At last

It has been an unusual summer in that few, if any, mornings have been graced by color in the east and we have been treated to none of the sorts of fiery sunsets that we experienced in abundance last year. I wonder why? I had just finished with the dishes when I looked out the window and noticed that the sky, ahead of a weather system which is expected to arrive overnight, was colored blush. I hurried upstairs and as I exchanged the 24-85 for the 14-24 I noticed deepening color in the west. I grabbed the monopod as I negotiated the top of the stairs. Out the back door and standing in the front hay field I squeezed off 43 images in 6 minutes and then it was over. I have wondered before why we find nature so awesome (in that it inspires awe and please not in the vernacular sense of interesting or wonderful). Why do our eyes widen at the sight of a waterfall or the thought of an ocean abyss? Why do we marvel at breaking waves or start at cracks of thunder and flashes of lightning? Why is it that nature both frightens and inspires? If I had to guess I would say that we are predisposed to these emotions because the lives of our ancestors were directly impacted by events and occurrences such as these. Today, of course, we simply crawl into our constructed boxes and are thereby protected from the elements. In ancient times our ancestors couldn’t run and they couldn’t hide, they lived intimately with the world of which they were a part. I can surely believe that the forces of nature instilled genuine fear. Over the millennia however we have learned, for better or worse (I do not know which), to circumvent the impact of these forces. Perhaps our primitive, atavistic, fears have been transmogrified to find expression in awe and, especially, inspiration. Clicking the image below will reveal a somewhat larger version. Enjoy, and be inspired.


23 thoughts on “At last

  1. One morning this week, as I drove around the highway that circles the city, I saw an eastern sky like this, behind the university. Coming home that evening, from the other direction, I was treated to a sunset just as beautiful and could see it through the tall residence halls and green alleys of the campus. In the huge rush of traffic surging around me I couldn’t stop, even if I had brought my camera. I felt quite sad that I didn’t have the chance to photograph it and share it with you – for all the reasons you write above – I knew you would enjoy it. How wonderful that you had a sky of your own, the space and time, and camera to capture it. Beautiful!

    • Thank you M for taking the time to relate the story and for your kind observations and comments. All are very much appreciated. I hope the new direction is taking you to places you find comfortable, rewarding, and challenging. D

  2. I love skies like this, of course when I go to get them they don’t happen, you did a great job with this well, good job you looked up and out when you did.

    • Thanks once more for taking the time to comment Leanne .. you know it means lots to me. D PS: Your professional life seems to have reached critical escape velocity … i.e., things seem to be taking off! Congratulations! I hope this doesn’t mean we’ll see less of a LCP presence on the web?!

      • I hope not as well, some just might be a little more rushed. I think the area I’m falling way behind in is commenting on the blogs of others, it is hard to keep up with so many.

        • Yes indeed. Blogging, and being part of the blogging community does take time. One feels badly for not commenting … even when time is limited. ‘Likes’ are just a valuable though for judging the interest of readers and followers. I know you are busy and am always amazed at the numbers of like for and comments concerning nearly every one of your posts. You must be pleased. If I see the ‘LCP’ gravatar in my likes listing every once in a while I will be pleased. Thanks for your continued support. D

  3. Oh, Dave, this really is strikingly beautiful. I’m loving the contrast between the dry, sparseness of the field below and the rich color and texture of the sky. It’s my new laptop wall paper and kicks that lovely image of the corn silk off the desktop and into a save folder. Thanks for rushing out to get it πŸ™‚

  4. I think you pretty much nailed it, both with the beauty of the picture and the reasons why spectacular displays from nature evoke such powerful, positive emotion within us. I’m still going to wallow in the occasional bit of awe. As far as entertainment is concerned it’s way cheaper than a cruise and far less destructive than booze πŸ™‚

  5. Beautiful fire in the sky … spilling out in waves πŸ™‚ I think nature is profoundly healing and calming to our souls. There is a new branch of psychology called Eco-psychology. It studies the effect of nature on our minds and moods. It makes me smile because to me it’s so obvious, why would we need to create a new discipline to explain something we have always known!

    • We’re in agreement here Seonaid. Your comment is ‘interesting’ give mine (made before reading this) made in reply to your most recent post. Great minds do indeed think alike. Although I did not use the same words, your use of the phrase ‘profoundly healing’ mirrors my thought exactly. Weird. No … not weird … just simple and straight forward. ‘ … something we have always known.’ D

  6. I am not familiar with this type of cloud formation so I might ask a stupid question: Is this ‘Chinook Arch’? I have once stumbled upon similar images when searching for details on weather and climate in the Canadian prairies. [Relating to a question by Michelle on using our heat pump system in Canada.] I couldn’t agree more with your theory! I believe we might have also projected our ancient feelings triggered by nature onto ‘events’ emerging in our office-corporate-tech world – unfortunately … such as a full inbox or upcoming deadline creating the same fear as once a real threat did. No wonder that many burn-out coaches and the like offer outdoor trainings and events to adjust your sense of threat and awe.

    • Hi there Elke. The taxonomy of cloud forms is not an area that I am familiar with. A quick look across the internet however tells me that the formation is not a Chinook Arch (I don’t think our Pennsylvania hills are big enough … and this formation wasn’t stationary) but probably a simple Altocumulus stratiformis cloud formation. I liked the way you’ve projected our ancient behavior to explain corporate-office (mis)behavior. I think you’re on to something! D

  7. Very lovely. It looks like someone threw a big handful of gold dust up into the air, just on the other side of the mountain.

  8. The image is stunning and your thoughts about the wonders of nature are profound and beautifully expressed.

    • Thanks Lemony. I have been following, with much interest, your continued photographic exploits. I have said it before, and I will say it again … your botanical studies are exceptional. I, like you, are guilty of not always taking time to comment. Be that as it may, be assured that I admire each and every photo of yours which appears in my reader. How is your autumn proceeding down south? Although our local Fall Foliage Festival is scheduled for this weekend I would guess that we’re still at least a week or so away from maximum color. D

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