God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.
-- Martin Luther
Last Tuesday, June 16, was Bloomsday, the 101st anniversary of Leopold Bloom's odyssey through Dublin chronicled in James Joyce's Ulysses. And here in Corrales, the Universe celebrated with a bloom of cumulonimbus clouds at sunset.
It all started as it usually does: in the afternoon, the land warms up and moist air begins to rise, generating a large cumulonimbus formation . . . in this case, not one, but two adjacent to each other. Here's how they appeared looking east from our back yard. One cloud stack is in the foreground in the center, the other in the background on the right.
For scale purposes, the top of the mountain in the background is about 5,000 feet above the average terrain, which is already 6,000 feet above sea level.
Instead of growing primarily vertically, these stacks began to blossom as if the center were being pushed down and the clouds on the circumference were being pushed up and outward:
Sunset this evening was at 8:22p. As the sun neared the horizon, the color began to emerge . . .
And then, for a few minutes after sunset, the clouds were still catching direct sunlight, and the color simply exploded:
Fifteen minutes after official sunset, the underside of the clouds began to fall into shadow while the upper levels still blazed:
Twenty minutes after official sunset, the color was almost completely gone:
But even after the color disappeared, the clouds continued to evolve:
In addition to the large-scale grandeur, there was also great beauty in the details:
If you would like to see these images in a larger format, visit my photography website, Todos Juntos Photography, by clicking here.