Sensing that our glorious autumn was coming to a close, I decided to set down the pen and take up take up an oar for a final fling in the dory. I packed the camera, a notebook, warm jacket, and to-go cup of black tea (Lifeboat Tea, no less).
What a perfect afternoon: high tide (nearly slack), no chop, sun beating down through blue sky, glorious clouds on all horizons (but not in front of the sun), temperature perfect for rowing with just a sweater. I rowed around for a few hours close to the shore just looking at the clouds. I planned to drift some, too, and take time to write down my impressions, but decided to just look and bask and not lessen the experience with words.
I watched the progress of a rather menacing wall of cumulus congestus and cumulonimbus rising over the Black Hills from the west. Their bases were quite dark and tops were growing/blooming at an alarmingly rapid rate. I could see. In the opposite direction--happy clouds (see below) floating or "floating" in a deep-blue sky. According to the founder of the Sky Factory (illusory sky ceilings), this kind of mix of cumulus fractus and cumulus humilis, intensity of the blue sky color, and a hint of trees triggers a relaxation response in those viewing it. It certainly worked for me; I'll have to test it next in the dentist's chair.