Infinite Skies – Sparkling Water

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We’re both tired and cranky after a miserable night, courtesy of PNG Power. I feel silly saying that I live in the tropics and I can’t get a decent night’s sleep without air conditioning. It’s not all about the the temperature, though being cool and dry at the same time promotes a nice snooze. I can deal with the heat by wetting a beach towel and using it as a sheet. It’s the mozzies that kill me. They are genetically designed or directed by Satan (I’m not sure which, but I’m inclinded towards the latter explanation.) to bite me on my toes. One mozzie bite on a toe equals at least one hour of lost sleep, no matter how many Ibuprofen and Valium I chew.

I’d love to go into the tragicomic interchange between Casa MadDog  and the power station last night, but you wouldn’t believe it. They were sending between 50 and 150 volts to our house, the normal being 220 or 230 or 280 or whatever they feel like giving you. Needless to say, we lose a lot of equipment every year. Excuses last night ranged from “we’re afraid that someone will throw rocks at us” to “we can’t find anything wrong” and a variety of lame mumblings between those extremes. I tried patiently (less so as the night proceeded) explaining that all they had to do is start at my house and work their way toward the station measuring the voltage as they went and they would find the problem. Somehow that doesn’t make sense to them.

So, to celebrate our sleep deprived night, I’m going to show you some very pretty skies, a commodity that we have in abundance. I got this one on the way into the office this morning at about 06:30, about an hour earlier than usual:

Regular readers will recognise the location as Coconut Point. Don’t look for it on the map. I named it. Photographers will probably note that I cheated shamelessly to make the magnificent Finisterre Mountains  more impressive by stretching the image vertically. You may note that the coconut trees look as if they are training to be supermodels.

Up Coronation Drive a little way I got another sweet one. There is a little swimming hole there where kids play daily:Images such as this remind me why I want to die here and have my ashes spread on these blessed waters. The sea here is my Jordan. However, I’m perfectly prepared to wait another fifty years for that. I’ve been dealt good hands all my life. Maybe it will stay that way for a while longer.

Out in Tab Anchorage the other day, I couldn’t resist trying to capture the riot of atmospherics demonstrated by this mob of clouds:

There is some very interesting stuff going on here.

Here is a close up of what I’m calling The Coronation Cloud.  Since I was a kid, I’ve amused myself by seeing objects in the clouds. There is something wonderfully ephemeral about this. It’s as if something special has been cooked up for me and my job is to consume it con mucho gusto.

Can you see the Royal Crown? I think that it’s caused by the rays of light filtering through the relatively sharp-edged alto-cumulus clouds above striking the rather fuzzy cloud below. Forget the explanation; it’s superfluous to the ecstasy of the once-in-your-life moment. It’s to be savoured like the last bottle of the best wine you ever tasted.

I’ll finish up today with a puzzle image. It’s really a no-brainer:Have a look at this. It’s prettier if you click to enlarge. If you’d like to leave a comment saying what you think it is, please do.

We’re having an interesting year hear so far. I hope to soon have an announcement that will amaze many and switch some into their planning mode. Get ready for a surprise!

Stay tuned.

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21 Responses to “Infinite Skies – Sparkling Water”

  1. Brenda Says:

    I can TOTALLY see why that image would re-enforce the idea of remaining where you are until the end.. MANY years from now =) AWESOME shot!!! Water is my solitude as well… although looking is as good as being in it for me =)

  2. Alice Says:

    I have always enjoyed just looking down at the water. It is so peaceful. I am going to guess that we are looking at a turtle in that last picture. Let me know what it really is.

  3. MadDog Says:

    It is a bit of a trick question, sorry. I just hung the camera over the side of the boat and shot straight down at the surface of the water. What you’re seeing is the reef about two metres below the surface, the surface itself, with all of the ripples and distortions caused by the movement of the little waves and (the blue bits) the reflection of the bright blue sky.

    I’m interested to know where you see a turtle, Alice.

  4. Ahna Says:

    I love the pictures. I can certainly admire why this is the last place you want to look at when that day comes and I hope many, many years from now. I have inherited the pictures in the cloud from you, dad, grandma, grandpa and mom. I love doing this and the kids and I do it whenever possible. I like the water picture I too like to catch images or distortion in water. Fascinating isn’t it. As always good article and great pictures. I will take a siesta now and dream of beautiful islands, beats the US midwest.

  5. Steve Goodheart Says:

    Hey MadDog! Wonderful post…you know how much I love clouds, and especially “mixed skies” with so many cloud types at once.

    Re your mozzies–I would have thought you used mosquito nets just to survive there, but I guess if you can close of the room and use A/C, you wouldn’t have/need one.

    Finally, like Alice, I too saw a sea turtle-ish shape underwater (there’s definitely a circular shape in the middle of the image, and what could be a kind of pointed head-shape near the middle of the image on the far left hand side)….and also wondered if I wasn’t seeing the image of the photographer, scattered, on the right side of the picture, the “head” being the darkest spot about half way up the image and about a fourth of the way from the right side.

    Good stuff…I hope you get your electrical problems figured out…or, a mozzie net. (Mozzies, btw, are definitely directed by Satan, and one of his “better” ideas.)

  6. Walt Says:

    Beautiful sky pictures, Jan. Hope you get your AC going again so you can get some rest. I’ve been dragging about lately too (never been a morning person) so I can definitely sympathize!

  7. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Walt, for the little ego stroke. The power is back to what passes for normal now and I had nine hours of blissful comfort last night. I even splurged a little and turned the temperature down one degree for one evening to celebrate.

