Monday, November 20, 2017

One-of-a-kind Amherst wall calendar available right here!

Click on photo to enlarge - and scroll below for a view of all the months
A
ctual calendar photos and daily entries are high resolution images
If you are looking for a unique Amherst gift that will keep giving all year round, look no further than our new Head in the Clouds Amherst 2018 Wall Calendar. This year's calendar features:
  • 12 beautiful, seasonal photos taken in Amherst, Massachusetts by twelve different local photographers (scroll below for their names). 
  • Over 100 daily entries highlighting: 
    • Astronomical events visible from Amherst with the naked eye (full moon, new moon, meteor showers, and more!) 
    • Anniversaries of catastrophic weather events that occurred in Amherst and New England between 1660 and 2017
    • Pivotal dates in Amherst history
    • Pivotal dates in the history of meteorology
    • Major U.S. holidays
    • Major religious holidays
This is that perfect gift for Amherst residents, tourists, college students here and away, writers and poets, nature lovers, and Amherst natives living abroad and longing for a taste of home. This calendar will have them (and you) falling in love with Amherst month after month. Full size when open is 17" high and 11" wide. 

You now have two options for purchasing online: 


1. MAIL ORDER: $19 per calendar, which includes postage and handling. Click on this PayPal button:

Purchase here for delivery by mail:


2. LOCAL PICK UP: $15 per calendar. Click on this PayPal button:
(With this option, you will avoid built-in postage costs by picking up your calendars in North Amherst - directions to the pick-up location will be emailed to you after you complete your purchase).
Purchase here for local pick up:



You can also purchase our calendar at Hastings, located in downtown Amherst at 45 South Pleasant Street on the Common, or Simple Gifts Farm Farm Store, located in North Amherst at 1089 North Pleasant Street. Call before you go over just to make sure they have calendars in stock. We do our best to keep our sellers supplied, but it's not unusual for them to run out several times during a season - if they don't have any, let us know.

For questions or special requests (including arranging for pick up in Amherst), please email Sharon at CloudsAmherst[@]gmail[.]com. 
The [at] and [dot] are done to keep email addresses from being collected by spammers and harvesting robots. You just have to replace them for [@] and [.] when you write your e-mail.
Calendar Cover
Photo by Joshua Wolfsun

Snow Cow
Atkins North, North Amherst ~ Photo by Sharon Vardatira
Looking North from Rattlesnake Knob
Mount Holyoke Range, Amherst ~ Photo by Elisa Campbell
Tenderness at the Duck Pond
UMass Amherst ~ Photo by Ellen Finkelstein
Amherst Light
Town Hall, Amherst ~ Photo by John Snyder
Early Spring Morning at Bramble Hill Farm
Amherst ~ Photo by Meg Wright
Summer Glow
The Old Landfill, Amherst ~ Photo by Meg Rosa
A Thoughtful Heron at Puffer's Dam
Puffer's Pond, North Amherst ~ Photo by Anna-Beth Winograd
Dream
Mount Pollux, South Amherst ~ Photo by Ben Harper
Autumn at Cherry Hill
North Amherst ~ Photo by David Sharken
Autumn Light
Wentworth Farm, Amherst ~ Photo by Mindy Domb
A Foggy Start
South Amherst ~ Photo by James Patten
Quiet Dawn on the Common
Amherst Center ~ Photo by Joshua Wolfsun

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fall on Bridge


Featured photo for November in the 2017 Head in the Clouds Amherst calendar. Photographer Meg Rosa perfectly captures that peculiar fall occurrence around here (especially in recent years), where some leaves can simultaneously be a confetti of color on the ground while others are still green on the trees and underbrush.

The Case for Atlantic Time

Depressed at the prospect of sunset around 4:30 today (courtesy of our going off Daylight Savings Time last night)?  

