Thunderhead Sunset 3

the rest of the story

Here are the rest of the images captured in that August 2014 sunset.

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Thunderhead Sunset 2

a highly idealized fantasy world

The combination of water vapor in all its forms and the sun dipping below the horizon combined to form these magical images.

Maxfield Parrish refined his art to duplicate these effects in oil.

Parrish’s art is characterized by vibrant colors; the color Parrish blue was named after him. He achieved such luminous color through glazing. This process involves applying layers of translucent paint and oil medium (glazes) over a base rendering. Parrish usually used a blue and white monochromatic underpainting.

His paintings/illustrations were unique in that they depicted a highly idealized fantasy world that was accessible to the public. Although you will rarely see a glimpse of that color in reality, he was and still is linked with a particularly bright shade of blue that coated the skies of his landscapes. And it was not an easy task for him to complete. He invented a time-consuming process that involved a cobalt blue base and white undercoating, which he then coated with a series of thin alternating coatings of oil and varnish. When exposed to ultraviolet light, the resins he employed, known as Damar, fluoresce a shade of yellow-green, giving the painted sky its distinctive turquoise tint.

Reference: “Maxfield Parrish” from Wikipedia

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Thunderhead Sunset 1

Just the Facts

Cumulonimbus (from Latin cumulus ‘heaped’, and nimbus ‘rainstorm’) is a dense, towering vertical cloud, typically forming from water vapor condensing in the lower troposphere that builds upward carried by powerful buoyant air currents.

Above the lower portions of the cumulonimbus the water vapor becomes ice crystals, such as snow and graupel, the interaction of which can lead to hail and to lightning formation, respectively. When occurring as a thunderstorm these clouds may be referred to as thunderheads. Cumulonimbus can form alone, in clusters, or along squall lines.

Graupel also called soft hail, hominy snow, or snow pellets, is precipitation that forms when supercooled water droplets in air are collected and freeze on falling snowflakes, forming 2–5 mm (0.08–0.20 in) balls of crisp, opaque rime.

Graupel is distinct from hail and ice pellets in both formation and appearance. However, both hail and graupel are common in thunderstorms with cumulonimbus clouds, though graupel also falls in winter storms, and at higher elevations as well.

These clouds can produce lightning and other dangerous severe weather, such as tornadoes, hazardous winds, and large hailstones. Cumulonimbus progresses from overdeveloped cumulus congestus clouds and may further develop as part of a supercell. Cumulonimbus is abbreviated Cb.

Reference: “Cumulonumbus Cloud” and “Graupel” from Wikipedia

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

View from Loughcrew, South

Loughcrew history

In more recent centuries Loughcrew became the seat of a branch of the Norman-Irish Plunkett family, whose most famous member became the martyred St Oliver Plunkett. The family church stands in the grounds of Loughcrew Gardens. With its barren isolated location, Sliabh na Caillí became a critical meeting point throughout the Penal Laws for Roman Catholics. Even though the woods are now gone an excellent example of a Mass Rock can still be seen on the top of Sliabh na Caillí today. The Plunketts were involved in running the Irish Confederacy of the 1640s and were dispossessed in the Cromwellian Settlement of 1652. Their estate at Loughcrew was assigned by Sir William Petty to the Napier Family c.1655. The Napiers are descended from Sir Robert Napier who was Chief Baron of the Exchequer of Ireland in 1593.

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Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

View from Loughcrew, South by Southwest

Megalithic Ruin of County Meath

Cairnbane East of the Loughcrew Cairns site, County Meath Ireland, is also known as Hag’s Mountain. We are looking south, southwest from the north side toward Cairnbane West. Flowering yellow whin bush is in foreground, white flowering hawthorn trees in distance.

Carnbane East hill is topped by a fine and accessible passage tomb, Cairn T. 

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Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

View from Loughcrew, northeast, Megalithic Ruin

On the Ground in County Meath

On a May afternoon my dear wife, Pam, and I climbed to the summit of in Irish “Sliabh na Caillí” anglicized as “Slieve na Calliagh” translated to the english language as “Hag’s Mountain”, the site of 5000+ year old megalithic monuments. Here you are looking to the northeast with a collapsed tomb to the right foreground. In closeup is a curbstone, one of many laid side to side to form the outer tomb margin. In the middle distance is a hill with additional megalithic ruins, not visible.

Megalithic is an architectural style used throughout the world, between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Megalithic ruins are scattered throughout the island and County Meath is especially noted for them.

We stand in Corstown townland, the townlands of Ballinvally is to your left, ahead and to the right is Patrickstown, all in County Meath, Ireland.

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Blasket Islands with Clouds

a road like no other

On the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland photograph taken from Slea Head Drive (R559), looking west down the cliff toward the North Atlantic Ocean breaking on the rocks. In the distance, Slea Head and the Blasket Islands. In the forground, the wildflower of Red Clover (Scientific Name: Trifolium pretense) (Irish Name: Seamair dhearg).

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Blasket Islands with Clouds I

Blasket Islands with Clouds II

BlasketsFromSleaHead2014-1

Asleep among Skelligs

a road like no other

View southwest from R559 looking across pasture over the Dunberg Promontory Fort. In the foreground a large ram with curled horns rests. In the distance is the mouth of Dingle Bay and the North Atlantic Ocean with the Little Skellig and Skellig Michael Islands.

Skellig is a word for a sliver of rock. Here is another post about these islands.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills