Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Unaccustomed clouds

with 36 comments

While driving back on May 14th from a visit to friends in the foreign country that south Austin sometimes seems to those of us from north Austin, we noticed these unaccustomedly dramatic clouds that I believe meteorologists classify as mammatus. Credit the picture to my iPhone, the only camera I had with me.



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And speaking of the atmosphere, here are four stories about the environment that the Good News Network recently featured:

World’s First Ocean-Assisted Carbon Removal Plant Launched in Hawaii

Scientists Power a Computer Using Only Algae and Daylight to Make the Electricity

Bronx Housing Complex Comes With Giant Machine Stomach to Turn All Food Waste Into Fertilizer

New Google Headquarters Uses ‘Dragonscale’ Solar Panels to Capture Sunlight From All Angles


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman








Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 28, 2022 at 4:30 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

36 Responses

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  1. Signs of great unstability….


    May 28, 2022 at 5:46 AM

  2. Mammatus for sure, and beautiful. They’re somewhat more elongated than most I see here. Did you get rain from them?


    May 28, 2022 at 7:22 AM

    • As I recall, we didn’t get rain then. We did, however, get much-needed showers on two consecutive days at the beginning of this current week.

      Those clouds were more elongated than the typical mammatus clouds I see online pictures of. I took a few photographs in vertical orientation to emphasize the elongation. I had trouble deciding whether to show one of those or a horizontal composition like the one I eventually went with.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 28, 2022 at 7:53 AM

  3. A lovely image, an unusual pattern that looks like windblown snow.


    May 28, 2022 at 8:18 AM

    • I’d never have thought to make a connection to snow, windblown or otherwise. Your experience supports the likeness.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 28, 2022 at 8:24 AM

  4. That could pass for an abstract such as the absent Michael Scandling might have done. I’ve not seen clouds such as these.

    Steve Gingold

    May 28, 2022 at 9:25 AM

  5. This unusual cloud formation looks like ocean waves in turmoil. Not a bad shot with your iPhone, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    May 28, 2022 at 9:37 AM

    • Another commenter saw it as windblown snow. The vapor that forms clouds is another form of water. Recent iPhone cameras have gotten pretty good. I don’t always lug my heavy camera gear around but the phone is almost always with me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 28, 2022 at 9:44 AM

  6. Interesting clouds and uplifting good news.

    Alessandra Chaves

    May 28, 2022 at 9:45 AM

    • Unsettling events have prompted most of my commentaries. I feel the need to offset those some of the time with more-positive takes.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 28, 2022 at 9:47 AM

  7. How weird! They look like something you’d see in a sci-fi movie!


    May 28, 2022 at 10:59 AM

  8. Thank goodness for the cellphone camera! Dramatic clouds, indeed. My first was of scallops, though, not of breasts.


    May 28, 2022 at 3:12 PM

  9. There are so many fascinating variety of clouds out there, and there seem to always be ones I’m unfamiliar with. These really do have a dramatic look to them, almost as if they’re ready to just let loose.

    Todd Henson

    May 28, 2022 at 3:24 PM

    • I’ve often envied the photographs I see online showing many kinds of dramatic clouds in other places. All the more reason for me to record striking clouds on the rare occasions we get any here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 28, 2022 at 3:35 PM

  10. Intriguing! The clouds look like a watercolour painting… 🙂

    Ann Mackay

    May 29, 2022 at 5:33 AM

  11. Those do look like mammatus clouds. We see them here frequently enough during the rainy season.

    Lavinia Ross

    May 29, 2022 at 10:12 AM

    • Lucky you that clouds of this sort often visit you during the rainy season. They’re quite a rarity here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 29, 2022 at 12:39 PM

  12. Those are strange clouds! When looking at the varieties of clouds in today’s times, I don’t recall seeing many (that are seen in today’s times) when I was young, but those cumulous inspired lots of imagination. We have had weeks of ‘gray’ skies, like some type of Stephen King symbol of a dark entity sneaking into the city – and it’s a joy when the sun breaks through and provides strong light and shadow.

    • Strange clouds indeed, of a type I’ve almost never seen except in photographs. I’d welcome more kinds of dramatic clouds here as long as they didn’t bring violent weather with them.

      Sorry to hear about your weeks of gray skies, which somehow I don’t expect from Ecuador. I’m not sorry to hear about the sun breaking through and giving you some chiaroscuro. Light and shadow are an artist’s bread and butter—to mix some metaphors.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 8, 2022 at 6:41 PM

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