Get your head in the clouds.

The Mascletà creating clouds of a different kind

Valencia is always a bit groggy after Las Fallas–so many late nights, so many sudden and astonishingly loud noises, so much smoke inhalation–it all adds up. I could say that I didn’t post on Wednesday because like the rest of the city I’m still recovering, but it probably has more to do with a combination of

  • orthodontic trauma (I didn’t lose Ninja on this trip, but it was nevertheless hard)
  • police-related futility (long bike ride, medium wait in line to collect our foreigner cards, few seconds to be told it was all for naught–we had everything we needed except one thing that they’ve already copied, but that they wanted to see again)
  • photograph-pipeline problems. (El Guapo has to prepare for and teach his classes, and so is not at liberty to be my full-time photo guy. Go figure.)

There may be a Few Fallas Footnotes Forthcoming, but while we wait, I bring you

World Meteorological Day.

Like so many of the special designations of Days of the Year by one or another of the bastions of Officialdom, I didn’t know anything about this one until I saw mention of it in a recent newsletter, but I’m already a fan of at least one meteorological phenomenon, namely, clouds.

Cumulus clouds, Victoria, Australia

In fact, once while couchsurfing in Newark-Upon-Trent I spent a pleasant interlude reading a book about them called The Cloudspotter’s Guide, by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. As it happens, he is the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. The name was something he made up to try to entice people to come to a lecture he was giving, but it caught on, and it’s now got many thousands of members, and a manifesto, which I bring you, courtesy of the website:


Cloud Appreciation Society Manifesto

WE BELIEVE that clouds are unjustly maligned and that life would be immeasurably poorer without them.


We think that they are Nature’s poetry, and the most egalitarian of her displays, since everyone can have a fantastic view of them.


We pledge 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.


We seek to remind people that clouds are expressions of the atmosphere’s moods, and can be read like those of a person’s countenance.


We believe that clouds are for dreamers and their contemplation benefits the soul. Indeed, all who consider the shapes they see in them will save money on psychoanalysis bills.


And so we say to all who’ll listen:

Look up, marvel at the ephemeral beauty, and always remember to live life with your head in the clouds!


I do like the idea of shifting our thinking away from “clouds as downers” to recognizing what an amazing source of beauty and fascination they can be.

For more clouds to contemplate, you can spend a little time in the cloud gallery of the Cloud Appreciation Society. The photos themselves are copyrighted, so I haven’t included any here, but I will suggest you keep your eye out  for something called a “fallstreak hole,” an “asperitas formation,” and a “horseshoe vortex.” There are plenty of interesting things to see if we’re willing to look up.

And I can point you toward the World Meteorological Organization’s International Cloud Atlas, where you’ll want to keep watch for something called Cumulonimbus calvus pileus.

Here are a few images to enjoy:

by Jessie Eastland

Altocumulus stratiformisduplicatus at sunrise in the California Mojave Desert


Cirrus sky panorama



[Images:, Fir0002/Flagstaffotos, Jessie Eastland,  Fir0002, Jessie Eastland]


2 thoughts on “Get your head in the clouds.

    • I bet that a few minutes watching clouds has many of the same benefits as meditation. I just have to figure out how to do it without making my neck tired.

Leave a Reply to Liebling Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s