Attention All Cloudspotters
You can’t look around when you’re looking up, so we’ve had a look around for you.
If you have cloud news that you think we should include here, please email it to us at: email@example.com.
We recently came across this rather clever – and very expensive – ‘smart’ cloud lamp, made by Richard Clarkson Studios. The description claims that “The Smart cloud is the fully featured unit. Remote, Color changing lights, 2.1 Speakers, motion detection & more. Variants include a “satellite add-on cloud”.
For those who feel that the $3,360.00 price tag of the smart Cloud Lamp is a little expensive, there is a slightly cheaper ‘non-smart’ lamp-only option. Those who feel that too is rather pricey can enjoy the free alternative by looking out of the window on a stormy day.
Society founder, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, will be speaking at this year’s Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall, UK. It is ten years since he gave ‘The Inaugural Lecture of the Cloud Appreciation Society’ at Port Eliot. As well as being a guide to cloudspotting, the talk will be a look back over the events that have shaped the Society and world of clouds over the past 10 years.
Date: Sunday 27 July 2014, 3.30pm
At: Port Eliot Festival, Port Eliot Estate, St Germans, Saltash, Cornwall PL12 5ND, UK
Tickets: Buy day and weekend tickets from festival website
Following a recent media request, Cloud Appreciation Society member, Arun Padake, agreed to be interviewed for The Times of India about the joys of cloud watching. The image here is of his “Golden Eagle” and you can read the full article on The Times of India website.
The first episode in this BBC2 series (UK) was aired last week and explored clouds from within in one of the world’s largest airships. Felicity Aston was the presenter and you can read her blog about her experience here
This Wednesday, 23rd July, they will be continuing their journey across the USA in the airship, and the team will question how the atmosphere changes with altitude and how that has an impact on the life found there.
We always like to receive a postcard in the office. So it was great to get this one recently from Kim Ter-Horst, Member No 14256, who sent it while on holiday in Sweden. The card shows the earliest surviving painting of ‘halo phenomena’, those arcs and spots of light that can result as sunlight passes through clouds composed of ice crystals with particular shapes.
Painted in 1636 by Jacob Elbfas, and hanging in the Storkyrkan church in Stockholm, the painting is called Vädersolstavlan, which is the Swedish for ‘The Sun Dog Painting’. Sun dogs are one type of halo phenomenon that appear as bright spots of light on one or other side of the sun when sunlight passes at a certain angle through cloud composed of clear, hexagonal shaped ice-crystals. The painting is a copy of an original, now lost, attributed to Urban Målare depicting a dramatic display of halo phenomena that occurred on April 20, 1535. It seems there were a whole range of optical phenomena that day besides sun dogs, many of which are identifiable by their appearance in the painting. Although all the positions are not quite right and not all of these optical effects could have appeared in the sky at the same time of day, the phenomena shown in addition to the sun dogs include a 22-degree halo, a circumscribed halo, a circumzenithal arc and a parhelic circle.
Many thanks to Kim for sending us a card so well suited to cloud nerds.
Cloud watcher Bernard L Reymond recently sent us a link to NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. It shows Iridescent clouds over Thamserku and the photographer was Oleg Bartunov. If you click through to the NASA page you will see a very good explanation of how these clouds are formed.
Creighton Lovelace, D.D. Pastor of Danieltown Baptist Church and member of the Cloud Appreciation Society has kindly shared his article with us, “A Survey of Cloud Symbolism in Christianity”
An adventure into the skies…
A magical, visually spectacular show for families, filled with swirling clouds, miniature houses and enchanting music.
Enter a world where clouds turn into sheep, shadows make beautiful patterns across walls and the imagination runs wild.
The show has been devised by Spanish company Aracaladanza who specialise in creating work for children and is showing at the Southbank Centre, London from Saturday 26th to Wednesday 30th July. Full details can be found on the Southbank Centre website
This month, we’ve selected Math Gossens photograph of summer lightning over the Netherlands. See the Cloud of the Month for July here…
Bridget Holding runs ‘Wild Words‘ creative writing workshops in nature. In the courses she often uses clouds as a subject around which to base a piece of creative writing. The next online course will be running for 6 weeks and starts on 22nd September 2014, full details can be found on her website.
Here is an article that Bridget wrote recently exploring her relationship with clouds:
In the watercolour wash blue of the midafternoon sky, clouds block the sun. They hurl shifting shadows on to the ground below. I throw my jumper off, tip my head and spread my arms wide to wallow in the warmth. Almost immediately, I have to drag my jumper on again, as I’m plunged into shade. A chill runs the length of my body.
I want the clouds to clear, immediately.
Closing my eyes, I notice clumped areas of fogginess inside me. My right hip, and my left little finger are indistinct entities. Many small phantoms flit across my forehead. What are they? What is kept there?
I want these too to clear, immediately, and leave my internal world a bright, limitless sky.
To distract myself, I decide to get interested in looking at the sky above, and remember that The Cloud Appreciation Society have been responsible for changing my opinion of clouds. External, and internal.
Gavin Pretor-Pinney speaks of clouds as ‘Nature’s poetry’. The Society pledges to fight ‘blue-sky thinking wherever we find it… Life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day’. They’re right, aren’t they?
Clouds are indeed wonderful and varied. From the wisps that are the high cirrus clouds, to the vertically rising, bubbling cumulonimbus. From the little puff cakes of the middle layer of Altocumulus, to their companions the stretched, stringy altostratus.
Today’s clouds are cirrus- I would guess. They are a fine spreading mist, observed by a half moon, perching steady above them. I watch their slow motion, as they widen and spread to veil the sky. Like a skin, too thin. Or as if the sky wanted privacy.
Watching their forms bend and turn, with the smooth running of a yacht cutting through a calm sea, I’m re-inspired. I find the courage to look at those internal clouds.
As I touch their qualities in my body and mind, each frustrating, annoying, blocking little patch of absence of clarity starts to shift and shape change. And my forehead clears.
The Weekly Writing Prompt
Write a piece of prose using the following prompt:
“Clouds suit my mood just fine.”
― Marie Lu, Champion
Can your words form shapes as endlessly varied as the clouds?