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The nursling of the sky

Almost exactly six months ago I posted an entry about a webpage I'd found called the Cloud Appreciation Society, which was the Best Thing Ever. It still is! And tonight on BBC4 there was a 90-minute programme called Cloudspotting, presented by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, who runs the website and the society. It was fantastic - leisurely, gently amusing, educational, and so enthusiastic. (And, to digress for a moment, something you would only ever get on the Beeb. This is the antithesis of commercial TV.) You can iPlayer it here, if you're in the UK - not sure if it's the kind of thing that'll end up torrented, but you never know!

I'd already got the book for Christmas, but now I've got round to joining the society as well (and wishing I'd done it before, so I don't look like a TV-watching bandwagon jumper, because I am an indie snob, and BBC4 is Just Too Mainstream, dammit), and they're going to send me a certificate and a badge! Whee! Also, there's a new book out next month which is totally an I Spy book for clouds. It's all causing me to regress to childhood at high speed.

But in a slightly more intellectual vein, I've also found Luke Howard's original Essay on the Modification of Clouds from 1802, the first cloud classification system, still in use today. And I've been reading Shelley's The Cloud, which used Howard's categories.

I do keep taking pictures of clouds, and the last few have been all pixelated and horrible, and I've only just realised it's because I'd set my camera to "tiny MMS quality" at some point and failed to change it back. Boo. Just imagine how good this would be at 5MP:


Clouds. Aren't they great?



( 5 comments — Comment )
May. 4th, 2009 09:31 am (UTC)
I caught the end of that programme last night too - just from the bit where the guy was presenting some new types of clouds to the Meteorological Association (or something like that - not sure what they were called). It was very sweet, and a nice relaxing end to the evening. I think I'm more about sunsets, myself - but then good sunsets do rely on having clouds around to catch the colours, so it's all good.
May. 4th, 2009 10:59 am (UTC)
I used to spend my early mornings drawing the dawn sky when I was in my early teens. I wish I'd kept those pictures.

I suddenly have more DW invite codes -- so if anyone one your f'list still wants one, I have five to offer.
May. 4th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
[reposting comment from p's dw post, but as a response to your comment, as it is most apropos!]

When I was 11 or 12, I used to grab the family's Instamatic camera and go out and take pictures with whatever film was left in the camera. My folks would then get the film developed, and, invariably, my stepmother, upon picking up the resultant photos, would exclaim (to my father): "Phill, he's taking pictures of clouds again!"


I loved taking pictures of clouds.
May. 5th, 2009 10:34 am (UTC)
Aww :~)
May. 5th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
( 5 comments — Comment )


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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