All posts tagged: cloud

Recipe for a Dramatic Sunrise or Sunset

Are the sunrises and sunsets in your part of the world ho-hum? If they are, then you could follow this recipe to make them spectacular! – start with clean air, preferably in the fall or winter season. (You might have to travel somewhere to find these conditions.) – marvel at the blue of the daytime sky, which is caused by the selective scattering of sunlight by air molecules. This scattering favours the shorter wavelengths of violet to blue. – consider the much longer path through the atmosphere that sunlight has to travel in the morning and evening. It scatters more violet and blue, which creates the opportunity for reds and oranges to reach our eyes. – finally, add some clouds to catch the red-orange rays and reflect this light to the ground. It wasn’t until I investigated the science of the colour of sunrises that I realized that not everyone gets to see such a thing regularly! Now I know how fortunate I am to live in two parts of the world where this frequently …

On a Scale of Carousel to Roller Coaster, How Scary is this?

Sunrise this morning. It was quite spectacular and changing rapidly. I quickly took a picture, then retreated back into the warmth of my house. When I uploaded the photo and enhanced it with a light touch of HDR in Topaz Studio, I realized that I had captured something much more sinister than a typical Alberta sunrise. It was a winged creature, with a skull like head and sunken eye sockets. It was covered with woolly dreads. It rode on bolts of fire… Without HDR, it looked more like a poodle, I suppose… Do you see a safe ‘carousel’ sky, or a scary ‘roller coaster’ sky? ‘On a scale of’ usually has a range of one to ten – but here are some other ‘Scales’ to think about: On a scale of Voldemort to Pinocchio, how Nosy are you? On a scale of Mother Teresa to Adolf Hitler, how evil is your President? On a scale of Under the Porch Mat to Osama Bin Laden how good was my hiding spot? On a scale of Pennies …

Photographs of a Half Moon and Sunrises

The photo challenge this week is Half-Light. At sunrise this morning, the moon appeared to be Half too! The sun does not abandon the moon to darkness. ― Brian A. McBride, Dominion – Same time, same sunrise, same moon (that tiny white dot near the top right of the photo. The sky is that beautiful old parchment in which the sun and the moon keep their diary. – Alfred Kreymborg – In Alberta, these clouds would probably mean rain. Here in Arizona, at this time of the year, dark clouds are just dark clouds. The latest authority among men of science says that little is known of the causes which balance the clouds in the air. They are formed of water, and water, however minutely divided or blown into bubbles, is always heavier than the air. And yet these flying fountains of all the rivers of earth, these armed and thundering legions of the storm, that beat down the forests with hail and bury the mountains in snow, and flood the plains with water, go …

Cactus and Clouds – Curves

Clouds are not as common in Arizona as they are in Alberta. One day, however I saw these ‘comma’ clouds, with a trio of Saguaro cactus stretching up as if to catch the wisps! These clouds reminded me of punctuation. Don’t they look like big apostrophes or commas except they curve the wrong way?  I think they are Cirrus uncinus clouds, but I’m not sure. The cactus with the curved arms are Saguaro cacti. To see how other photographers interpreted this topic: Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

I’m Blue – WordPress Sometimes Sucks the Joy Out of Blogging

Actually, the Photo Challenge this week was simply the word Blue, but I’m feeling Blue so that is what today’s post will be about. It has been one of those weeks. Nothing bad happened, but a series of little things coincided with a shift in the ‘feel fine’ chemical brew that keeps me on an even keel. The result is, and always has been, several days of living with a black cloud hanging right over my head. Not an awesomely beautiful black cloud like the ones I sometimes see in the blue morning sky over the hay field. No, a dismal, dull black cloud that wants to suck the life out of everything.  (If you are into Harry Potter, think dementors, only not quite as evil as that.) But bad enough that a small feast of chocolate does nothing to lift me out of morose. (And it didn’t help my mood at all to watch the season finale of NCIS last night, either. It looks like Ducky has met his demise. Trust television to make …

