Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It's Clouds Illusions, I Recall

June 2013
Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way.

My sisters and I sang a Joni Mitchell song, "Both Sides Now," for a 4-H Club Day long, long ago. That song often rolls around in my head, much like the clouds that shift on a summer day in Kansas:

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's clouds' illusions, I recall
I really don't know clouds at all.

I belong to a Facebook group called Snapshot Kansas, and, each Tuesday, the site administrator offers a challenge. Sometimes, I just look at what others post. But this week, "clouds" was the theme, and I shared some of my favorite photos of Kansas skies. 
April 2010
I've always liked clouds, but I think I became even more aware when Brent was little. Some people have backseat drivers. I had a backseat cloud watcher.
June 2013
Brent was always discovering some shape in the marshmallow fluff of clouds floating by.
When the kids were little, I "retired" from working full-time as a writer-editor at The Hutchinson News, but I wrote a column for them, "At Home with Kim," for several years. Here an excerpt of what I wrote when Brent was in kindergarten: 
It was one of those days when it looks like the angels are using the clouds for tumbling mats. Brent and I were driving home, and he started cloud-watching.

"Oh, look, Mommy! That one looks like a dinosaur. And that one looks like a puppy."

We found an eagle and a dragon and a cat among the whipped-cream clouds. I was thinking that even though our world changes, some things - like cloud watching - have been children's pastimes for years and years.

And then he said, "Oh, there a roller blade."

As a child, I saw dragons and rabbits, but not a single roller blade was suspended in my cotton-candy skies. 

Change is part of us - even daydreaming cloud watchers confirm that.
A very unusual rope cloud. Taken in August 2008 as we left to move Jill to Nashville, TN, for her dietetics internship at Vanderbilt University
Though I no longer have cloud watchers in the backseat, I still love watching the clouds. Perhaps it is their ability to change quickly, shifting the scenery in an instant.
September 2013
I personally struggle with change, so I guess I admire it in other things. 
July 2012
Maybe it's OK to have your head in the clouds on occasion, like these sunflowers.
July 2013
With thousands of photos on file, I could be looking for cloud photos all day long.
July 2013
Who am I kidding? I could spend a week.
July 2011
But there are worse things to look at, don't you think? Today, a new assignment will appear on Snapshot Kansas. But I know I'll always be looking for clouds. And this song will tumble around in my head while I do it.


  1. Kim,

    Since starting my blog and photography I take more time to observe clouds. There are some beautiful scenes and all we have to do is look up.

    A few years ago I was visiting my home and looking through my Mom's pictures on the computer. She has all these sky and cloud pictures. I asked her what the deal was she said "Oh aren't they pretty, I just love taking cloud pictures."

    Again, great minds think alike!

    1. Looking up is a good idea any time -- in more ways than one! I guess our wide open spaces give us lots of opportunities to appreciate the clouds and our beautiful skies.

  2. This is precious. While reading, it reminded me of my 3yo son and our drive home the other day. I was just driving along and he started naming off all these animals and shapes saying, "There's a dog, a cat, a elephant"..and so on. I looked around for a dog or cat but I couldn't figure out what he was talking about, so I asked. He was talking about the clouds! I think it's a great illustration of the contrast of kids and adults when it comes to imagination and seeing beyond the tip of our noses. What great lessons we can learn by looking through our children's eyes! Great post! I hope I can keep my "head in the clouds"! :-)

    1. That definitely sounds like my Brent! Enjoy every moment! Maybe I'll have the next generation of cloud watchers in my granddaughter and her little sister, set to arrive in September! Thanks for taking time to comment.

  3. I love that song, too. Always have. The Kansas skies and clouds have been beautiful this summer. Cloud watching weather!

    1. Absolutely! It's a pretty phenomenal free show.