Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wispy Summer Clouds: Fishy Backbones

Inspired by the flowerville blogger (see link to the right), I've gone looking for Goethe's thoughts on cloud formation and forms of clouds.

He wrote an essay in 1820 about Luke Howard's attempt to classify clouds under four rubrics:  


The ones I watched and photographed this morning are, under this system, cirrus.

Goethe's essay is personal, beginning with a description of his childhood experiences with clouds.

And he's not afraid to be personal when discussing Howard either:

 ". . . when these light little clouds that we always called lambs stand alone or move individually across the sky, they are called Cirrus. . . . We all know them when they look like a herd of lambs following one another or like combed cotton. . . . Sometimes, however, the sky looks like it has been swept by brooms and the airy shreds of clouds have no distinct relation to one another."

1 comment:

* said...

indeed. and you know, indeed it looks on your photo like sweeped by the broom.
well now you did something and it made me go through my books to look for the goethe ones, it's nothing as lovely as old weather descriptions. es draeut ungemach, sagte fontane irgendwo. but this is storm in english. and then it is theodor Storm in german. you see i already get carried away. and i must think about the personality aspect some more..