Haunting Skyscapes

For the month of October, I plan to write some posts that tap into the spooky side of life that receives so much attention during Halloween. This week my search for photos that capture the autumn transition into growing darkness led me to one strange looking aerial shot and several dramatic cloud photos.

Grand prismatic spring, Yellowstone National Park
By Jim Peaco, National Park Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


While this is not officially an autumn picture, it has a mysterious quality to it. It reminds me just how old the Earth is and that there is so much that we do not know about the Earth in spite of our technological advances. I can hardly believe this is a photograph. It looks like a painting. Here is the photo description:

Aerial view of Grand Prismatic Spring; Hot Springs, Midway & Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park. The spring is approximately 250 by 300 feet (75 by 91 m) in size.

This photo shows steam rising from hot and sterile deep azure blue water (owing to the light absorbing overtone of an OH stretch which is shifted to 698 nm by hydrogen bonding [1]) in the center surrounded by huge mats of brilliant orange algae and bacteria. The color of which is due to the ratio of chlorophyll to carotenoid molecules produced by the organisms. During summertime the chlorophyll content of the organisms is low and thus the mats appear orange, red, or yellow. However during the winter, the mats are usually dark green, because sunlight is more scarce and the microbes produce more chlorophyll to compensate, thereby masking the carotenoid colors.

Water mill Rosenmühle in Lower Saxony, Germany
By Michael Gäbler (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Fog creates a creepy atmosphere in most places (and it is a nightmare to drive in it as well).

After Tornado Cloudscape
By Alex Grichenko


Lightning cloud to cloud (aka)
By André Karwath aka Aka (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons


Photo Description:

This image shows a cloud to cloud lightning in a very stormy and rainy night in Zwickau, Germany.

Back-scattering crepuscular rays panorama 1 (retouched photo)
By Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons


Photo Description:

Back-scattering crepuscular rays. The image was sent to Dr. Andrew T. Young. Here’s his description:

“… it’s unusual to see these shadows so clearly at such an oblique geometry: usually, the crepuscular rays are best seen in forward scattering, and much less well in back-scattering. But here, you’re looking almost at right angles to the illuminating rays”.

In spite of seeing countless cloud and skyscape photos over the years, I do not get tired of looking at them. They are a source of ever-changing beauty and inspiration.


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