Saturday, August 20, 2005

 

Summer Skies

About a month ago, I brought Yellowbird back home from her annual. Due to the typical midsummer weather, it was more of an adventure than I had planned on. In all, it took four days and three car trips to cover the 27 air miles between Turners Falls and Westfield, and poor Yellowbird had to spend a few rain induced nights on the transient ramp at Northampton after the skies turned dark only ten miles from home. The final day of the homeward journey didn't look that promising, but the weather kept to the south and we had clear but hazy skies for the last leg.

Rusty SunsetFrom 1,500 feet over Northampton, we were treated to a rusty orange sunset. The day's humidity still hung in the air despite the passage of several thunderstorms earlier in the afternoon. The hazy skies masked much of the sun's brightness as it touched the invisible hills in the distance.

From a DistanceStepping back a little, the low-level haze layer hugging the horizon was readily apparent. Above, clear skies prevailed. If I had climbed a few thousand feet, I would have been treated to unlimited visibility.

Mt. Tom vs. the ThunderstormThis was the last of a long line of heavy thunderstorms that had been moving through the area that day. This big guy grew up south of Westfield, and he apparently didn't like it - I could hear the thunder grumbling from the airport on the north side of town as I waited for my ride to Northampton. He moved east as we departed, and he was safely out of the area by the time Yellowbird and I were inbound. I don't know how big he got, but 1180 ft. Mt. Tom in the foreground gives a small sense of scale.

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