Well, you are not alone. Last week, our state’s own Special Commission to Study the Commonwealth’s Time Zone issued a final report of findings and recommendations for the Legislature’s consideration. Based on research into what such a time zone change would mean for Massachusetts, the Commission recommended that Massachusetts could absolutely make a "data-driven case for moving to the Atlantic Time Zone (effectively observing year-round daylight saving time)."  If you are wondering why we couldn’t simply stay on Daylight Savings Time year-round (as this would be the simplest fix), federal law only allows states to opt OUT of Daylight Savings Time. So the only way for Massachusetts to effectively adopt Daylight Savings Time year-round would be to move from the Eastern Time Zone to the Atlantic Time Zone and then opt out of Daylight Savings Time.

The report did add that such a change should be contingent on the other New England states (possibly also New York) adopting the same strategy. 

I’m all for this move to Atlantic Time, much as I appreciated my extra hour of sleep last night. The graphic above says it all...

Monday, October 23, 2017

Foliage between clouds

October Weekend, Charlemont MA
Photo by Brittany Sinclair
Friend of Head in the Clouds Amherst, Brittany Sinclair, snapped this beautiful, iconic fall scene from the hammock behind her house in Charlemont MA. Ah, New England!

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (tomorrow, actual rain)

Raindrops on Window
Photo by S. Vardatira
A strong cold front will slowly move through New England as we get into the Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon timeframe. The front will be accompanied by heavy rainfall and the potential for convective showers and even isolated to scattered strong to severe thunderstorms – think strong, potentially damaging winds and heavy rainfall.

Friday, October 20, 2017

2018 Head in the Clouds Amherst Wall Calendar Now Available!

Click on photo to enlarge - and scroll below for a view of all the months
A
ctual calendar photos and daily entries are high resolution images


If you are looking for a unique Amherst gift that will keep giving all year round, look no further than our new Head in the Clouds Amherst 2018 Wall Calendar. This year's calendar features:
  • 12 beautiful, seasonal photos taken in Amherst by twelve different local photographers (scroll below for their names). 
  • Over 100 daily entries highlighting: 
    • Astronomical events visible from Amherst with the naked eye (full moon, new moon, meteor showers, and more!) 
    • Anniversaries of catastrophic weather events that occurred in Amherst and New England between 1660 and 2017
    • Pivotal dates in Amherst history
    • Pivotal dates in the history of meteorology
    • Major U.S. holidays
    • Major religious holidays
This is that perfect gift for Amherst residents, tourists, college students here and away, writers and poets, nature lovers, and Amherst natives living abroad and longing for a taste of home. This calendar will have them (and you) falling in love with Amherst month after month. Full size when open is 17" high and 11" wide. 

You now have two options for purchasing online: 


1. MAIL ORDER: $19 per calendar, which includes postage and handling. Click on this PayPal button:

Purchase here for delivery by mail:


2. LOCAL PICK UP: $15 per calendar. Click on this PayPal button:
(With this option, you will avoid built-in postage costs by picking up your calendars in North Amherst - directions to the pick-up location will be emailed to you after you complete your purchase).
Purchase here for local pick up:



You can also purchase our calendar at Hastings, located in downtown Amherst at 45 South Pleasant Street on the CommonCall before you go over just to make sure they have calendars in stock. We do our best to keep Hastings supplied, but it's not unusual for them to run out several times during a season - if they don't have any, let us know.

For questions or special requests (including arranging for pick up in Amherst), please email Sharon at CloudsAmherst[@]gmail[.]com. 
The [at] and [dot] are done to keep email addresses from being collected by spammers and harvesting robots. You just have to replace them for [@] and [.] when you write your e-mail.
Calendar Cover
Photo by Joshua Wolfsun

Snow Cow
Atkins North, North Amherst ~ Photo by Sharon Vardatira
Looking North from Rattlesnake Knob
Mount Holyoke Range, Amherst ~ Photo by Elisa Campbell
Tenderness at the Duck Pond
UMass Amherst ~ Photo by Ellen Finkelstein
Amherst Light
Town Hall, Amherst ~ Photo by John Snyder
Early Spring Morning at Bramble Hill Farm
Amherst ~ Photo by Meg Wright
Summer Glow
The Old Landfill, Amherst ~ Photo by Meg Rosa
A Thoughtful Heron at Puffer's Dam
Puffer's Pond, North Amherst ~ Photo by Anna-Beth Winograd
Dream
Mount Pollux, South Amherst ~ Photo by Ben Harper
Autumn at Cherry Hill
North Amherst ~ Photo by David Sharken
Autumn Light
Wentworth Farm, Amherst ~ Photo by Mindy Domb
A Foggy Start
South Amherst ~ Photo by James Patten
Quiet Dawn on the Common
Amherst Center ~ Photo by Joshua Wolfsun

