Monday, May 26, 2014

Water Spout!

Water Spout

noun: water-spout
a rotating column of water and spray formed by a whirlwind occurring over the sea or other body of water.

A tornado...terrifying by itself.  But put that swirling tempest of wind over water, and it turns into something beautiful and terrible and fascinating all rolled into one column of water doing what water is NOT supposed to do - defy gravity.

As you probably know already (but just in case...) I live very near Lake Michigan.  Not -I'll just open my front door and fall in- close, but a short drive away close.  It's one of the biggest puddles of fresh water in the world.

I was just browsing the 'net, here, looking for ideas for the Tempest, and I came across an article from last September - we had quite the storm swirling around the lake, and it kicked up multiple water spouts over MY end of Lake Michigan. cool and/or terrifying is that - not just one, but two....TWO... the terrible two's, the dynamic duo, it takes two to tango, tea for two (imagine me cackling madly while rubbing my hands together)....TWO enormous columns of water being sucked up into the sky!

How could I resist a little Photoshop magic?

Reading the comments left behind by people who actually saw the story the day it was energized by the net...I'm both struck by the humor and sullied by the vitriol.

My favorite quotes?  "PERCH-nado!" (gotta love short and simple...) and "Good thing they don't have sharks in Lake Michigan (stealing the other guy's thunder, yes, but in a roundabout way - kudos for the laff...)  My least favorite, albeit still publishable?  "Just welcoming Michelle O to Watertown." 

Ugggg...not EVERYTHING revolves around politics, people.  Certainly not a natural event - and most certainly NOT this blog.  This is all about photography, and Photoshop, and humor and the observations of one slightly-less-than-normal Wisconsinite (that'd be me, just to make it clear).

I only wish I'd been in the vicinity, and aware it was happening, instead of reviewing cell-phone shots and old news accounts 6 months later.  I'd have braved being sucked up into the sky WITH the water for a photographic opportunity like that. 

Guess I have to settle for being good instead of being lucky, eh?

Personally, I find water to be glorious.  I think most people do - after all, we've got poets composing thousands of pages all waxing poetic (well, duh...they're poets...they do that) on the beauty and mystery of this life-giving fluid.  We've got writers putting people in situations on, above, and within the water.  Photographers take endless shots of the temperament and moods of the seas, rivers, and even the occasional mud-puddle (which reminds me...I did a series of reflections...but later, later).

We personify water in all its moods - the rough-running river is furious as it strains against its banks.  The placid pond was still and contemplative as it reflected the light of the harvest moon.  Wisps of steam curled around my toes as I lifted them from the welcoming embrace of my bathwater.

Frozen, water still fascinates.  Take an ice cube of distilled water (so you don't have all the cloudy mineral stuff...) and time-lapse it melting...or go find a video of someone else doing this on YouTube.  It's soooo cool (ahem...rim-shot, please?) because its something so normal we don't pay attention to it...unless said ice cube is watering down our drink.

Frozen water also brings out the child in all of us - we skate on it, we cut holes in it to fish on top of it, or slip a cube down our older-sister's shirt to listen to her shriek (did I ever apologize for that?).

Heated, water is no less amazing.  It's soothing, comforting, wrapping us in warm arms.  Heat it more, and it turns to steam, which we use for cleaning and generating energy.

Water is the most complex molecule on the planet, and we, as humans, are obsessed with it.  Could have something to do with 60% of us being composed of it?

We are all children of the water.  Maybe it's time we all remembered that.

I simply could NOT resist this shot.  Officer Mike Madsen of the Kenosha Police department has photo credit on the shot of the dual water spouts (I did find this image both with his name on the bottom, and without - I chose the without version, but I give credit where it's due whenever possible...) and I'll take the credit for that pesky little teapot not being able to resist adding itself to the shot...

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