Most will agree that Naples (located in southwest Florida, just south the Fort Myers area, for some of my readers who might not be familiar with where I live) is a cloud watchers paradise, especially during the warmer and wetter months. The daily cycle of morning thunderstorms over the Gulf of Mexico, balanced by the parade of afternoon storms over land areas, provides an almost infinite variety of cloudscapes for photographers of all types. Thurs., Jun. 29, 2017, was just such a day.
In the morning, I had coffee with Susan Castle (Fig. 1), a writer by trade, but a photographer by chance. I reached out to her because Shelby Reynolds, a writer for the Naples Daily News, wrote about Susan and her love of the sky back on Jun. 3.
Castle moved to Naples some five ago and was immediately captivated by the sky. Through a series of chance opportunities and interactions, Susan wound up publishing her own book about the “Clouds of Old Naples” (Fig. 2). The book showcases an amazing display of sunsets, a few sunrises, an outpouring of convective storms (Fig. 3) and even her favorite, an all-alone, small cumulus-type cloud, with a cirrus backdrop. There’s even a rainbow thrown in for good measure. Many of the scenes in her book capture the cacophony of sunset colors, so often seen with a sun near the western horizon and the rest of the sky covered by thunderstorm debris clouds.
Easily recognizing patterning, Susan captured sky and ocean wave scenes, providing views that many of us would love to see. However, because she lives near the beach, it is easier for her to just look out and see the ever-unfolding sky and water symphony.
Prior to meeting with Susan, I was fortunate enough to capture pictures of a line of thunderstorms just offshore from Naples. Not close enough to the beach to mimic Susan’s photography, I went to the top of a downtown Naples parking garage. The storms were still spectacular (Fig. 4 and Fig. 5).
Then later in the day, Alison Sciacqua, a colleague here in Naples, pulled out her iPhone and started showing me beach scene sky pictures that she had recently taken (Fig. 6).
So, this is a request, for those of you who aim your cameras and cell phones skyward, to think about our Sky Awareness Week Facebook page. While SAW is a designated week in April to focus on the sky, every day is a great day to “look up!” And I’d love for the Facebook page to be a place where anyone can visit and share and also see what others have shared.
Until my next article about the sky (and it will be coming soon, I promise), I hope your sky watching time provides you unparalleled enjoyment. If the forecast for the next seven days is any indication, many across the eastern half of the U.S. will be looking upward at the ever-changing cloud show.
People (especially earth science teachers) interested in obtaining a full-color cloud chart can contact How The Weatherworks at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2017 H. Michael Mogil
Originally posted 7/2/17
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