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Clouds

Cool morning clouds

The sunrise itself on this particular day last week wasn’t anything to write home about. However, looking toward the north, the clouds were kind of dramatic with just a hint of color on the horizon. Taken at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado.

A pleasant morning scene on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A pleasant morning scene on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent clouds create a multi-colored show

A very cool scene in the skies east of the Denver area this morning. These iridescent clouds lingered for a long time and provided a diversion while I was waiting for critters. We actually had some at sunset last night as well. Cloud iridescence is caused by clouds (usually cirrus) that have small water droplets or ice crystals in them causing the light to be diffracted, or spread out. The phenomena is much like the rainbow colors seen with oil in water.

Iridescent clouds color the skies east of Denver, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent clouds color the skies east of Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent clouds color the skies east of Denver, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent clouds color the skies east of Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent clouds color the skies east of Denver, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent clouds color the skies east of Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Other-worldly clouds at sunset

Winter sunsets and sunrises here in Colorado are oftentimes pretty darned amazing. For the late day shows, we oftentimes have wave clouds and lenticular clouds above. These almost alien looking clouds look cool any time but throw in the colored rays of the setting sun and the view is jaw-dropping. Such was the case this past Friday evening. From my home I don’t have a clear view to the west so instead I zoomed in and focused on some of the more interesting shapes.

Stunning lenticular clouds at sunset along the Colorado Front Range.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Stunning lenticular clouds at sunset along the Colorado Front Range. (© Tony’s Takes)

Stunning lenticular clouds at sunset along the Colorado Front Range.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Stunning lenticular clouds at sunset along the Colorado Front Range. (© Tony’s Takes)

Silvery and dramatic high altitude clouds

It was a pretty darned chilly evening around the campsite on the last day of September and in some ways I wanted to be inside. I could not however ignore the show unfolding outside. Wave clouds had setup over the mountain peaks to our east and they had this amazing silver color to them. I had hoped that sunset would color them orange but that never materialized. As is though, they were pretty awesome looking. Taken near Estes Park, Colorado.

Dramatic clouds above Estes Park, Colorado as sunset approaches. (© Tony’s Takes)

Dramatic clouds above Estes Park, Colorado as sunset approaches. (© Tony’s Takes)

Dramatic clouds above Estes Park, Colorado as sunset approaches. (© Tony’s Takes)

Dramatic clouds above Estes Park, Colorado as sunset approaches. (© Tony’s Takes)

Evening sky turns into a rainbow of colors

I was expecting a typically gorgeous Colorado sunset on this day not long ago but it was the pre-show about a half hour before that was the best part. Iridescent clouds appeared and turned the sky into a rainbow of colors. It was an awesome one seen from my backyard.

Cloud iridescence is caused by clouds (usually cirrus) that have small water droplets or ice crystals in them causing the light to be diffracted, or spread out. The phenomena is much like the rainbow colors seen with oil in water.

Scroll down to view the complete series.

Stunning iridescent clouds as the sun starts to set north of Denver, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Stunning iridescent clouds as the sun starts to set north of Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent clouds create a rainbow sky

A very fun weather phenomena last week over the Denver metro area. Cloud iridescence is caused by clouds (usually cirrus) that have small water droplets or ice crystals in them causing the light to be diffracted, or spread out. The phenomena is much like the #rainbow colors seen with oil in water. Unfortunately I was out for a walk when this was happening and I only had my big wildlife lens so was unable to capture the overall scene.. Nevertheless, closeups show just how cool it was.

Iridescent clouds bring a rainbow of colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent clouds bring a rainbow of colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent clouds bring a rainbow of colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent clouds bring a rainbow of colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent clouds bring a rainbow of colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent clouds bring a rainbow of colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

Orange and blue at sunrise mean a Denver Broncos victory

Well, at least I sure hope so! This morning as I was heading out for my drive I saw the rising sun start to illuminate these gorgeous lenticular clouds above our Rocky Mountains. I raced as fast as I could to find someplace with a relatively open view to the horizon and managed a few captures before the coloring faded. Taken in Adams County, Colorado.

A lenticular cloud above the Rocky Mountains is illuminated by the morning's sunrise. (© Tony’s Takes)

A lenticular cloud above the Rocky Mountains is illuminated by the morning’s sunrise. (© Tony’s Takes)

Lenticular clouds glow at sunset. To say the show in the sky yesterday evening was amazing doesn’t do…

To say the show in the sky yesterday evening was amazing doesn’t do it justice. While a beautiful sunset unfolded to the west, my eye was drawn to the north where these fantastic lenticular clouds had formed. The glow from the sunset bathed them in orange and when set against the brilliant, blue Colorado sky… Well, it was magical!

Also known by their scientific name of altocumulus standing lenticularis, these clouds are not entirely unusual in Colorado on the Front Range during the winter. Strong jet winds force moist air to be pushed up by the rugged terrain of the adjacent Rocky Mountains. This creates a wave-like pattern of air flow that condenses at high altitudes (usually around 20,000 feet).

Lenticular clouds get an orange glow at sunset in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Lenticular clouds get an orange glow at sunset in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Iridescent Clouds Backlight Bald Eagle

Driving home from work on a chilly, late winter afternoon, I was on the lookout for Bald Eagles as usual but was particularly taken with a stunning display of iridescent clouds to the west.

As I crossed a bridge over the South Platte River north of Denver , I saw an eagle was sitting in a common roosting spot.  Very quickly I pulled off the side of the road and whipped out my camera.  My jaw dropped at the scene that was unfolding.

Multiple layers of rainbow colored clouds spread across much of the horizon behind the raptor.  It was an impressive, once in a lifetime scene that I was ecstatic to be able to capture.

Minimal editing of these images was done, mainly just in the form of bringing up the shadows and darkening the highlights a bit.

Cloud iridescence is caused by clouds (usually cirrus) that have small water droplets or ice crystals in them causing the light to be diffracted, or spread out. The phenomena is much like the rainbow colors seen with oil in water.

Taken February 12, 2014.  I was able to get a number of pictures of this unique event. Scroll down to view more.

A Bald Eagle sits proudly with rainbow colored iridescent clouds behind it.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bald Eagle sits proudly with rainbow colored iridescent clouds behind it. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mammatus clouds bubble underneath a supercell thunderstorm

These are probably some of the coolest clouds you can ever see. Comprised mostly of ice, they form under the anvil of supercell thunderstorms and oftentimes are a sign of severe weather to come. These particular clouds were underneath a storm that was approaching Lamar, Colorado last Thursday, June 11, 2015. The storm brought powerful winds and hail 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

Mammatus clouds bubble underneath a supercell thunderstorm.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Mammatus clouds bubble underneath a supercell thunderstorm. (© Tony’s Takes)