Saturday, October 7, 2017

Fog

Ship in Fog, Gloucester Harbor - Fitz Henry Lane
(Source)*
Friday morning began in a fog. A literal fog, mentally I was pretty alert when Sasha prodded me with her paw and gave a plaintive meow, indicating that I should get my not insubstantial derrière out of bed and proceed with all due haste to the mess decks where I should commence the morning feline feeding activities.

Before that was accomplished, I happened to glance outside. The sun wasn't quite up yet but it was light enough to see that there was a bit of mist in the air. Apparently it had also rained sometime in the night. The streets were soaked as was the deck. I figured we'd had a heavy fog in the night, but The Missus Herself, the resident farmer here at Chez Sarge, pointed out that the ground underneath the wee Japanese maples was dry. When it's a heavy dew, fog, or mist, that ground is as wet as anywhere else, but when it rains it stays dry.

Good to know.

Once I had fed the feline inhabitants and performed my morning ablutions and jumped in the vehicle for the morning go, I looked about and noted that the mist was still in the air, a bit of fog still clinging to the tree tops. A simply glorious morning, best part of it was that it was a Friday morning. Okay, you retirees, stop snickering. We know that "every day is a Saturday" for you folks. And yes Russ, I'm looking at you! ;)

Anyhoo...

I headed down the neck (another word for a peninsula), Bristol Neck that is, off to work on Aquidneck Island. (Which is technically Rhode Island, which the inhabitants call "The Island," as if it was the only one. Remember, the official name of Little Rhody is The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. There's The Island and everything else. So yes, I guess you could say I live on a plantation. And yes, the social "justice" types once raised a stink about that. The state told 'em to go pound sand.

So, heading down the neck to the island, er I mean, The Island, I noticed that Bristol Harbor was a bit foggier than up at my place, especially out towards the bay. It was something to see the moored sailboats against a backdrop of mist. No, I didn't take a picture. Yes, I wish I had but remember, I was on my way to work and the earlier I report it, the earlier I can leave.

I did mention that it was Friday, neh?

When I got to the Mount Hope Bridge (depicted below on a bright sunny day), it was like plunging off the end of the world.

Google Maps Street View
I could not see the far tower of the bridge, I could not see the top of the near tower. As for the water itself? Not a hint, totally socked in. It felt like the bridge just ended in the fog. As I drove across to the other side, the sun could be glimpsed through the mist. Exactly as shown in the opening painting. It was really awesome.

No, I didn't take a picture, I was driving. That wouldn't be very safe now, would it? While I have this vivid mental picture, I don't have the technology to download that from my brain to this here computational device.

Sigh...

It was pretty cool looking.

Czai W Mgła (Lurking in the Fog) -  Antoni Piotrowski
(Source)
No, I didn't see any uhlans. But they could have been out there, lurking.  I do like the painting though. A lot.

This one too...

Meeresstrand im Nebel - Caspar David Friedrich
(Source)
I like fog. When I'm at home, looking out at it.

Being at sea in the fog? Scary. Did it once on the ferry from Point Judith to Block Island, thought how cool it was to be out of sight of land (we weren't, on a clear day you can see the mainland and the island, no problemo). It hit me that we were also out of sight of other ships and boats. I rather hoped everyone had radar, had it up, had someone watching it, and that the range scale was accurate.

Fog can be scary. (Maybe Congress will ban it?)







* Fitz Henry Lane’s masterpiece Ship in Fog, Gloucester Harbor is an archetype of Luminism, a style characterized by an intense preoccupation with light and atmosphere that flourished among a group of American painters between 1850 and 1875. Luminist artists evinced an acute awareness of the natural world and sought to unite matter and spirit through a focus on atmospheric effects, captured in works rendered with great subtlety and carefully wrought detail, often evoking a magical stillness. Aligned with the philosophical precepts of Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Transcendentalists, who saw nature as the ultimate expression of the divine, Luminist painters produced, in the sparsely peopled and sparely composed canvases they favored, perhaps the most meditative and captivating landscapes in American art. Editor: Just thought I'd mention that.

24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. No pilot, in his/her right mind, is a fan of fog.

      I've seen some scary fogs in the area of Germany where we lived, literally slowed to 20KPH as you could barely see past the hood ornament, literally! (And THAT was a great post.)

