‘It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.’ ~ John Burroughs (1837-1921), Winter Sunshine, 1875
Pluviophile: a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.
Of course, some might label such a person crazy and I’m not sure I would categorise myself as a pluviophile but, if I’ve got plenty of indoors things to do, some tasty food to eat, and I’m warm and cosy, then I do find pleasure in the pitter-patter of raindrops on the window panes.
brumous: adjective; meaning foggy and wintry; dating from the mid-19th century; from the French brumeux, meaning misty, from late Latin bruma meaning winter and also the winter solstice (I should have posted this blog last week!). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the following list of synonyms for brumous: beclouded, befogged, hazy, clouded, cloudy, foggy, gauzy, misty, murky, smoggy, soupy. I think you get the idea.
Who hasn’t looked at a cloud and imagined they saw a giant, a face, a … ?
Today is World Meteorological Day, the brainchild of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and this year’s theme is ‘Understanding Clouds’. The WMO has a great website that not only explains the importance of clouds in weather forecasting and in driving the entire climate system but also has free downloadable resources to aid in cloud identification. Or, if you’d rather have a book with ‘hundreds of images of clouds, including a few newly classified cloud types’, plus ‘other meteorological phenomena such as rainbows, halos, snow devils and hailstones’ then 23 March also marks the launch of the latest edition of the International Cloud Atlas, which ‘has now been produced in a digital format and is accessible via both computers and mobile devices’.
I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn I’m a big fan of clouds and, though I’m utterly hopeless at naming them – yet another subject I need to study, I do have rather a lot of cloud photos. The sequence below covers a period of about 18 months, from my time living in an apartment in Auckland, New Zealand, where I had the most wonderful views.
For those who don’t know Wales, the town I’ve just moved to, Penarth, sits on the northern shores of the Severn Estuary, which eventually becomes the Bristol Channel, which eventually becomes the Celtic Sea, which eventually becomes the North Atlantic Ocean, which is all to explain that Penarth is, essentially, a seaside town and therefore gets seaside-type weather.
Yesterday the whole area was shrouded in heavy, freezing fog and, as my flat is only about one kilometre from the water, as the seagull flies, I could hear the fog horns blasting all day. It may have been cold but it was actually quite wonderful and brought back happy memories of my years living near the harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, when I would also hear the horns on foggy wintery days. I was stuck indoors waiting on a delivery most of the day but, when that finally came late afternoon, I headed out for a quick wander. As I stood in the centre of this field, on the clifftops, the fog swirled eerily back and forth, sometimes blotting out this lone tree and the houses beyond, sometimes almost clearing. The fog was like a living entity dancing around me – it was just magical! I’m already looking forward to the next fog to come rolling in from the ocean.