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

Friday, July 15, 2011

SkyWatch Friday: Stormy Weather

We've been having a lot of stormy weather in our area during the month of July, so for this week's SkyWatch Friday I wanted to share some of my recent stormy sky photos. Along with a little classic Lena Horne to help set the mood!...

Potential storm clouds boiling up over the mountains in mid-morning...

Taken from our back deck looking west toward the Big Horns

By late afternoon and evening, the storms arrive. This one had just passed over us, leaving high winds in its wake (look at our dancing Ash tree!), and was moving east/northeast over Sheridan below us and toward Montana beyond...

Taken from our back deck toward Sheridan and Montana

A big storm brewing east of Sheridan, where a lot of the really bad weather (large hail, lots of lightning, and the occasional tornado) often ends up...

Looking east over Whitney Commons and downtown Sheridan

This beautifully lit bad boy deserved a closeup...

Taken from our back deck to the southeast

Driving into this rainstorm on our way home from town one day, the combination of clouds, rain and sunrays reminded me of a flying saucer either taking off or about to land, which of course demanded pulling over to get a photo! :-) ...

Close Encounters of the Thundery Kind, west of Big Horn, WY

When the evening storms combine with the setting sun, it can sure be pretty...

Taken from our front porch, facing northwest

Here's wishing you a weekend of clear skies if you want them, rainy ones if you need them!


  1. This is a wonderful post with great sky pictures. Awesome view from your post. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.

  2. Wow! You have some spectacular skies out there. And speaking of spectacular, thanks for the link to Lena. :~} (btw, my Fire Island shot is Long Island, NY)

  3. I truly envy you your storms. It's hard now to remember that we had some seriously stormy weather in the late spring.

    Gorgeous clouds, too. Nice shots!

  4. oh man, those are awesome awesome skies! The kind that make you feel alive! Love all 'em!!

  5. Wonderful clouds. I really loved our trip across the Big Horns last fall.
    I like the way the rocks were labeled for the stratification time period.

  6. Gorgeous, intense skies out your way!! Excellently captured...thanks for sharing!

    The Lena video was a great touch!

  7. Beautiful storm clouds! The wide range shots really show them in all their glory. I love stormy weather.

    The 'ufo' cloud is amazing...I love it!

    Happy weekend Laurie.

  8. Gwendolyn ~ (I've always loved that name!) Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed our views, even on stormy days (which are actually my favorite kind for skywatching). Thanks for stopping by and you have a great weekend too!

    Alexa ~ We do indeed. They're vast, ever changing, and a lot of fun to photograph! You're most welcome for the link to the lovely Lena. :-) Thanks for letting us know where Lila's splendid photo was taken. I've never been to Long Island (but I loved their ice teas in college! lol), but if we end up on the east coast in a sailboat, we'll definitely have to drop anchor there someday! Beautiful.

    Owlfarmer ~ Well, if it's any consolation, we haven't gotten much rain from them (it's hit or miss, with some places getting gullywashers while we get a few splatters of spit). But they do cool things down when they move through. I hope you get some relief from the heat and drought soon, I know it's been miserable down in your part of the country.

    Your clouds photo is a beauty too! I'll be back by to leave a reciprocal compliment shortly! :-)

    Jill ~ Thank you so much! :-) You're so right, skies like these do make you feel alive! I'm really glad you love them. I just recognized your thumbnail on SkyWatch ~ haven't had time to leave a comment on that post of yours yet, so I'll be doing that asap, too!

  9. Beyond My Garden ~ Thank you for sharing your link! I'm glad you enjoyed your drive through the Big Horns (definitely way beyond your garden! lol), it was fun to revisit that route through your post ~ haven't made that trip in quite a while. The scenery really does change from that side of the mountains to this one (we get most of the moisture!) I like how they've labeled the rock layer periods too. Pretty amazing stuff. Did you see any signs about the Tensleep Sandstone formation?

    gtyyup ~ Thank you! "Intense" is an apt description of how our skies often look (and behave!) I'm glad you enjoyed them, and that you enjoyed the Lena touch! How could I not include Lena singing that song? I'd have kicked myself. :-)

    Rose ~ I love being able to get those wide range shots, courtesy of our expansive, unobstructed views. I actually need a wider angle lens (or I need to stop being a spud about it and use my panoramic setting!) to fully capture some of our amazing skies.

