Collect Clouds

Consider the sky above this amazing and crazy city of ours. It may seem mundane, but I ask you to find, spot, and watch clouds today. In fact, please look for clouds as often as you can over the next 24 hours. Today’s experiment is to take note of the ephemeral and to pay attention to what is passing over our heads.

Spend One Day with Your Head in the Clouds

You can take one 5-minute cloud break or make multiple 30-second sky scans. Find moments to pause in your daily routine:

  • Search the sky while drinking your morning coffee
  • Go outside for a lunch break and look up at the sliver of sky between skyscrapers
  • Look out to the horizon when the subway goes above ground
  • Find a piece of sky at sunset
  • Notice the night sky while walking home

You do not need to know the name of the types of cloud you see. Describe to yourself what you see; the number, shape, color. If it helps you focus, take pictures of the clouds or make a few quick sketches.

2016-04-26 09.43.48
From “Keeping a Nature Journal” by Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E. Roth

I discovered the idea of cloud collecting from The Cloud Collector’s Handbook by Gavin Pretor-Pinney (Found on Amazon). Not only is The Cloud Collector’s Handbook a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to be able to identify every cloud that floats by, it’s perfect for the competitive cloud-spotter as one can collect “points” for each cloud type. If you are curious about clouds, I recommend this charming book.

Great Places in NYC to Collect Clouds

If you want to fully embrace the cloud-spotting experience, lie on the ground in a park, swing in a hammock, or recline on a rooftop. Excellent locations for cloud-spotting:

  • Sheep Meadow, Central Park
  • Long Meadow, Prospect Park
  • Staten Island Ferry ride
  • Hammock Grove, Governors Island
  • Your favorite elevated subway stop or bridge crossing (My favorite is to look for clouds on the Q train while crossing the Manhattan Bridge.)

“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

When was the last time you really looked at the clouds? Today is the day, my friends. Let me know how it goes in the comments below.

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