Week of May 28, 2023 – June 3, 2023

Elizabeth Suzedell staff member and Environmental Educator

by Elizabeth Suzedell, Environmental Educator

Getting outside in nature is so beneficial to our health as humans. From going on a gentle walk to find the season’s blooming wildflowers or backyard birds, to an intense hiking expedition up to a mountain’s peak, there are so many ways to discover and enjoy the wonders of our earth. One of these activities that I am especially looking forward to this summer is cloud watching.

We see the sky every time we go outside, whether we are intentionally looking up at it or just seeing it in our peripheral vision. But have you ever spent some time on a warm afternoon laying down, looking up at the sky, and just watching the clouds that go by?

I think that cloud watching is one of the most relaxing ways we can experience nature. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but I suggest finding a soft and comfortable patch of grass, maybe with a picnic blanket and under the shade of a tree. Lay down so that you’re facing the sky, and just watch what happens over the next 10 minutes (or longer).

On a fair weather day, you might see clouds just slowly and peacefully moving along. A hot and humid day might be more exciting, with cumulus clouds rapidly changing and bubbling up into possible cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds later. On some days, you might see nothing but crystal-clear-blue, and other times, there might be an expansive fluffy blanket of grayish-white. Not only that, but you may start to see familiar shapes in the clouds- something I looked for a lot as a kid on long car rides. You could find anything- from an elephant, to a car, to a human face!

No matter the weather, cloud watching is very calming and therapeutic. Taking a moment to look up is always a reminder to me of how beautiful Earth is, and that there is so much more to the universe than our small worlds on the ground.