Friday, July 15, 2011

Buxom Mamma

Coming home from somewhere the other day I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road because there were some spectacular cloud formations around. As I drove over the (relatively) high ground towards home I had a great view in all directions and could see a few mighty thunderstorms in the making. I stopped the car on a quiet road at one point and watched a lovely big cumulonimbus growing at some speed. I did think "oh, I wish I had my camera" but quickly stomped on that thought and resolved to take a memory photo instead. Anyway, as I got closer to home I drove under one of these big clouds and as I stepped out of the car I looked up and saw these mamma clouds right above the house. I ran in, grabbed the camera and called the others to come out and have a look. I love the way the boys react sometimes when I get excited about something natural. Sometimes I overdo my excitement on purpose, hoping to instill in them a deep, unshakeable love and respect of awesome natural things, but on this day I didn't need to fake it. I WAS in AWE. WOW! Of course, the photo doesn't do it justice at all.
I have seen big storms like this before, most notable in the Sri Lankan monsoon and that huge storm that rolled over me while on a beach in Vietnam that I will never forget. It was not long after Granny died and I was travelling around in a daze, looking for adventure to give me a kick in the backside. The storm was so powerful and kind of scary but I stood rooted to the spot and didn't run for cover with everyone else until it was too late- I was soaked but totally invigorated. That was a serious spirit lifting few minutes. Anyway, this one was slightly less wild but the mamma clouds were particularly impressive and the fact that they surprised me by how close they were and that my kids were with me made the feeling all the more intense.

Here's another shot in the other direction- just a tiny hint at the views I was seeing on the road and the way the light was playing in the sky.
Just looked up mamma clouds in my cloudspotter book. Mamma is from the Latin for 'breasts' and they look like a "field of smooth, globular udders". They form on the underside of different cloud types but are at their most impressive "when wed to a mighty cumulonimbus". Funny, I used the word mighty too. It also says, "the more powerful the cumulonimbus, the more buxom the mamma." Obviously written by a man :)

Hoping for more storms over the hot summer months.

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