30 Days Wild – Day 2

Cloud watching

The sky is ever changing, when I woke this morning the sky was blue with white wispy clouds and trails from aeroplanes called contrails.

A cloud is a large collection of very tiny droplets of water or ice crystals.

All air contains water, when warm air rises, it expands and cools. Cool air can’t hold as much water vapour as warm air, so some of the vapour condenses onto tiny pieces of dust that are floating in the air and forms a tiny droplet around each dust particle.

When billions of these droplets come together they become a visible cloud.

A cloud floats in the sky as long as the air that it’s made of is warmer than the outside air around it.

Clouds appear white because their water droplets or ice crystals are large enough to scatter the light of the seven wavelengths (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet), which combine to produce white light.

If the clouds get thick enough all the light above does not make it through, they then appears grey. Also, if there are lots of other clouds around, their shadow can add to the grey or different coloured grey appearance.

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Cirrus clouds

Cirrus clouds are made of ice blown in to thin wispy high clouds.

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Cirrocumulus clouds look like scales. They are made from ice crystals, the little cloudlets are regularly spaced, often arranged as ripples in the sky.

As an hour passed I watch a Buzzard soaring over the garden. Birds such as Buzzards and Red Kites use the thermals to soar to great heights to use their fantastic eyesight to look for prey.

Thermals are an upward current of warm air, formed when air is heated unevenly for example mountainside, next to lakes and rivers, above motorways, ploughed fields and next to wooded areas.

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Altocumulus clouds

Altocumulus clouds are mid level patches of cloudlets, you can see they are lower than the Cirrus clouds in the photo above.

Although sometime grey they are mainly associated with settled weather.

As the day went on more and more clouds gathered and a few spots of rain fell.

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About Alex White - Appletonwild

This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. My passion is for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. I am a keen amateur photographer using a Canon SX60 HS. All the photographs on this blog are taken by myself unless stated otherwise. I am a member of A Focus on Nature, the network for Young Nature Conservationists, BBOWT, The Oxon Mammal group and The Oxfordshire badger Group. You can also follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild Instagram appletonwild
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