Sunday, May 15, 2011

Looking at Clouds

In the past six weeks, the weather has played more of a role in our travels than at any other time in our nearly three years on the road.

About six weeks ago the weather report posted severe thunder-storm warnings for Lafayette, LA. Since it was only a couple of weeks earlier that we had been within five miles of a tornado, we decided to stay put for the day.

Late in the afternoon, the sun broke through the dark clouds, casting an ominous glow (photo above) over the RVs at the camp-ground.

Moments later, the sky took on this mauve color--a shade and an intensty that I had never seen before. I just stared at the heavens for what seemed like several minutes before realizing that I still had the camera in my hands.

All the while I was taking these photos, I was struck by the duration of this color in the clouds and sky. I didn't know if this color was a harbinger for some terrific storm or an indication that unusually beautiful weather was on the way.

Well, the latter possibility was the case on that occasion.

However, in the weeks to come tornados and floods took terrible tolls on the people in the South and along the Mississippi and other rivers.

Equally terrible was the decision facing those deciding to destroy levees and open floodgates or not along the Mississippi--decisions that came down to whose lives to disrupt or destroy.

We hope that the people of the Atchafalaya Basin, the farmers and residents along the Mississippi, and tornado victims are able to call upon their resilient character once more.

As we traveled north from Louisiana to Illinois, we caught this configura-tion of clouds and sun early one morning.

On our first day in Springfield (IL), we were greeted with this warning cloud arrange-ment.

As is our routine, we began at the Visitors' Center. The white fluffy cloud hovering over the roof line of the Center alerted us to the approaching rain--two days of it.

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