Tag Archives: clouds

An Hour Earlier There Were no Clouds

I had no intention of going out at sunset on Sunday because an hour earlier there were no clouds.

While doing dishes in front of the west facing kitchen window, I saw clouds building on the horizon and moving fast.

No time to go far, so I chose the barn spot ten minutes away. Good spot anyway. Highest spot on the ridge with a nice sweeping view to the west.

The winds were still intense, but not as bad as the day before and at least this time they were no where near as cold.

In the shots, this time, that’s rain coming down.

Colder than I thought it would be.

But at least I could get next to the east facing wall.

The wind would die completely, I wasn’t getting pelted by rain and if felt down right balmy out.

When the Clouds are Right

When the clouds are right, it’s hard to go out and not get half way decent photo’s as long as you include part of the sky.

Today the clouds were right.

But the wind wasn’t.

25 mph winds with gusts up to 50. Temps in the upper 30’s with wind chills in the low 20’s. If you don’t know what that’s like here in northern Illinois, it could best be described as unpleasant.

I knew this when I headed out the door and decided to drive the back roads in the lower Fox Valley, but I saw it as an opportunity to explore areas I haven’t been to in years and mentally mark them for further exploration at a later date.

Preferably when conditions might be better described as pleasant.

Controlling the car in the many open areas became a challenge. Wind gusts would hit the car and staying between the lines wasn’t easy. Luckily few drive these roads so traffic wasn’t an issue.

Pretty much all of the shots below are out the window shots. Of course a few times I had to get out of the car to get a better angle on something and I quickly realized what a mistake that was. Even at 200 pounds I’m no match for wind gusts of 50. Standing out in the open and trying to hold steady was next to impossible as I got pummeled. Even in the car it was difficult to hold the camera steady. A car parked on the edge of an open field and getting buffeted by high winds tends to rock back and forth, a lot.

In some of the shots, that’s not rain, it’s snow.

And not snow flakes, but snow pellets.

And by the time they were near the ground they were going nearly horizontal at anywhere between 25 and 50 mph.

And if you were stupid enough to be standing outside the car trying to get a better angle for a shot when one of these blew through and they hit what little exposed skin you had, it stung like a sonovabitch.

A Subtle Sunset

Friday after work I was going to stop at a creek to do some fishing. Just like Thursday and Monday, at the last minute I changed my mind and didn’t bother going.

Not sure what that means and it has the wife thoroughly confused.

It was a perfect evening for creek fishing. Heat was just right, the right amount of massive cumulus clouds were drifting around and the water levels were perfect.

Instead I went home, had dinner.

I then decided that with all these clouds around the sky was setting up for stunning sunset.

As I drove west to a spot I like, all the cumulus clouds moved out and were replaced by a low gray mass of clouds that stretched for as far as you could see. I decided to wait them out. They moved in quickly, perhaps they’ll move out just as quickly and I could salvage the sunset.

That never happened, but off on the horizon was a thin opening that was making an effort to grow. If it opened up big enough and the sun went down at the right moment, it could light up the whole sky.

That never happened either and I wound up with a subtle sunset.

Regardless, I was alone, which was needed. The only sounds were those of the fields, woods and wind. Which was desperately needed.

I could live with a subtle sunset.

And that it was. The opening on the horizon kept trying to open up, the sun tried to light up the sky and for a brief moment it looked like it all might come together.

And just like that, in a brief moment, it was gone.

View from the Porch – Clouds on the Horizon

Don’t even try talking to me before I’ve sucked down a couple of cups of coffee. Coffee must be sucked down while I’m out on the front porch, with a cheap cigar.
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The sky is getting brighter and still more song birds heard, but not seen, throughout the neighborhood. To the east the first hint of the sun is breaking the horizon.

Overhead, nothing but blue skies.

To the west, a wall of dark gray clouds could be seen through the barren trees.

If I were a younger man I could conjure up images of change, a slight darkening in my life, maybe a woman left me, maybe I’m just hung over.

If I were an old man, older and gloomier than I already am, I could conjure up images of life passing, maybe relate the looming gray to the ever increasing number of friends and acquaintances dropping dead like flies, maybe go on about ailing bones and health and frustrating physical limitations.

But all I could come up with is… goddamn clouds, I wish they would make up their minds. I hate winter.