Saturday, June 17, 2006

Picking through clouds


My profile that's on file at the travel agency says I like window seats. On aircraft where the in-flight meal is but a pseudo-fond memory and in-flight entertainment consists of shadow puppets you hand-project onto your tray using the overhead reading light, the window often represents the only source of creative diversion available to the weary traveller.

The anti-social writer in me also craves the fact that I won't be getting up every 20 minutes to allow my small-bladdered seatmates to make their way to the loo-in-the-sky. I simply sit down, pull up the shade, and enjoy the view.

As I take in the never-ending picture show above and below, I often take pictures. I know: not an ideal photographic situation. The plastic side windows on most planes today are scratched, smudged, and generally as clear as the ketchup bottle after a five-year-old is through with it. The atmosphere itself, thanks to the polluters in Sarnia (sorry, I couldn't resist), is oftentimes murky.

Yet I keep shooting. I always carry a few sets of fully charged batteries, and my camera has a huge memory card. I know that eventually I'll grab an image worth remembering.

This one presented itself on the late-afternoon puddle-jumper flight to London from Detroit. The best pictures, for some odd reason, always seem to happen on the last leg of the trip home. It's almost as if coming home makes everything I see through the lens that much more poignant. I wish I understood the mechanics of this mysterious process: I'd use it to take more pictures like this.

Your turn: You're lying on the lawn looking at clouds. What do you see?

33 comments:

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That's true; in a plane, people always want to squeeze past.

While lying back watching clouds, a colony of ants make their home in your clothing.

Michele sent me here.

sage said...

My profile says an aisle seat and on those 30 seat turbo-prop puddle jumpers I use to fly on a couple times a month, it was row 9, seat B or C (which was the exit row and had extra leg room--it was considered first class!)

As for the clouds, I'd prefer to be in my backyard laying in one of my hammocks (maybe later this morning) and I'd only see a canopy of green as I'm looking up through maple trees.

rashbre said...

I enjoy flying through canyons of sunlit clouds when descending near to a destination (notwithstanding bumps). And laying on one's back looking at the sky (or stars) is a great way to recapture childhood moments too.

rashbre

Star said...

If I did it now I would probably have fond memories of my chldhood. My best friend and I oftem looked up at the clouds and picked out shapes while lying on my front lawn. Michele sent me this time.

kimmyk said...

Lying on the lawn looking up at the sky I see....

It's quiet there....and it's peaceful.

Came here from Michele's.

Have a great weekend !

panthergirl said...

I love the window seat, too. I enjoyed my five hour flights to and from Vegas so much this week. Five hours of uninterrupted reading, dozing, gazing out the window...what could be better? I honestly think I'd love the trip to Australia!

I wish I had a lawn, but when I'm out on my deck looking up at the clouds, I'm wondering if a bird is going to poop on me. ;)

Here via michele today!

Karen said...

Well, if I were on my back looking up at the sky, I'd see the canopy of Ash trees that are being threatened by some beetle that is now in Northern Illinois and may be in Wisconsin soon. If it gets here, they're going to start cutting down ash trees...and fast. Hope the beetle stays in Illinois!

Hi Carmi! It's been a while. I'm here via Michele's. Hope you're well.

Melanie said...

Here via Michele's

Love looking at the clouds with the kiddos and seeing how many clouds we can envision as a dinosaur!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

That picture is wonderful...I don't see any strange stuff on it...Window gop, I mean...Beautiful Beautiful picture...
I love looking at clouds from my deck...and am fascinated by those painted looking ones inParticular!

utenzi said...

Michele sent me, Carmi.

Good morning, Carmi! It's great to be back here.

What do I see? Lots of ants, I guess. The damn things just love to invade backyard reveries.

LOL I just read the comments above and I see the Captain Picard already used that line! Damn.

Anytime I hear about using a bathroom in an airplane I get grossed out at the thought of them releasing the resultant "wastes" into the air to be dispersed above us. Nasty!

Jennifer said...

Oh I LOVE cloud pictures. I think I look up to see the clouds more then anything else.

Right now however... there's not a cloud in the sky.

Terri said...

I'm a window seat kind of person also. I love the tranquility of being up in the clouds, able to gaze out the window and feel like I'm in my own little cocoon...unlike the sometimes fast pace of being on the ground.
What I see in the clouds: Images of many loved ones and friends who now reside in those clouds.

Killired said...

looking at clouds is so peaceful! if i was laying outside now, i would see big, puffy, cotton candy looking clouds, the bright sun and blue skies!

Pickalish said...

That is GORGEOUS. I want that shot framed for my family room! When I look at that shot, I don't really 'see' anything...but I get a giant sense of heavenly peace.

