Sunday, December 9, 2007

Are We In A Fog, Or Do We Just Have Our Heads In the Clouds?

Though the temperature hadn't changed much, Friday night we noticed the bright halos around the street lights, the diminishing visibility, and the unmistakable hush that fog was rolling in over the ridge. Carl Sandberg said it well, "The fog comes / on little cat feet". With a quiet stealth it arrives, stays a short while, then moves on. There must have been a whole litter of cats because the fog quickly became so thick we couldn't see the lights of the Hummingbird Inn which is less than a quarter mile away and warmly lighted for their guests. For that matter we couldn't see the house two doors down the road, only their yard light --- barely. Experience tells us that the fog will roll out with the morning sun's warmth, so when Saturday noon rolled around and we still couldn't see the trees behind our house or the pond down the hill, this was something more that just fog.

Another atmospheric condition occurs when the clouds are so low and/or the altitude is high enough, that we are actually in the clouds. That must be it! We're not in a fog! We have our heads in the clouds! How beautiful! Quiet, misty, and not for the claustrophobic!

To prove the theory that we were merely in the clouds, we drove "down" to Branson for a Christmas show. It's common for the weather to be somewhat different in town because it is lower altitude. Indeed, it was limited visibility in town, but, while under the street lights, travelling was somewhat better. After the show darkness had fallen and the fog lingered. The trip into town required much care --- more care than one poor fellow demonstrated when his red Trans Am landed in a ditch. (He was unharmed, except for his pride.) Coming back up the hills, and into the clouds, in the dark, required the Braille Method, and very slowly. The visibility was 100 yards, at best. For the late hour there were very few cars on the road. We made it home safely and, for the second night in a row, fell asleep with our head in the clouds.

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