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  2. Having lived on San Francisco Bay I always liked Carl Sandberg's FOG: The fog cvomes in on little cat feet, It sits overlooking harbor and city on silent haunches, and then moves on.

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    1. I've seen that. Weird, that fog just hanging there on the hills, waiting.

      We flew into SFO once and I saw that fog from the plane, really cool looking but I was really hoping that we were back in the air to Fresno BEFORE the fog rolled down into the bay!

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  3. I like fog (as long as I don't have to drive in it) and I love the paintings. We quite often get fog rolling in off of Truman Lake. If you invent a way to download images from your brain, let me know because I'll be glad to invest!!

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    1. The fog here, rolling in off the Atlantic, can be pretty picturesque. But I wouldn't want to be out on the water, or in the air, in that stuff.

      I'm trying to post more artwork, classes up the joint. ;)

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  4. Most folks don't associate SE Wyoming with fog. It happens, and it is thick. This professional speeder drops down to 40 mpg or less and am still pushing it.

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    1. I certainly didn't. I've seen fog like that in Germany, scary stuff!

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  5. 'Tis educational you are. Thanks for the post.

    Paul L. Quamdt

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  6. Fog, while smug in a cabin in the Smokies after Christmas, cabin fully stocked, cups of hot tea in hand, sitting on the porch, hearing nothing as Nature's muffler gently smothers the land around you, feeling the cool embrace of the cloud wrap around you...

    Ah... Fog.

    Trying to drive home in that stuff, screw that. Find cheap motel, hunker down and hide.

    Like... snow. Gentle snow. Fun the first time. On a day off. With power to house (water bed, needs heater to stay warm.) Screw that white crap when you have to drive on it or some dumbass has run his/her/its crappy little econobox car into the power distribution lines and it is 10 degrees out and your water bed is trying to become the world's largest ice cube. Bleh.

    Keep your fog, and your snow, far away from my poor hurricane lashed lands!

    As to the tea comment above, I know some of you gentle readers will try to harsh my mellow about me being a tea-drinker. Tea, dark, with cream and sugar, for the warming up and comfort. Coffee, especially the sludge in the bottom of the tall pot 6 hours after it's been brewed, well, that's for getting awake, or for opening up the lungs. Cheap, dark convenience store coffee with lots of sweetener and milk/cream/creamer... Ahhh, I can feel my chest loosening up right now.

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    1. Nothing wrong with tea, mate!

      Snow is best viewed from indoors, though truth be told, as long as there are no idiots on the road, I love driving in it.

      Strange, I know, but I am from Vermont...

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    2. No worse than driving on rain slicked roads on totally bald tires. I went through one intersection in my '73 Olds 98 and saw the same car 3 times as I spun, in the intersection, and then ended up going the way I wanted to anyways.

      Just don't like, as you kinda stated, the way most other people drive in poor conditions.

      Delete
    3. I had to pull this one out of the spam filter. Geez Andrew, Blogger doesn't like you I guess.

      I've experienced the "gee, why is my vehicle not stopping" thing. Also the, "hhmm, I wonder how many revolutions until I hit something?" thing. I survived, I learned.

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  7. "I've seen fog like that in Germany, scary stuff!" Wirkliche Erbsensuppe. We get fog like that in the Central Valley in California. The kind of "hang your head out the window and look for the white line" kind of fog. Miserable to drive in, but survivable.

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    1. Driving in a thick fog is terrifying, especially when you just know there are others on the road who are absolutely clueless.

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    2. Especially after "Last call". These guys figure they can drive themselves home if they drive slowly in the slow lane. Unfortunately, because it's foggy and they're drunk, they take the wrong ramp on the freeway and think they're driving slowly in the slow lane, when they're going the wrong way in the fast lane. Always avoid driving in the fast lane after "quitting time".

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  8. Back when I lived at 1 Jeffrey Rd in Newport and also in Brenton Village, I would fall asleep at night listening to the Point Judith fog horn. As you say, it's much nicer to be safe in bed when the fog horns are playing their tune. Fog at sea in coastal waters sucks, especially without radar.

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    1. Sounds like one who knows!

      Too many things to run into along the coast, that's for sure.

      Delete
  9. Not sure that fog counts as fall-like weather, but at least you're getting some. 90 degrees here yesterday and more on the way.

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