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September 05, 2006



I remember when I was younger, and it would storm, and I would be so afraid of tornadoes. I would look at the clouds, and be scared. My grandparents live in Oklahoma, which is probably even more Tornado Alley than Texas, and there was an underground storm cellar we had to go to a few times. I remember my grandfather would sit at the entrance to the cellar and watch the sky, watch the clouds. He knows a ton of stuff about weather and just nature in general. And my mom, or someone, told me once I didn't have to worry, that things wouldn't be too bad, unless the clouds were green. Which I've only seen a few times.

But there's still something about the sky, before or during a storm, that awes me. Maybe it all goes back to hiding in my grandparents'cobwebbed-covered storm cellar in Oklahoma.

And oh, I saw Little Miss Sunshine with some friends Friday. It did come to the town I work in about 20 minutes away. It was lovely. The first scene, where she's watching the pageant? The yearning in that moment nearly made me cry.

Haven Rich

Julie, I could get lost in the clouds...meaning by actually watching them lol. Not only the clouds in my head, those don't count. I really like to paint clouds as well...the way they merge with other colors at sunset, beautiful! The clouds, not my paintings.

This past spring, my mom took me and my sister to the grand canyon and it's amazing up there for one. But the clouds had a way of making new things appear right before your eyes as they slid over the landscape. They truly are natures wonder.

Julie Anne Long

Yeah, girls, I've realized I've missed seeing clouds! For starters, I spend so much time in my office these days, and though my view is nice—a little green yard with flowers and trees, and patches of sky—there's no real drama in the sky, and I seriously can't recall the last time I saw a sunset (the sun sets on the other side of the house. LOL.) When it's foggy, as I've whined before on this blog, the sky looks exactly the same from morning until night—It could be 2:30 p.m right now, but it could also be 7 in the morning or dinnertime. It's impossible to tell. I can only imagine how beautiful clouds over the Grand Canyon would be...

But I love a sky before a storm, and the the way the light ricochets off clouds in the aftermath of it...and how clouds are basically indicators of the mood of the sky. I think it's wonderful how your grandpa knows so much about the weather, Lareign, and I've heard about the perils of green clouds. :) It's nice to stop and just marvel now and again. And in a way, I'm glad we humans haven't really learned how to control the weather...forces us to learn how to work with nature, in a way. :)

Glad you had a chance to see Little Miss Sunshine, too, Lareign! That opening scene—the one you mention—was brilliant, because it set the stage for the whole tone of the movie. I really did love that movie. Had lots of levels, and makes you think and feel as well as laugh. That's all I ask from a movie, really. :)

Sherrie Holmes

Julie, thank you for the link to the Cloud Appreciation Society page, and especially for mentioning The Cloudspotter's Guide. I carpool to my writer's critique group every Thursday with a fellow cloud lover, and we often ooh and ahh at pretty clouds on the way to group. She won't let me pay for gas, so I ordered The Cloudspotter's Guide for her as a thank you gift. I'm delighted I discovered this book from your blog.

Julie Anne Long

Sherrie, I'm so glad I could help you find a gift! I hope you guys enjoy it together—and I hope you don't drive off the road while you're admiring the pretty clouds!! You'll say it's Julie Anne Long's fault! LOL. Seriously, though, I like to picture the two of you finding inspiration in the clouds on the way to your critique group.

Today in my neighborhood we had still more fog—not ONE tiny bit of sun—so lately it's been a bit like living perpetually inside a cloud. Gotta tell you, I think I would much rather admire a cloud from the outside than from the inside. LOL. I'm praying for our usual wonderful warm San Francisco September to arrive!!


I've posted a few cloud pictures on my blog before. The second link is my favorite. It just look unreal outside.


Thanks for the link to the cloud site, I'd been to it before, but had lost the link.

Julie Anne Long

Wow, Nicole, those are GORGEOUS photos! I particularly love that second link...very odd, how those clouds are sort of *draped* across the sky like folds of white satin. They're so dense and creamy-looking! I've never seen anything like that around here. Thanks for sharing them!

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