Cloud Spotting by Sarah Burgess

Since starting the @greenisolation instagram account last week, I’ve been taking even more photos than usual.  I’ve also really been enjoying being able to get out for both a morning and an evening walk this week.  Last night, my focus was actually more on the blue than the green.  Despite a lot of rain the previous night the skies yesterday were an amazing blue and I was really pleased to snap this picture of the sun beginning to set highlighting the clouds. This set me on a mission to find out what sort of clouds they were.  I’ve had a bit of a thing for clouds ever since a friend signed me up as a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society about 15 years ago, and through the information on their website I discovered the International Cloud Atlas.  From that and my Cloudspotter’s Guide book (yes really, it’s a thing) I have determined that they are altocumulus and the picture on the website even had trees that matched the ones in my photo.  The other thing I discovered was that clouds are easier to identify than birds or bats as they stay still for longer.  Or at least they do when it’s not too windy.

During this week I’ve also become slightly more obsessed with the idea of a world watching window and using it to take photos of the sky.  I put together my first montage of sky pictures that I have taken during lockdown, and whilst I now need to look for an app that will let me include more photos, I was really pleased with the first attempt.

I’ll leave you with a couple of sections of the Cloud Spotter’s manifesto:

We seek to remind people that clouds are expressions of the atmosphere’s moods, and can be read like those of a person’s countenance.

Right now it is helping me to remember that what we are going through right now is something that passes, like a cloud across the face of the sun.  So, as I said in 19 ways to connect to nature during COVID-19 – if you have a garden why not find a spot to lie down and watch the clouds.  I’ve discovered there are a few windows in my flat where I can both sunbathe and lie and watch the sky.  Maybe you could identify what kind of clouds they are, maybe you’re in the mood to spot some funny shapes, but whatever you do, look up:

Look up, marvel at the ephemeral beauty, and always remember to live life with your head in the clouds!

Don’t forget: we would love for you to take a photo of nature and either post it on instagram using #greenisolation #greenhealthlanarkshire and tagging us @greenisolation   Alternatively you can join the Lanarkshire Green Volunteer Network group on facebook and  post it there.  Or lastly, just email me your photo at - it would be lovely to have a record of how we all continued to connect to nature at this time.