    I love that UFO cloud too! When we lived in Buffalo 19 years ago, there was (and still is) a woman down there who only took photos of clouds that look like flying saucers, and she sold them in her husband's shop. Fortunately for her, there are often clouds that look like flying saucers here, but I don't know if her photos sold well. Buffalo isn't exactly Roswell, afterall! :-) You can see some of her intriguing photos here, and read some of the, um, interesting things she has to say about some of the clouds she's photographed. (On second thought, maybe Buffalo IS Roswell!) ;-)

  10. Laloofah -- fascinating to watch storms brewing. You caught some great cloud formations on camera. You have a nice weekend too. I'm hoping for rain here -- might happen. -- barbara

  11. Golly, those cloudships do look like flying saucers! I've never seen a cloud like that, that I can recall. Maybe they are spaceship a tea cozy for space craft, lol.

    It also brings to mind the cloudmen from James and the Giant Peach...remember them? They were whispy fellows that threw hailstones and whatnot...not a friendly crowd, but the image of them always intrigued me...all the images from that book intrigued me.

    Have a great weekend Laurie!

  12. Barbara ~ Thank you! I hope you get your rain! After the wet, wet spring we had it's hard to imagine ever needing moisture again, but we could use some too (supposed to be 100º tomorrow), since despite all our storms lately, we have gotten little rain out of them here at our place in recent weeks. So I'll do a little rain dance for us both. :-)

    Rose ~ "A tea cozy for a spacecraft"- LOL! They do look like remarkably like flying saucers, and though I've seen several of them since living here, I don't recall ever seeing them elsewhere. Don't know why that is, but if they really are alien spacecraft, carrying more advanced beings, I wish they'd hurry up and land. We could use some intelligent life forms down here! ;-)

    I loved James and the Giant Peach as a kid, but haven't read it as an adult and remember little of it. You've now got me wanting to read it again. :-)

  13. Absolutely fabulous post, I love storms and bad weather in general (David thinks I'm weird, but there you go...), I obviously should have been a Romantic poet :O) Meant to say, I'm glad you put my mind at rest about the savoury pies, I was thinking of ways to smuggle you some! Here's a recipe that sounds fab for a pie-like object!

  14. Gorgeous shots, Laurie. I love to lay in our backyard and look at the sky. It can be so mesmerizing!

  15. Barbara ~ Thank you! I tend to love storms and bad weather too (as long as it's not too violent/destructive) - they're invigorating! Tell David if he calls you weird again, you're leaving him for Heathcliff and will live tempestuously ever after on the moors. ;-)

    That was sweet of you to be plotting ways to smuggle me some savoury pie contraband! LOL Thanks for sending that recipe, that looks really good! I can imagine that being perfect for Autumn and have bookmarked it. I've never cooked with chestnuts before, and am unfamiliar with chestnut mushrooms, so I'll have to educate myself.

    Molly ~ I agree, especially where they're constantly tranforming! Today's skies were just solid blue, nothing terribly interesting going on, but usually our skies put on quite a show throughout the day and the night. I love living where there's no light pollution, the starry skies are amazing - but not nearly as amazing as they are in New Mexico! I don't know what it is about NM's night skies, but they're fantastic! I hope you get to do some serious stargazing on your vacation there! :-)

  16. NEVER COOKED WITH CHESTNUTS?!? See, I knew they were depriving you of something over there to do with pies, I love chestnuts. Oh and I just used button mushrooms if it says chestnut ones and I CBA going to the supermarket (please note, CBA is short-hand for 'Can't Be Arsed..'. My sister has a company called Cathy Bown Associates and had a small van called Polly Pocket with CBA on the side. Her chap's son said it should stand for 'Can't Be Arsed', and now we say use it for anything we can't be bothered doing, it's caught on at work too! Probably more info there than you wanted to know!). Talking of mushrooms (we were at some point in the distant past!), here is a link to a one pot potato and mushroom curry - just wonderful! I omit the aubergine for CBA reasons, plus David gets scared when there are too many vegetables in one dish :O)))

  17. You´ve got some spectacular skies out there! Gorgeous shots!

    And thanks for visiting my post.


