sharp.

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  11. What gorgeous captures, Laurie! I love when clouds are illuminated like that and what unique shapes they were! So, so cool how that cloud is almost the same shape as the tree, too. I was thinking of you last night while taking pictures of the sky. I'll have to try to remember to do a Skywatch post this Friday!

    You can really see BW in both of his parents. :) No worries about being burnt out and having to recuperate. I would be exhausted if I were you, too!

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    1. Thank you, Molly! I love illuminated clouds like that too, they almost seem lit from within (I also love it when they're illuminated that way by lightning at night!) I didn't notice the tree and cloud mimicked each other's shape till I'd downloaded the photo!

      Really? I don't see BW's dad in him at ALL, not in looks or personality. He's a mama's boy through and through! (not in that sense, though, lol - but his looks and personality are totally from her and her side of the family - for which I'm very grateful if you get my drift!) Thanks for all your understanding and patience - I'm over my exhaustion, but have still not felt inspired to blog or do much emailing. The weather has turned so lovely now, I've been enjoying walks and bike rides and reading books on the patio instead! I think the rest of our vacation posts will be a winter project.

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  12. You know I always enjoy the "people/critter" photos most so I'll start my comment about the photo with BW and his parents. You said BW's personality was most like his mom and I think he most looks like her too. She was just what I had imagined. I had pictured his dad as a much bigger man! Isn't it funny how you do that? It really is a great photo of BW and I'm glad you shared it.

    Those were pretty awesome sky photos and I'm glad that you caught them. I'm sure that the couple who missed them wishes they had access to your post!! The second photo in particular is really awesome. And I really like the jet plane cloud in the the third photo!!

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    1. I agree that he got his looks from his mom and her side of the family (he has some strong resemblances to his uncle, his mom's brother, too - and his cousin Sandy looks more like she should be his sister than his cousin). He bears so little resemblance to his dad in any way that I wonder what their mailman looked like in late 1958 (kidding!) ;-) But really, his dad's DNA seems to have been left out of BW's genetics altogether (made it into his sister's though!) @@ It is funny how we'll picture someone in our mind's eye - I always did that with radio DJs and, with the exception of Tom Bergeron, was always disappointed! They never matched how I'd pictured them from their voices.

      I shared a couple of the photos on our local "Sheridan Media" local news/weather/obits/events web site, so if that couple ever visits it they will have seen the photos! Whether they'll have recognized them as that particular sky or not is another story. And you're right, the anvil cloud does look like a jet plane! Glad you enjoyed them!

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  13. Amazing photos! Just incredibly awesome shots! ;)

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    1. Thank you so much, Bea! I was really pleased with how they turned out too, and am so glad to have a permanent record of that incredible sky!

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  14. I'm so happy you got these gorgeous shots!

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  15. You are hilarious, my friend. Thanks for visiting my SkyWatch post a few weeks back, and if we're talking about slow and absent, then add a picture of me to that list. I mean, here I am finally repaying you with a visit?? Good grief.

    ANYWAYS, your photos here are amazing. What gorgeous storm clouds. I love what a setting sun will do to storm clouds - it turns them into glorious works of art. I'm always running to get my camera here in Kansas (the weather obliges me) BUT I can understand that couple just enjoying the moment. Every once in awhile, that's what I do - I think to myself, I don't want to get my camera, I just want to sit here and soak up the beauty along with the quiet and the solitude.

    Don't sweat the blogger's block, happens to all of us. You'll get your blogging mojo back one day, when you're ready. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Oz Girl! And hey, the tardiness of your reciprocal visit is a balm to my guilt-laden soul. Power to the Slow and Absent! :-)

      I'm glad you enjoyed these photos! I spent 6 summer weeks in Wichita once and can testify to the dramatic qualities of Kansas skies. Lately I've been doing less photographing and more basking in the moment. I've even gone so far as to take my camera outside to capture a beautiful sky, only to decide "meh" as I look at it through my viewfinder. There are times you just can't capture it and do it justice - you "just had to be there."

      Thanks for your words of comfort and encouragement about my blogger's block. I share your confidence that the mojo will return, and look forward to it! I sense it's already heading back to me, even if it's taking a circuitous route. :-)

      Thanks again for your comment, and for following! Happy skywatching and happy weekend!

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
  • MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
  • THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
  • THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
  • THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
  • THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"