The Case of the Disappearing Leg – Reality Sometimes Hurts

I don’t think I will become a fan of America’s Funniest Home Videos. I only watched the first few minutes of one of the shows and thought, what is so funny about incidents and accidents where someone gets their feelings or their body hurt? What kind of person would take videos of those types of things and then send them off to a TV show? For that matter, why do people watch this kind of thing and then laugh? Of course, I’m feeling a bit touchy about an incident that might have been funny if Charlie Chaplin had done it for a movie, but wasn’t so funny when it happened to me. Let me set up the scenario for you – we have a set of stairs at the back of our property. Two risers and a landing. They go nowhere, but the landing is a wonderful place to stand when I want a panoramic view of sunrises or sunsets. Yesterday morning’s sunrise was not one that held promise, but I had seen The Fox …

Alberta – Remember to Breathe

I hope you have time to watch this three minute video from Travel Alberta . It is called “Remember to Breathe” and it won the Diamond Award as the best entry in the film and media competition at the International Tourism Fair (ITB) in Berlin. The video is wonderful, though I might be a bit biased because I was born and raised in Alberta. My Alberta – it is the fields behind our house where moose sometimes amble by and the neighbour’s horse curiously watches. It is the field across the road where hawks hunt mice and deer feed. Alberta is the cattle country that bumps up into the Rolling Foothills. It is the jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains that form the backbone of the province. My Alberta is the Little Lake near our cabin – home of frogs and snakes, and a magnet for little children. And it is the Sweep of Snow across our back yard each winter. And they say once you leave you can’t go home. Well now, I disagree, …

Which Way do you Look When the Sun Sets?

Nothing interferes with my concentration. You could put on an orgy in my office and I wouldn’t look up. Well, maybe once. – Isaac Asimov – National Geographic is running a Series called Test Your Brain. The episode I recently watched demonstrated how adept our brains are at focusing on the task at hand, and how dismal we actually are at multitasking. By multitasking, I mean doing two tasks at the same time, both requiring complete attention. This isn’t the same as ‘background tasking‘, where we are doing one thing mindlessly while doing another thing that requires attention (like eating dinner while talking to our spouse or cleaning the house while listening to music.) It also isn’t the same as ‘task switching’ where we are alternately doing several things (like typing a blog post and talking on the phone.) This amazing ability to focus is why we accomplish the things we set out to do! We achieve our best work when we tune out distractions and concentrate on one thing. There are times, however, when …

Alberta – Land of Opportunity

100 years ago, my great grandparents arrived in a place much like this, and declared, “This is the Land of Opportunity.” With little more than determination, they made Canada their home. It wasn’t easy to live in this land of vast prairie grassland with howling winds year long. But the pioneers knew that this land would give them a life that was better than the one they left behind. “This is the Land of Opportunity“, they said. This week my grandson, Curious George, looked out over the river valley near the cabin. He stood still for a few moments and scanned the vista for signs of wildlife – a fish jumping, a bird flying, a bug crawling. This is a Land of Opportunity for his generation too. A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. – Winston Churchill – What is your heritage? Do you know when you ancestors arrived in the country you now live in?

Seeing the Possibilities – Seeds, Rocks and Sunrises

These are the seeds of an Allium flower  (a decorative relative of the onion.)  Is it possible that birds and mice feed on these seeds? Perhaps, but some of the seeds will make their way into the ground where they will germinate and make more allium plants. This is a small Rock Cairn I built on the back deck at the cabin. When it is done it will honour a friend who recently passed away. I’m going to have to glue it together though – the rocks are precariously stacked right now. Can you see the work of the spider that has started to stitch one rock to another? Webs are strong, but I don’t think it is possible to hold this cairn together with spider webs! This was the sunrise I captured a few mornings ago. Such a nice start to a day – makes me feel the day is full of possibilities!