  18. Barbara ~ Well honestly, I sit in spellbound awe at all the things I keep learning from you! :-) Nay, I have never cooked (nor, to my knowledge, eaten) anything with chestnuts, but now you've given me the inspiration - and recipe - with which to do it. Do you use canned (sorry, "tinned") chestnuts like the recipe's author does, or do you roast yours on an open fire? :-) Thanks for the tip about using button mushrooms. "Can't be arsed" is a new one on me, and we'll have to add it to our repertoire. There are many applications for it around here! ;-) And thanks for the latest recipe, I'll check it out next! LOL about David being afraid of a dish with too many veggies in it - how ironic he's married to a vegan! Guess that's what they call "immersion therapy." LOL

    Irene ~ We sure do, they almost make it too easy to take great photos. Which in my case is probably a good thing. :-)

    Thank you for your visit in return! Your gorgeous sunset photos were truly amazing!

  19. It's hard roasting chestnuts on an open fire when you've got gas central heating :o) I tried cooking them in the oven but there was an explosion issue, so now I just buy vacuum packed ones, much more civilised. We did have them cooked in the ashes of the fire when I was a child, along with baked potatoes too. I sound positively Dickensian don't i?!? Btw visited a 7th century Saxon church in Northants today, am just about to have a play with the pics!

  20. Also meant to say, I never did fancy Heathcliffe, always imagined him as being a bit smelly as well as a nutter!

  21. Thanks for the kind wishes, but thunderstorms are pretty much on the menu all summer long...

  22. Barbara ~ I'd have to roast ours in the pellet stove, and I don't think that would work very well. :-) Actually, we have a nifty grotto on our place, would provide for a perfect fire pit for roasting chestnuts... may have to try that this winter if we're still here. And yes, you do sound quite Dickensian! LOL

    Heathcliff? Smelly? (I imagine they were all pretty rank back then). What if it were Heathcliff as played by Sir Patrick Stewart, would that make it a viable threat to brandish at David? ;-) I wasn't big on Heathcliff either, actually - that young, gruff, uncultured, swarthy guy was more my type. Harlow? Hargrove? [muttering] "What the hell was his name...?" [sound of pages being rapidly turned]..."Ah yes, Hareton!" Hareton, dark and dangerous, he was more my speed. :-) [more muttering] "Just what the hell kind of name is Hareton, anyway?"

    I really need to read W.H. again, haven't read it since I was a teen (and I read it on my own, not as a school assignment. I was such a book geek!) :-)

    Can't wait to see your 7th century (600's! lol) Saxon church photos!

    Serline ~ I know a bunch of folks in the southern part of the US who would love to experience thunderstorms every afternoon, provided they came with rain and not just lightning! At least you know what to expect from your weather, which is more than we can usually say here! :-)

  23. Wow, you got a boatload (or should I say "skyfull") number of comments on this post. And interesting segue (I had to google how to spell that) from storms to chestnuts!! :-)

    The flying saucer photo was my favorite although the one with the sunset was awesome too!

  24. Jo ~ I know, that happens pretty frequently in the comments section ~ the topics will zoom around all over the place sometimes! I love it! (So have you ever roasted chestnuts?)

    I also love it when people tell me which photo on a post was their favorite - so thanks! :-)

  25. Btw I read WH for 'fun' too, hmmm! Have you read Jasper Fforde's take on it in one of the Thursday Next books where the characters from WH have to have anger management counselling? Hilarious! Apologies for veering off topic!

  26. Barbara ~ Jasper Fforde? Thursday Next books? More goodies I've never heard of! I must look for this on Amazon tomorrow, because that kind of book sounds like my cup of tea!