Saturday, October 7, 2017

"The soul wants it all"

Dan and Elaine and the snowman on top of Triple Divide Pass in Glacier National Park.
Water on Dan's side flows into the Atlantic. On Elaine's side, it drops into Hudson Bay and the Arctic Ocean.
Dan and Elaine - my brother and his wife, and friends and occasional Colorado contributors to Head in the Clouds Amherst - complete the last leg of their thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail (3,000 miles, 6 months!), passing through Glacier National Park. They are wrapped in clouds, calf-deep in snow (and ecstatic about that), have a close encounter with a grizzly, and build a snowman on top of Triple Divide Pass. And there's so much more. Follow along with their latest blog post, this one by Elaine. A hike summary will follow once they've had a chance to process everything. (I, for one, am curious about the transition back to civilization. It's gotta be tough.)

They're already planning their next adventure, of course. As Elaine puts it, We are not satisfied – I think the desire for adventure was a small flame, and we just poured gasoline on it. More, more – more wild, more mountains, more rivers, more vastness. The soul wants it all.

Cloud Sculpture

Detail of London Fog (2017) by Fujiko Nakaya, at the Tate Modern, London, UK,
taken by Cloud Appreciation Society member Nic Cooper, as his wife turned into a cloud.
In April of this year, Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya produced a cloud sculpture in the heart of London. Using a combination of water vapor, lights and sound, her outdoor exhibit was a modernist take on the familiar Stratus cloud (yes, that’s the cloud cover we have this morning, although ours is not ground-level). The artist herself explained that “People love the feel of fog on their skin, immersed, wet and cold, but gentle and soothing. It’s a primary experience.”

Credit: Cloud Appreciation Society

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Update from Caguas, Puerto Rico

Storm damage in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Photo: AP
The unraveling situation in Puerto Rico hits close to home as Meg Rosa (Amherst resident and longtime Head in the Clouds Amherst contributor and photographer) shares a most welcome update from her extended family in Puerto Rico, who they had not heard from - since Maria struck - until this weekend. Meg reports,

They can only get a cell signal in Caguas. They have cut their way out of San Lorenzo and are able to get around that way. They have water from the hospital. You can’t get in to where they are. The thing they asked for was a chainsaw. They can’t get anywhere without having to cut through downed trees. We are going to figure out how to get a chainsaw to them. Some post offices are open, we just need to figure out which one, and then figure out when that would arrive so they can try to make their way there. They have been collecting rain water and they have livestock left for food. Their house is still there, but the house my husband's parents lived in is completely gone. The other grandparents lost all the wooden portion of their house, about half the house, the bedrooms. The house where many of the uncles live has lost their roof. We still haven’t heard from my husband's mom’s sister and daughters. There is no way to get in to where they are. The trees are everywhere. Everyone is helping each other out. No violence or theft where they are. Cutting through the trees is the main focus right now. We are so grateful for that phone call!

Take a moment to drink in this beautiful, beautiful day here in New England. And, then, if you can, please take another moment to make a donation or help out the Puerto Rico relief effort in some other way.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Heron on Puffer's Pond Dam


Featured photo for October in the 2017 Head in the Clouds Amherst calendar. This incredible autumn tableau was captured at Puffer's Pond by photographer Anna-Beth Winograd. Here's hoping we see color like that again this year. And until then, just gaze at this photo from time to time to satisfy that longing for brilliant fall foliage.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Rainbow Over UMass

The featured photo for September in the 2017 Head in the Clouds Amherst wall calendar. Photo by Joshua Wolfsun, a regular contributor to HITC. Some of you may remember his 90 second video, shot last winter, of a walk by Puffer's Pond. Thank you, Joshua!


Which way Jose?

