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


Friday, November 15, 2013

SkyWatch Friday: The Talk of the Town

After a long dry spell of bland sunrises, we had a doozy Wednesday morning that was the talk of the town. BW's been on vacation this week and we had several appointments and errands that day, and everywhere we went people asked us if we saw the sunrise that morning. Despite the fact (or maybe because of the fact) we so often get gorgeous sunrises, people here seldom comment on them. But not this time!

I took these photos from our front porch (which faces west!) Except for a little sharpening and size reduction, these are unedited. At first the clouds appeared to be mammatus clouds, which are unusual here so late in the year....



The entire time I stood on our porch snapping photos and enjoying the beautiful, eerie sunrise, I could hear the distant honking of approaching Canada geese. It seemed to go on for a long time before the huge flock finally appeared above the roof of the school, heading north (everything was backwards that day! Sunrise in the west, geese flying north through springtime clouds in November…) 

You may need to click on the photos for larger versions to see them better, but in this first one you can just make out the large "V" of geese against the dark sky, flying below the clouds and above the school and the flag...


Wishing I'd had time to switch to my telephoto lens, I followed the flock with my camera as they flew around us bearing northeast. At least they showed up better against the sunrise-lit clouds!...


It was a much larger flock than I could fit in one frame!

So our skies more than made up for the long lack of colorful sunrises with this one, and I was glad to finally have some decent photos to contribute to...
http://skyley.blogspot.com

Our hearts go out to the people and animals of The Philippines 
in the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

26 comments:

  1. What amazing sky sights. Almost frightening to see. You did a super job on capturing them.

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    1. Thank you, LV! It was as eerie as it was beautiful, and the distant, increasingly loud honking of the unseen flock of geese really added a touch of magic to the atmosphere.

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  2. Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed these, Fiona! Big birthday kisses to sweet Oscar! :-)

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  3. All I can say is WOW! I think it's doubly impressive that people were talking about it since I'm sure it doesn't come up in conversation that often since you do get so many.

    I had to expand the photo to really see the Canada Geese - what an amazing number of them there were and you said there were actually more. I guess this was the last day for moving day!

    My favorite photo was the second one because the school was centered and it really gives a sense of scale since the school is so small in relation to the big sky! Very impressive.

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    1. People talk about the weather a lot around here (as I suppose they do in most places where significant weather changes and events take place), but you rarely hear them talking about the sunrises and sunsets, or even the skies in general. I guess they take them for granted, but I'm glad I haven't become that jaded! :-) This sunrise definitely caught the attention and admiration of many, though, and we thought that was interesting.

      I wish I could have counted how many geese were in that flock - there were several formations, small medium and large, and a few individual stragglers. Took them a while to all pass by! If I had to guess I'd say there were two to three hundred. Even before they appeared over the school, we could hear their honking for several minutes, and though it was muted by the distance, we could tell there were a LOT of them! It was very loud when they got close enough to photograph. Definitely gave me GOOSE bumps! :-)

      As you may imagine, I took several more photos than these and had a hard time paring them down to a few for this post. BW and I couldn't decide between the first two, so I put them both up. I loved the depth of colors in the first one - they really pop against that dark sky near the horizon, but I agree that the second one has a lot of drama in it though I didn't know exactly why till you pointed out the scale that seeing the entire school provides! (Also as you might imagine, this sunrise extended around us and above us. I wish I'd had time to run upstairs and photograph the mountains, but the colors faded before I could. Waiting for the geese to appear was my main priority so I'm glad they cooperated! If only the beauty could have lasted long enough to change lenses and vantage points!

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  4. Replies
    1. It was a gorgeous sky - I thought the clouds made a great showcase for those intense sunrise colors!

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  5. I am curious -- what kind of weather followed the strangely beautiful clouds -- warm, cool, cold, rainy, snow or just pure lovely. -- barbara

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    1. It was sort of unremarkable, actually! Mostly cloudy most of the day (for which BW was grateful, since he had an eye exam at 9:30 that morning and had his pupils dilated, and they didn't return to normal till close to 4 that afternoon!) and warm - a high of 58º. Nothing you'd think those clouds and colors would have portended!

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  6. wow, what a gorgeous sky!!! and i used the word doozy yesterday lol

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    1. LOL - I use "doozy" quite a bit. :-) What did you use it to describe?

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  7. How wonderful. And what a wonderful change for the 'talk of the town' to be about something beautiful. Here at least it is much more likely to be scandal or tragedy.

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    1. That's an excellent point, because you're right - at this time of year the talk is usually all about hunting! So this was a wonderful change of subject and energy!

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  8. I can see why this sunrise was the talk of the town. I've only seen that type of clouds here once and it was SO amazing! Seeing them during a sunrise took them to a whole 'nother level.

    The flock of geese certainly looks huge. We've been seeing them a lot around here lately and I never tire of them flying overhead. They always remind me of my dad because he likes to tell this corny joke- Why is one side of the V formation longer than the other? Because it has more geese!

    heh :)

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    1. We've seen mammatus clouds here a few times (I think there are even some in at least one of my SkyWatch posts), but usually in the spring and summer and they almost always herald rain and/or hail. And I'd never seen one at sunrise or sunset before! Pretty unusual all the way around! (I hated seeing these when we lived in Texas, where they usually preceded bad hail storms or tornadoes!)

      We love the geese too, and are fortunate that a small number of them hang out here year 'round! Your dad's joke made me chuckle and groan simultaneously. :-)

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  9. What a very special sunrise, even if all in the wrong direction.

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    1. LOL - well, often the nonconformists are the most enlivening and interesting! :-)

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  10. What a beautiful sight, I love the idea that everything was rather surreally backwards! I can almost hear those geese in flight.

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    1. So did I ~ I thought that so many things being backwards and out of the ordinary was very "Through the Looking Glass!" :-) The sound of that many geese on such a still and quiet early morning was truly stirring. Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Surreal! Like a pink Stay-Puft marshmallow man ;-).

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    1. Yes, cotton candy came to mind for me!

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  12. Looks like that gorgeous sky was showing off again. In the pink of things! Just amazing. Great shot with the geese too!

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    1. It sure was! After dressing in drab colors for a while, it showed up in a snazzy outfit again at last! I was so glad to capture the geese flying against that sky! Wish I'd had time to switch to my telephoto lens, but will be content with what I got! :-)

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  13. Gorgeous photos. What a talent you have!

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    1. Hey, Kristen! How fun to see you here! And thank you for your generous compliment! My camera does all the heavy lifting, believe me. :-)

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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"