    By the way, have you ever tried this?

    I Write Like

    I thought of you right away when I saw this! I tried it twice, plugging in most of a couple of my blog posts, and it came up with James Joyce and then William Foster Wallace. What, no Emily Brönte? ;-)

    No apologies necessary, your comments are great fun and I love the wild and interesting tangents! :-)

  27. Ooh I like the look of that site, Ta! Will definitely give it a go. I'd cry if it told me I write like Joyce! Btw I had a look at the reviews for The Eyre Affair on I think some of those reviewers have had a sense of humour bypass! You'll probably get a better idea from It's a bit money python, a bit prachett, a lot of whimsy, and a lot of very clever, very funny literary references. Who couldn't find the idea of audience participation in Richard III amusing?!? Plus, if you can read it without wanting your own dodo by the end then I'm a banana!

  28. Just tried that website. Who the heck is David Foster wallace? And my other attempt came up with Stephen King!!! For goodness sake, I have never even been able to read an entire book of his! Oh just shoot me now...

  29. Barbara ~ Well, I was spared any stabbing pains to my ego and resulting weeping by dint of never having read James Joyce. Ignorance is bliss, I guess! :-) I got that result when I plugged in most of my yard sale post. Did Joyce write about yard sales much? LOL

    I didn't pay much attention to the reviews on Amazon when I saw how many books he'd authored! I went instead to my library web site to see if they even have any by him. They do have "First Among Sequels," and they may have others (they have The Eyre Affair on CD), but I decided it would be more expedient (did Joyce use words like "expedient" when he could just use "easier?") to go visit that section in person and see what they've got. Your description definitely has me hankering to read him, though I'm betting a lot of his humor and references will go sailing right over my American head! But I love Terry Pratchet, so further endorsements aren't even necessary!

    So you got DFW too, huh? I got that one when I plugged in this post - one of my funnier ones, IMO - in its entirety. I had to look him up, but when I did I remembered him. He was described as having "won a cult following for his dark humor and ironic wit" - you know, rather like us (LOL), and was most famous (or notorious) for his very long and complex book, "Infinite Jest," (which people either loved or hated), and his essay, "Consider the Lobster", which he wrote in 2004 for Gourmet Magazine about the Maine Lobster Festival. The editors and readers got more than they'd bargained for in that article (which later appeared in a collection of essays in a book by the same name), when his observations of the festival had him questioning the ethics of boiling fellow sentient beings alive for our gastronomic pleasure. Hmmm.

    He wrote a lot of other stuff, fiction and non, none of which I've ever read (except Consider the Lobster). Sadly, he hanged himself in 2006. So we need to be careful about our dark humor, ironic wit, and vegan sensibilities, apparently.

    As for Stephen King, I have actually read most of his books and even own several of them! Do you hate me now? It's my literary junk food, what can I say? I love scary stuff. :-) If it's any consolation, I would never have said you write like Stephen King, except that like you, he always describes scenes really well and his characters have very realistic dialogue, both with each other and in their own thoughts. I'm curious what you plugged into the gizmo that resulted in Stephen King as an answer!

  30. It was a post about the cats:O))) Mention Charlie and you're obviously immediately heading for the dark side... Thanks for the info on DFW, I can't remember reading anything about him before. Probably best to start with JF's The Eyre Affair if you can get it (the chronology in the books is whacky anyway so if you read them out of order... well I dread to think). Stephen King... don't know what it is about him, I just don't like his characters very much, and I like scary stories but prefer them from the nineteenth century when they had better fog and gargoyles etc etc etc :O)

  31. Barbara ~ LOL re: mentions of Charlie ferrying you to the dark side! :-) Thanks for the tip about The Eyre Affair, I hadn't realized his book were in chronological order! I'll get that one first for sure, even if I have to get the book on tape. That might be better anyway, I can listen to it while I'm cleaning house and staining the deck, make those chores more interesting. Nice job mentioning "fog," thereby bringing the conversation full circle back to skies! LOL


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

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"

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