Tia said...

mmmmmmmmm..... that photo makes me want to be in the sky. One of my biggest passions is skydiving, and the scenery is always breath taking. The perspective I gain from being up there and fully in the moment is one of the most peaceful things I know. so........... thank you for making me day dream about being in the sky this morning....

here from Michele's!

Mitey Mite said...

The Professor calls clouds, especially the ones that are building into thunderstorms, "fairy castles". A friend of mine calls those shafts of sunlight that come through the clouds "angel slides". I think those are both perfect descriptions.

Here via Michele.

Dara said...

I was always a window seat gal until I realized I'd have more leg room and no one to hop over when I needed to use the bathroom. This last cross country trip, I messed up and got window seats both ways - what a treat! No beverage carts bumping into me, no people brushing my shoulder as they went up and down the aisle, a private little place where I could lean my head and gaze at the sky. Thanks for pointing that out. Michele sent me.

Dave said...

It's always a beautiful day above the clouds.
Here from Michele's this time.

Vickie said...

Great writing! It's funny but I don't get to cloud gaze in London so often, as the clouds here are more a constant heaviness than fluffy shapes. I've been thinking of starting a new blog which would capture the shapes on the walls of the tube tunnels. The paint peels, or the glue remains from old banner ads, and they make the most amazing images if you can just stop and look at them for a second in this fast paced city. The other day I saw a boy yelling into a microphone standing on top of a map of Africa. So much fun to feel like I just discovered a hidden secret just for me on the walls of Oxford Circus.

Osquer said...

I do the same thing. I love watching the clouds from above (and below for that matter). I love taking pictures out of the plane window!

Am I the only person who doesn't know Michele? How do I get an introduction? ;-)

I found my way here from The Captain's Journal.

Crayonsetc said...

Very cool picture. It has been years since I have flown... but not even 24 hours since I was at the airport ;)

Laying on the lawn, I just like looking at the clouds, the dd is more into looking for the shapes. She is more creative than I!!

Stopping by via Michele this afternoon to say Hello!!!

Jessica said...

Great flikr photos along the side! ...Still getting used to an island sky, so when I look up I'm just struck by the number of different kinds of clouds - layers of huge white puffs over dark zigzags with some fast moving white streaks even lower.

Via Michele.

honestyrain said...

i'm a small bladdered person and being stuck at the window with strangers next to me is mortifying. because i know i'll have to go eighty times but i will be too self conscious about it to ask so i'll sit there and suffer for as long as i can. blah.

i talk about pee at my place, i talk about pee at your place. people will begin to say that i am urine obsessed.

michele sent me because she was worried you might be missing me :)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Carmi, My Dear...you always touch me with your words and I thank you for understanding and appreciating these posts...I deeply deeply appreciate it more than I can say...Merci, my dear...Merci Beaucoup...!

margalit said...

pouring rain, unfortunately. But when it isn't raining, or dark, or both as it is now, I like to try and see animals. I think you can find animals in the clouds more often than anything else.

Great plane photo. I'm an aisle seat girl, so I never had a good look at the outside on a plane. I'm too afraid of heights. I don't want to know how high up I am!

Here via Michele

srp said...

Here from Michele.
This is an absolutely exquisite cloud shot. I know what you mean about the windows in a plane. I tried to shoot the clouds and the Alps over Switzerland on the last trip to Europe. I think they would have turned out fairly decent, however this was before my digital and the Advanced Photo System film cartridge somehow reset itself and I ended up with double exposures, ruining both events. Pooh!

I love the light diffusing through the clouds from the sun. Excellent!

Miss Cow is a Cow said...

Here via Michele this time.

Janet said...

funny...I just took some cloud photos out a plane window, too...and got a lovely circular rainbow!

Hi, Michele sent me :-)

Pickalish said...

I was already here...but, you know that. We have no clouds today, just the big, blue sky. Love it.

colleen said...

I always think of my brother Jim who was a avid weather enthusiast and loved clouds when I look at them. I feel very dreamy and grateful when I take the time to look.

I'm here from micheles tonight.

Tracie said...

See, now my mom always made fun of me for taking pictures out of the plane window-but I view it as a challenge to get the perfect one. This one you got is great.

Michele says hi!

Claude said...

That's a cool picture.

Last time I flew, it was raining on the ground. The plane takes off and after a few minutes it breaks through the clouds into brilliant sunshine. It's like a revelation.

I like looking out the window but I also like being on the aisle. Window seats get me a little claustrophobic.

Here via Michele.

David said...

the sky:
i believe we are from the earth, but destined for the clouds.
maybe that is the attraction of this picture for me.