Sunsets Around the World

The word Sunset has a few meanings that describe man’s vision of endings, but there is only one Sunset that is fairly easy to photograph! Fortunately, it happens at a predictable time every day, it occurs everywhere in the world, and it is free! Of course, some sunsets are more spectacular than others, but that has a lot to do with the clouds, not the sun. Here are five sunset photos, all taken at different locations. Two were in Canada – at my house and my cabin. Two were in England – one in Brighton and one in Lechlade. One was in Europe – on a boat on the Danube River. If you like, you can try and guess which photo was taken in which place! For the answer, hover your mouse over the photo until the photo name appears. Where I live, the number of hours between sunrise and sunset varies from season to season. On the longest day it is about 17 hours, while on the shortest day it is only about 7.5 …

Clean Windows and a View of my Part of the World

I was born by Caesarean section, but you can’t really tell… except that when I leave my house, I always go out the window. – Stephen Wright – I don’t mind cleaning the windows. It’s a big job – the Red House has lots of them. But it is one of those jobs that, when done infrequently, is so satisfying because it is such a radical change. Washing windows isn’t a high tech job at my house. All it takes is a bottle of window cleaner, a wash rag, a dry rag, a step stool, and a very long ladder. I start in the morning and sporadically during the day I clean whichever windows are in the shade. I do the outsides of the windows first. They won’t be perfectly clean, because there will be marks on the insides too. Another day I will do the insides of the windows. They still won’t be perfectly clean then either, because there will now be marks on the outsides. But that’s okay. My goal for windows isn’t …

Our Harley Motorcycle’s First Adventure

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for. – William Shedd – There came a day when The Car Guy asked me to be his Biker Chick (perhaps as a way to justify the handsome touring bike he coveted), and I just couldn’t turn down a chance to ride behind this dashing man dressed in black leather… It was time for me to leave my safe harbor. Two Up Riding – I sit on the back of a two wheel machine that can accelerate to infinity and beyond before I’ve even noticed the light turned green. I trust The Car Guy and his knowledge of this machine to keep me safe… well, as safe as one can be on the back of a motorcycle, which isn’t the same thing as the safety of my recliner in the living room, or even the seat of my PT Cruiser, for that matter. This past week-end we pointed the Harley west. After climbing through the Rogers Pass, we descended into Revelstoke BC where …

Hail Alley in Alberta – We Get Hit Again

Now and then simple country raindrops are tempted by a dark cloud full of icy sirens to stay aloft for a while. A party gets going, and when every drop has drunk too much and has grown bloated and chilled to the bone, the cloud simply bursts at the seams. The result is Hail, and here in Hail Alley it is a guaranteed event at least a couple times each summer. Last week we were pelted with the largest hail stones we have ever had here at the Red House. While most of the stones were the size of marbles, many had grown to about the size of a quarter. The Car Guy and I watched the stones batter the house, vehicles, and plants. When the deluge stopped, I ventured out with my camera to record the damage. The Virginia Creeper on the front patio was badly beaten. The vegetable garden won’t be a buffet for the deer anymore! On the bright side, the clouds beyond the hay field were pretty awesome! The trouble with …

Antelope Street Photography – Our Group

There are Four Generations of photographers in our family and that translates into a broad spectrum of experience and interest. Our family uses digital cameras almost exclusively, but we still have one member who shoots black and white film, and does her own developing and printing. The busiest season for photographs is summer time and our common meeting ground is The Cabin on Antelope Street – which is why I named our group of shutterbugs the Antelope Street Photography. This was a purely selfish action on my part. All but a few of the photos in this blog are mine, but on the rare occasion when I borrow a photo from one of the family members, I just use the ©Antelope Street Photography label rather than identifying an individual photographer. (Our family sends digital images to one another regularly… isn’t sharing why we all take pictures!?!) I’d like to introduce you to a few of the other photographers. The Car Guy takes a lot of pictures of Cars, but he and his dad are also …

Seeing Shapes in Clouds – Tornadoes and Pterodactyls

Massive collections of tiny water droplets. This is what clouds are. I can’t say I understand the mechanics of why they stay up in the air any better than I understand why an airplane stays aloft. But let’s just say they do, and I’ll show you some of the clouds that have passed over my house. In my part of the world, the weather usually arrives from the West, blown in by the winds that are almost always present to some degree. Now and then an East Wind will blow and it will bring in the smell of the nearby Feed Lot. Or a South East Wind will blow from, I don’t know, maybe the United States, and we will feel quite unsettled and threatened until the wind shifts and comes from the West again. Shifting winds blowing ever changing clouds across the sky. When I was a kid, I liked to watch clouds like this drift overhead. I liked to imagine they were a particular object or animal. This group of clouds didn’t bring …