Posts Tagged ‘clouds’

When I first met the woman who eventually became my wife and learned that she came from North Dakota I asked her what were 5 great things about North Dakota. One of the things she identified was the “big sky” — the fact that you could see forever. Being from Wisconsin, I didn’t have a clue about what that meant, but as time has passed I have come to get a glimmer of understanding.

One of the things I love about North Dakota is its spectacular sky. There is no place else that I have ever been where I have seen such consistently beautiful cloudscapes and they are only visible because of that “big sky” my wife spoke about years ago.

I’ll be posting some of the “big sky” shots from my current trip over the next few weeks. Here is one example.

Big Sky - Cloudscape I

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What a wonderful challenge idea Cee.

Here is my story of water – from droplet to ocean and back again. I hope you enjoy the rather lengthy journey.

The first stop is two drops of water that are held by bits of moss.

Raindrops on moss

Raindrops on moss

While much of this water will sink back into the earth to replenish aquifers or run off to do duty elsewhere, some will evaporate. Evaporated these two water drops band together with millions of billions of others to form clouds that can be jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Rural Railroad Crossing - July 19, 2013 - 73

However, those same water drops can become nightmarishly dangerous if you are driving on a rural highway in the blinding rain.

Traveling America - Downpour on Highway 2-2

Of course these water drop can also fall in the form of snow …

In the Cascades - April 17, 2013 - 43

or may become ice and form gigantic glaciers or the most delicate of structures.

Flight.

The gathering of water is among the most common sights on earth given that more than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water.

Water readily forms puddles …

Circlepalooza - April 19, 2013

and ponds.

Spring at Army Ammunition Plant - May 05, 2014 - 068

Left to its own devices  it will gather into cleansing wetlands.

Cherokee Marsh in the Fog - September 26, 2013 - 53

Water is the great way station and play station for a myriad of wildlife from Canadian Geese

Goose Prepares for Flight - October 02, 2013 - 68-E

to bald eagles (here an immature bald eagle)

Immature Bald Eagle - January 10, 2014 - 15

to Sandhill cranes.

Sandhill Cranes1

When the drops of water do not sink into the ground, they gather together first into streams …

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0038

that lead to great lakes like Lake Michigan

Sunset on Lake Michigan

and mighty rivers like the Columbia River

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0416

… all inexorably making their way to the oceans.

Here we see two surfers in the Pacific near Cannon  Beach in Oregon,

Surfers near Cannon Beach. OR

while the view of the Pacific in Monterey is much more peaceful.

There is a House Back There

It is in the oceans that the water, heated by the sun, drives the climate. Eventually that water freshened by evaporation raises itself again and ultimately gathers itself into the weather systems we watch for and when the rain falls we see in it our own renewal.

Self-portrait

Clouds above the North Dakota Prairie are my submission for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: The Color White.

Rural Railroad Crossing - North Dakota

Rural Railroad Crossing - July 19, 2013 - 73

As I have mentioned, I am going through some of my photos and doing some “photo mining” to rediscover forgotten images. This one is of a railroad crossing on a rural road in North Dakota.

A Word A Week Photo Challenge - Metallaic? Yes

After much deep and thoughtful consideration I decided that this object – the wing of the particular airplane in which I happened to be seated – was most likely metallic rather than some high-tech composite. My decision was based on two things: first: the wing looks more or less metallic. Second and much more convincing to me was the basic fact that I was on the airplane to which this wing was attached. Given where I live.  I never get to fly on the latest and greatest airplanes with composite wings and other fancy equipment. ‘Nuf said, Metallic.