Map and information courtesy of the Weather Channel, apparently
also now our site for viewing extreme weather sports during hurricanes!
Likely we are all going to be inundated with news about Jose over the next five days, so I thought I would do ahead and add another voice. Here is what we know now:

Most of the weather models still show Jose curling north, then northeast sufficiently to the east of both the Bahamas and the mid-Atlantic states. The chance is increasing that Jose may directly impact farther north along the U.S. coast, including Southern New England, but it is too soon to know anything for sure. Wind shear is expected to increase by late this weekend, which should keep a slight lid on Jose's intensity, but there is concern that Jose's wind field size could expand as it gains latitude. Everyone along the coast, from the Carolinas northward to New England and Atlantic Canada, should keep an eye on Jose over the coming week. Also, keep in mind that by late this weekend, large swells from Jose should reach as far north as coastal New England.

I would strongly suggest you postpone going on whale watches from tomorrow through the week. As someone who worked on a whale watch out of Boston for several summers, I can attest that large swells were far and away the worst conditions for seasickness. Think whole boatloads of people desperate for dry land.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Here's to blue skies (but just today)

Photo of the annular solar eclipse of 20 May 2012,
Monterey, California - by Sally Cullen
Today's message from the Cloud Appreciation Society:

Today, we finally accept the value of blue-sky thinking – but only along the path of totality for the forthcoming solar eclipse. This path stretches diagonally across the United States like an enormous sash of shadow. It is where the Moon, as it passes directly between us and the Sun, will obscure all but the solar corona. The shadow appears total because the Sun and Moon look almost exactly the same size in the sky. This is thanks to a cosmic coincidence: the Sun, which is 400 times wider than the Moon, happens also to be around 400 times more distant (though the distances vary at different points in the orbits). Celestial bodies move with such regularity that the precise times and locations of solar eclipses are easily calculated hundreds of years in advance. Compare that to the turbulent dance of water through our atmosphere. The ungovernable chaos of the clouds means we can barely predict a few hours in advance whether this grand display of celestial obstruction will itself be obstructed from view.

This photo (above) was taken by Sally Cullen during the annular solar eclipse of 20 May 2012 - the sun can be seen peeking through the Stratocumulus clouds over Monterey, California. An annular solar eclipse is when their relative distances from Earth mean the Moon appears slightly smaller than the Sun and so doesn’t cover it completely.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Seeking Photos for the 2018 Head in the Clouds Amherst Calendar!

Your photo could be featured (kind of like this) in our upcoming 2018 calendar!

CALLING ALL AMHERST-AREA (and AMHERST VISITING) PHOTOGRAPHERS:

Head in the Clouds Amherst is seeking photo submissions for our 2018 calendar. Back by popular demand, this year's calendar will once again feature monthly photos taken by 12 different photographers. You can see last year’s calendar, here

The deadline to submit is September 1, 2017. Submissions can be emailed or uploaded via Google Drive to CloudsAmherst@gmail.com. Please enter "HITC 2018 Calendar Photo Submissions" in the subject line.

Along with your photo(s), please include: a caption or title; who is in the photo (unless it's a crowd scene or taken from a distance), where it was taken, the photographer's name, and your contact information.

All submissions must have been taken in Amherst or feature a scenic view of Amherst. And photos must also depict scenes that evoke the seasons and the intersection of life and weather. In addition to those qualities, if your photo also captures one or more of these themes it will get special consideration:
  • Amherst landmarks (popular gathering sites, university/colleges, museums, etc.)
  • Amherst annual events and happenings 
  • Clouds formations and weather phenomena (over or around Amherst)
Click on this link for additional tips on submitting winning Head in the Clouds Amherst photos. And keep in mind that we will not consider photos that are low resolution, low quality, or that contain inappropriate material. 

We welcome photos by professionals and amateurs, in color or black and white. And we’re also counting on friends of Head in the Clouds re-submitting photos you’ve already sent to us over the year. You can submit as many photos as you like.

If your photo is selected for the 2018 calendar, you will receive a free calendar and reduced rates on any additional calendars you opt to purchase. 

So what are you waiting for??? Start flipping through your photo collection – or grab your camera and make some new memories. We can’t wait to see what you’ve got!