The growing, almost deafening, clamour for an international cloud festival was finally recognised last year when that august body, which has been such a fixture of Irish life since 2011, the Irish Cloud Appreciation Society, organised the inagural event in Cork.
Well its that time of the year again and this year the three day cloud extravaganza is coming to the counties of Sligo and Leitrim. Between the days of July 27th and 29th, they will be arriving in Grange, Cliffony, Mullaghmore, Rossinver, Kinlough and Ballintrillick/Benbulben, all areas renowned for offering fine views of the sky.
Clouds are much derided but they no doubt serve a valuable purpose in terms of rain and so forth (I haven’t done sufficent research on this, in all truthfulness). Clouds are often chastised in this country on account of their fondness for getting in the way of the sun. However, they offer a great chance to get poetic, ‘Gliding languidly across the sky, huge and soft, giant tufts of candy floss cut loose, suds from a bubble bath held aloft by an invisible child’s arm.’
Gavin Pretor-Pinney, author of best-selling books ‘The Cloudspotters Guide’, ‘The Cloud Collector’s Handbook’ and ‘Everything you didn’t know about Clouds but were too indifferent to ask’ (that last one I made up) has sold the practice admirably, saying cloudspotting “is a way of training yourself to be aware of the natural world, ‘of being receptive when something is happening in the sky and noticing it.’” RTE weather presenter Gerry Murphy will speak on the subject of “The communication of weather forecasts.”
Their facebook page contains some fairly spectacular looking pictures of what can only be described as mesmerizing cloud-centric aerial displays. Certainly some stunningly beautiful skylines are featured. If interested or curious about the cloudspotting phenomenon check out the International Cloud Festival.