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."