Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Blue Ridge Clouds and Shenandoah Sun

I took Friday off of work as Rosie Lee had a check up at the doctors, so once she was up to date with shots and settled back home again with Kota, enjoying some treats, I headed out the door with my camera to meet Bill. The weather was perfect, a wonderfully stormy and constantly moving sky, but not too hot. We were going up on to the Skyline Drive where hopefully, we'd get some good cloud and mist scenes.
We were particularly hoping that there wouldn't be too many others with the same idea and were relieved to see no crowds once we were up on the ridge. At the overlooks the clouds hung so low that it seemed we could almost touch them as they slowly tumbled across the sky, leaden grey shaded with gunmetal and iron hues, almost like smoke furling in front of us.
Along a trail, I was delighted when I spotted this gooseberry bush growing wild. I've not seen them growing, or in a shop. since I've been over here so was amazed to see them here, and ready to be picked in a couple of weeks...
As we drove along the road, we hit patches of dense fog which were really the low clouds. It created an eerie atmosphere, like a horror movie scene, and I imagined creatures uttering low moaning sounds as they crawled out from the dense mist. But once outside of the car my imagined scenes were soon blown away like wisps of the fog itself as the cheery notes of songbirds could be heard pipping through the gloom.
We drove in and out of cloud pockets, getting out of the car to enjoy the feeling of cool foggy fingers lightly brushing against our skin as the clouds passed us. It was an amazing experience and the other folks we met were obviously enjoying it too.
We left the ridge to descend into the valley below, where the sun shone brightly with air that was hot and thick with humidy. It seemed strange to emerge from one climate and enter another within the space of about 30 minutes.
We drove along the valley back towards Front Royal and our homes, stopping to enjoy a field of day lilies. I walked down a road to get a better shot of the bright orange, cheerful flowers and marveled at the contrasts of scenery and atmosphere of here and where we had just been. I was soon perspiring heavily with the humidity and fierceness of the sun, and it wasn't without a twinge of regret that I looked at the blue mountains in the distance and silently wished I could be back in those cool clouds again.

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