Mother of Pearl Clouds

Choice 2
Mother of Pearl Clouds

Ok, I know, this is not a food post but still! How often do you get such a rare phenomenon over the Isle of Ireland? I received a text in the early hours of this morning from my friend Morag who lives “Up the road”: ” Polar stratospheric clouds in the sky this morning! Look up!” it read as my upper left eye lid was still stuck to the bottom one and jumped out of bed, still in my pajamas, put my snow boots on ( they are easy to put on in case of an emergency… You can imagine the fashion disaster here…) and grabbed my camera which is always at reach… I wasn’t going to be disappointed!

Choice 4
Nacreous Clouds over Ireland

“Mother of Pearl Clouds” or “Nacreous” clouds ( Nacre is French for Mother of Pearl) are – I believe – clouds in the stratosphere. The polar vortex is, or at least until this morning was unusually over Ireland for the last couple of days. At nearly 15 to 25 kms high ( 9 to 15 Miles), the frozen water crystals get  hit by the morning light, create an amazing display, like a very high and cold rainbow if you wish.

Few friends mentioned the fact that it reminded them of an Aurora Borealis ( or Australis if you live in the southern part of this planet… Let’s be fair here!)  and that is very much what it felt like; even if the forces at hand for such a beautiful spectacle are very different…

Choice 5
Nacreous/ Mother of Pearl clouds over Oldcastle, Co. Meath, Ireland.

I think the vortex might be leaving us soon, to go back hovering over the Arctic circle, but the bitter wind added to the drama, as a prop to a wonderful show… I thought I would share that with you. As a little boy, I was fascinated by space, way before Ornithology and food; I guess it makes me a kind of a nerd, but I am cool with that; after all, isn’t it part of the whole ensemble that put our little selves into another, far more humbling perspective?

Slán Tamall



11 thoughts on “Mother of Pearl Clouds

  1. Franck, your pictures show something really amazing that I had never heard of before!! Just for that matter, congrats on the nice shots! And waow, it must have been something to have this as a first image for the day!!

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