Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise

Wyoming clouds.

Aren’t they something? I was noticing some of our clouds the other day. When George was alive, we used to look at the clouds and envision shapes of spaceships, horses, strange-looking people, barns, posts, etc. We were always partial to the UFO visions we conjured up in the clouds.

I have a hunch that most of us who see the hovering spaceships in the clouds are secretly hoping there is some ET out there taking a peek at our odd species.

I think we’re fortunate here to see the clouds for miles and miles. I was in the Midwest this past summer and quickly felt claustrophobic with all the trees and close feeling with the ground and surrounding area. While I was near one of the Great Lakes and could look out and see nothing but water, the sky was still so close and there was a tightness to everything around me.

I was quickly reminded of how vast the terrain and sky are here. We are lucky to look toward the horizon and see forever, with little obstruction or interference. It allows for that wonderful sense of letting the mind roam, imagine and dream. The possibilities seem endless. The huge clouds just enhance that upward landscape.

Cumulus, stratus, altocumulus, cirrostratus, nimbostratus and all the other types of clouds are one of Mother Nature’s many wonders. I have to admit I had to refresh myself on cloud names. Science class was too many years ago for me to remember more than the terms “cumulus” and “stratus,” and I had to double check myself on those names.

Regardless my recollection (or not) of the names, clouds are captivating and mysterious.

I’m certainly not alone in my fascination with clouds. Georgia O’Keefe, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Oscar Monet and others used their wonderful gifts to capture their interpretations of clouds on canvas. William Wordsworth penned poetry about clouds and daffodils. Some have put together coffee table books of photographs depicting clouds in an attempt to capture their elusive nature.

Then, there are the infinite scientific compendiums that explain the whys and wherefores of clouds. These academic tomes shed light on the science of clouds, but they also take away the mystery. While I’m happy to know the why and how, I don’t want to entirely give way and lose the fascination of the unknown that clouds allow our imagination.

We are quite fortunate here in Cody and throughout Wyoming, for cloud watching. Sometimes it’s easy to wish them away after a blizzard or a rainstorm, though the rainstorms are few and far between. When thunder and lightning combine with a dark, ominous cloud, we are really in for a treat.

But it’s the vast clouds we see routinely that grab our attention and imagination. They are shape-shifters that quickly become another object, or they are hanging out with the slow orbit of the earth as we watch them glide across the horizon.

As our lives move quickly, it’s a good thing to look up occasionally. Let the imagination run wild.

Jeanette Sekan is a columnist for the Cody Enterprise in Cody, Wyo. and a former resident of Ohio. The award-winning newspaper is owned by Sage Publishing Co. of Cody, Wyo. Jeanette’s columns are published in The Highland County Press, courtesy of the author and the Cody Enterprise (