  8. MadDog Says:

    Steven and Alice , I think that that water image is so interesting because it’s a bit like a Rorschach test; there is nothing really there, you have to make it up. I had two friends look at it yesterday, neither seeing anything at first. When I said the word “turtle” they both saw a turtle, but in completely different places and orientations in the image. Steven, now that you have mentioned “photographer” I can clearly see my head, shoulders and my arm sticking out to the right. Pretty cool, eh?

    You guess right, mate. We don’t even have a mozzie net in our bedroom because it’s usually hermetically sealed. The rest of the house has fly-wire, but there is always a way that the tiny Anopheles mozzie can get in.

    The power is back to what passes for normal now and I had a solid nine hours of cool comfort last night. My mood is considerably improved.

    And yes, as Satan’s minions go, mozzies are right up there with flies and ultra-conservative Republicans, all spreading discomfort, discontent and disease. 🙂

  9. Alice Says:

    Just for the record I am NOT one of Satan’s minions and I am an ultra-conservative Republican, and I am NOT spreading discomfort, discontent and disease.

  10. Steve Goodheart Says:

    MadDog, that’s indeed so fascinating about the Rorschach test aspect to the image….now that you’ve mentioned “ultra-conservative” I’m suddenly seeing Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh….being chased by a Great White shark!!…sent by Satan, because even he can’t stand their mindless bloviating…… 🙂 🙂

    Peace, Alice, just teasing! 🙂 What else would you expect from someone who lives in, gasp, the People’s Republic of Berkeley California! LOL!

  11. Tris Says:

    Love that first shot across to the Finisterres… the stretch is nice and subtle and the light is gorgeous- it captures it a lot how I hold it in my memory. Gorgeous image.

  12. MadDog Says:

    Alice, that’s what the smiley face was for. Even UCRs crack jokes about characters like Rush Limbaugh, who annoys me as much as any mozzie. That’s why God made us all so diverse, so we can have some fun with it. I say, “Make love, not war!” (and I’m sad to admit that I didn’t think of it first) You know that I’m about as concerned about politics as I am concerned with the colour of the band-aids that I plaster on my mozzie bites.

    Nevertheless, now that I go back and read what I wrote, I wish that I had worded it differently. Here, let me have another go at it:

    And yes, as Satan’s minions go, mozzies are right up there with flies and other pestilent organisms, all spreading discomfort, discontent and disease. I’d put my personal annoyance level on the same scale with ultra-conservative Republicans. Your mileage may vary. 🙂

  13. MadDog Says:

    Well, Steven, I might not go quite so far. Could we make that a liberal-minded dolphin? You know, like Flipper. It might gnaw on them a bit, but it wouldn’t likely cause serious damage, except to their dignity. Hey, wait! Do they actually have any of that?

  14. Alice Says:

    Love you, brother. (I don’t know how to put a smiley face here.)

  15. Steve Goodheart Says:

    LOL!!! Flipper it is! To be fair, if I look at the image real closely I can also see Keith Olbermann in the water with them, getting wacked by
    Flipper’s…..right-(wing)…..flipper…for being so sanctimonious and taking himself so seriously…..and wait, isn’t that the fascist Kenyan-born Obama in the lower right-hand corner trying to take away the homes of the all the incredibly rich (and conservative) hermit crabs in their million dollar mansions they worked so hard for? No doubt about it, and not only that, the crafty Kenyan is also teaching poor innocent schools of Glass Catfish socialism!!!……oh, the humanity!!!

  16. MadDog Says:

    Yeah, I’m particularly fond of that shot myself. Bikpela was smiling down on me that morning. I can well imagine that it must evoke something like feelings in your crusty, laminated soul. ‹(•¿•)›

  17. MadDog Says:

    You know I love you too, dear sister. To demonstrate my love, I’ll give you a smiley face lesson.

    Where you want your smiley face type “:” then “)” without the quotes. It will magically turn into this – 🙂 when you click on the Submit Reply button.

    Cute, eh?

  18. MadDog Says:

    Okay, man . . . you’re freakin’ me out now. That’s way more political humour than I can metabolise in one dose. I feel like I just ODed on Mary Jane. (Actually, I don’t think that that’s possible.)

    Do you have a stand-up routine? If not, you should work on one.

    You know something funny? Back when we started out and I was making a hundred bucks a month (early ’60s) working for the State of Indiana, eating a lot of beans cooked with ham bones, I was a socialist. Then, when we started a business (early ’70s) and started dragging in some cash I became a staunch, conservative-minded capitalist. Homeless people were “bums”. Now that we’re broke again and back to ham and beans (which, fortunately, I like – had ’em last night), I’m back to being a rabid, farting, foul-breathed socialist. I think that losing nearly two thirds of our life’s savings may have had something to do with it.

    Life is so funny that practically nothing offends me anymore.

  19. Steve Goodheart Says:

    TOTAL LOL!! Dammit, MadDog, you’re funny!

    As for taking offense, I love this:

    “He who feels punctured, must be a balloon.”
    -Lao Tzu


  20. MadDog Says:

    That brings to mind some very funny visual images. What if deeply offended people whizzed around the room, knocking over lamps and emitting a loud farting noise. Wouldn’t that be funny? I guess it depends on your point of view.

  21. Steve Goodheart Says:


    omigod, that would be awesome and funny beyond words….I told Sarah and it totally cracked her up….I’ve keep breaking out in giggles….toooo much!