Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Clouds Communicate

Clouds Communicate

It rained yesterday. Well, poured actually. The sky was a blanket of gray clouds that let the rain come down steadily for the whole morning, alternating heavy downpours with ordinary showers. The rain stopped after noon, the clouds thinning out and letting the sun peek through occasionally. They moved on the upper breeze separating into dark and light areas that hinted at a change in the weather.

There are many different kinds of clouds, depending on the amount of moisture and their height in the atmosphere. Not every cloud signals rain though some clouds herald danger, like tornado cloud-tunnels. Cirrus clouds tell of improving conditions while cumulus clouds indicate fair weather. They all have their personalities.

As a kid, I always liked to look for images in the clouds. The puffy white ones were best for that, hinting at faces and dragons, rocket ships and eagles, or whatever came to mind at the moment; clouds spur the imagination. Family car trips went quicker when we focused on the clouds.

The cirrocumulus clouds I saw recently delighted me. They brought to mind popcorn scattering over the earth I wanted to open my mouth and catch them on my tongue. For a while I was a kid again. These were high atmosphere clouds and they lifted my spirits.

Today the clouds are gathering once more. They look like nimbus clouds, the kind that builds into thunderstorms. We can read the clouds and understand what they mean. Everything in nature communicates in its own way. I find that fascinating.

Here are the different kinds of clouds:


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Gift of Diamonds

A Gift of Diamonds

Sometimes it is easy to take my backyard for granted. I can see the same things, in the same way. I appreciate it all as it is – the bushes, the flowers, the wildlife, the birds - but nature is always changing and without looking for the newness of things, it is possible to miss the subtleties. So every now and then, I make it a point to observe the usual as if I’m seeing it for the first time and I am often surprised by what I see – like on one wet afternoon…

Heavy rain alternated throughout the day with drizzles and hints of sunshine. When the sky finally cleared in the late afternoon, everything was more bedraggled than beautiful. Then I noticed the Hosta on the patio. Its leaves were heavy with raindrops after the downpour. But as the sun peeked out, the drops took on a shine and POW! Those ordinary drops sparkled like diamonds, brilliant and startling.

I looked around at the backyard differently then, seeing the plants as jewels that dotted the garden with color. The rain made it all glitter. The scene went from damp to delightful. My spirits, too, rose from humdrum to radiant. And all it took to make the shift was my letting go of what I expected so that I could see a gift of diamonds.

For a look at what creates raindrops, it’s back to school to check out the water cycle: