Another non-cloud cloud of the day, sprites are electrical phenomena. They emanate upward from the tops of thunderclouds, as lightning plays around the bottoms. Sprites weren’t caught on film before 1989, and only seriously pursued since then. With intense sprite hunting, and especially with the excellent view from the International Space Station, the database is growing.
Sprites last for a very short time – about a thousandth of a second. Their elusive and fleeting nature is what led to their name. They’re big, though. They extend about ten times as far above the cloud tops as lightning does below the bottoms, and they can span hundreds of kilometers. They are also unlike lightning in that they are composed of cold plasma, rather than hot. Nevertheless, we hope there is no precipitation.
Where I live we often get extended periods of beautiful weather in the autumn. Like now, there will be days on end where the nights are cool and the days are sunny. Those two things can contribute to the development of rich autumn colors, as seen in this post’s header photo, taken along the local river. Luckily for me, and consequently you, Oliver has a small army of dedicated photographers who are willing to share this beauty with us. I plan to post many pictures from the Oliver Photo Club on Green Comet, along with links back to their website where you can often find large versions of them to enjoy. Just click on the picture when you get there, and you’ll get the full image if there is one.
The second picture shows an orchard of cherry trees preparing for their long winter sleep.
Photo credit – Oliver Photo Club
The final photo faces southeast from the west side of the valley, catching the rising sun.
People have been using color for a long time. For tens of thousands, probably for over a hundred thousand years, we’ve been using minerals and vegetable extracts to color our clothing and our environments. We were most likely daubing colors on our bodies before that. Cave paintings and rock art made use of it. Ancient textiles show it. Stone age burials have been found containing red ochre, possibly used as a form of blessing for the deceased. For a long time we’ve shown a desire, even a need to embellish nature with color. Sources of dyes and pigments became important factors in all cultures, with various plants and minerals taking on cherished, even sacred auras. Of all the colors, the most esteemed might be blue, due to its rarity and expense.Continue Reading