Wednesday, September 02, 2009
I'm a big supporter of lifelong learning. I try to take a college course every semester on a topic of interest. I'm also not afraid to admit that I don't know something. If I can't answer a question, I turn to the internet (much as I turned to encyclopedias when I was young.). This week I was confronted by something that I'd never seen or heard of before (see photo above). I learned about clouds when I was a kid: stratus, cumulus, nimbus; but somehow, I'd missed out on learning about pyrocumulus clouds. They're formed when a rapidly moving fire sucks all the moisture out of the atmosphere and burning brush. The most amazing example of nature taking care of itself is that the clouds can turn to rain and extinguish the fire! In an ironic twist on the workings of Mother Nature, the clouds can also produce lightening which can start another fire.