Friday, April 3, 2009

What a Wonderful World, Part 2

I am not a scientist, but I am a crap (pardon my language) savant. That is, someone who for no explicable reason absorbs trivial facts (like the names of small tree frogs in different regions) but can't remember important facts like trash pickup days. (Sigh) It's a burden, but someone has to bear it.

06Indianola MS

I have been struck by the beauty of what is hanging over my head atmospherically in the last two weeks, and whilst tagging my photographic finds on Flickr decided to check out what the names for the different cloud types were.


It was then that I made this discovery. (dun dun duh!) Earth talks to the sky. No, this isn't a conspiracy theory, it is pure science.

About 40 years ago scientists discovered these little microbes called ice nucleators. They are a type of bacteria that are in dust, and serve as the foundation for formation of ice and snow crystals in clouds. They get kicked up by a farmer plowing his field and carried into the clouds by wind. Ski areas use a type of these things to create artificial snow.

houclouds 2

I still can't tell you the difference between the lus-es, be they strato, nimbo, cumu, or their higher flying cousins, but I am fascinated by the fact that earth and sky communicate via those teeny little ice nucleators. Ice nucleators are our friends. Peace, out.

What a wonderful world!

(cue Louie Armstrong again.)

What a Wonderful World

Even though our last frost date for planting is June 1st up here in the Frozen North, our recent weather has been spectacular. I walked outside to gather up my freecycle dog Misty in the late afternoon and was greeted with an incredible display of light, landscape, and clouds.

Your redemption draweth nigh

People, please keep in mind that this is straight out of the camera. Spielberg couldn't CGI (computer generated imagery) anything better. And he rates an Oscar. What could we possibly give to God in recognition of this?

Misty and I proceeded to the local park for walk with a friend and her dog Kolby. Kolby is a young black Lab. We had fun watching his short legs trying to keep up with Misty's long ones.


I have found that stopping to take pictures is counter productive for the exercise value of a walk, but when I slowed to allow Kolby and his friend to catch up, I caught a glimpse of blue and white canopy above the still naked trees.

The Sky said, "I've got you covered."

Walking in the park is a great exercise for dogs and humans alike. And a wonderful opportunity for good conversation. But mostly it is a sacred time to relate to everything around me, to breathe in the grand scope of nature, the trees, the critters, the ground, the sky. A time for reflection on how all this came to be and continues to function in breathtaking symmetry and synchronization.

Louie Armstrong said it best,
"And I think to myself, what a wonderful world."