Speaking of Unexpected


Well, once again I wasn’t able to get out for a walk this past week. I seem to be cursed this winter. The weather always falls bad on my days off – not that the weather in the finger lakes area has been that great at anytime this year. One week it’s gale force winds, then it’s freezing ice storms, this last week I spent half the day clearing snow out of the driveway (I have a big driveway).

So once again I’ve pulled a couple of pics out of the vault. I just happened to see these pretty cloud formations late one afternoon and snapped them with a point and shoot digital camera which was the only thing I had handy at the time. The colors and the shapes wavered and swirled and blended as the wind blew and the sun set. The whole thing came and went in the space of about fifteen minutes.

I just happen to be outside at the time getting something out of the car. The rest of the family, including some visiting from out of town, were in the house and didn’t see it. I suppose I should have run inside to tell them, but I was worried it would be gone by the time I could round anyone up and get back outside. Instead I jogged up the road to get a clearer view.


Now these are just tiny photos shot from the hip with a mediocre camera on automatic settings with no tripod so it is one of those “you had to be there” kind of things to get the full effect of the moment. On the other hand I’ll bet that we have all seen something like this at one time or another. Times when we were just minding our own business driving down the road or mowing the lawn or something equally mundane and we look up and see this amazing sunset that dazzles us for a brief instant and then slips from our grasp.

I remember a time as a teenager sitting on top of straw bales stacked high on a farm wagon bumping slowly along a hilltop field. The wagon was full and it was the last load of the day so there was nothing to do but sit back and watch the sky go by on our way back to the barn. It was one of those times when the sky went nuts with unbelievable color. From my high vantage point I could see it reaching out over the whole valley from edge to edge. Although details have gotten hazy over the intervening years, I can still feel the amazement and awe of that moment.

Oddly these moments don’t usually come when I am out hiking or camping. Let’s see there was one in a parking lot on my way to see a rodeo, one or two while driving, at the park on the lake shore with the family, there was that cool sunrise while riding my motorcycle to a hiking spot, looking out the window while eating supper…



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7 Responses to “Speaking of Unexpected”

  1. Allison Pluda Says:

    these are some really beautiful photographs! they really are some amazing colors in the sunset

  2. forestrat Says:

    Thanks, Allison.

  3. lookingforbeauty Says:

    These defy description – they are absolutely awe-inspiring.
    If you don’t have a camera with you at all times, you miss these once in a life time shots. And thank you for sharing them.
    I can hardly believe the colour, although I know it’s true that the skies light up that wonderfully sometimes.

  4. fencer Says:

    Nice shots, wonderful how the whole sky fills with light…


  5. Bernie Kasper Says:

    Beautiful colors Mark, the top one is especially vivid, I love both of them.

  6. forestrat Says:

    Thanks everyone.

    Oddly enough I rarely carry my camera with me unless I am going out to shoot something specific. I really should take it with me more often. I have missed stuff before and I vow to change my ways, but then I don’t. Go figure.

    Fortunately this time the point and shoot happened to be in the car’s console after a day of touring with some family from out of town.


  7. Mark Says:

    I can relate to your frustration. This winter has been such a bust for me getting outside to shoot, I just wish it would be done with and motivate me with some spring goodies. Like you said, all the days where it seems i have the motivation and opportunity, the weather stinks.

    Anyway, I can only dream of having a sky like that first one anytime soon. Amazing!

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