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Stratocumulus (October 06)

Stratocumulus (October 06)

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(Click image to enlarge) (Image © Antonio Bonasera)

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Stratocumulus clouds look rather like someone couldn’t find the ‘Off’ switch on the candyfloss machine. They generally have low, puffy cumulus-like mounds, which are joined together into a more-or-less continuous layer. When the layer is extensive and thick, it can completely block out the sky above.

The shifting terrain of the Stratocumulus results in a great variety of light and dark shades. Sometimes, openings appear through it, which can result in ‘crepuscular rays’ of sunlight that look like torch beams shining down to the ground. At others times, as in the fine example shown above, such an opening can appear as a window up to the sky above.

What a glorious sight it is to peer up through a cavernous hole in the clouds to the firmament above. Suddenly, there is a sense of scale to the ocean of air above us. Suddenly, our atmosphere has depth and drama. Looking up through it, we become more aware of our place down here on the surface. A opening through a Stratocumulus cloud is a window on the sky and a window on the soul.

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