December 2009

Cloud of the Month for December 2009

December 2009

Cloud of the Month for December 2009

Looking Down at The Clouds

As any angler will tell you, sitting in front of still water can give you a different perspective on the sky – one that allows you to look up at the clouds without straining your neck. And when the expanse of water is large, it can act like an enormous mirror that reflects huge areas of the sky, like this glorious Altocumulus sunset over southern Australia.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of water mirroring the sky is found on the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. This is the world’s largest region of salt flats, and is situated in the Andes, at an elevation of over 3,500m. The salt deposits are incredibly level and become flooded at certain times of the year to be covered in just an inch or two of water. Too shallow to develop any waves, the reflections appear to double the sky.

But you don’t have to cross the world to enjoy the pleasures of cloud reflections. Watch the clouds in any pond or slow river when the day is still, and you will see them sway dreamily with the water’s undulations, as if dancing to a music only they can hear.

© Photograph Heather Hartkamp.

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