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Yesterday was Joni Mitchell’s birthday.

So, in honor of my all-time favorite singer/songwriter, I’ve decided to look at clouds — from both sides now.

Personally, I think a cloudy sky is much more interesting than a clear one.

Clouds give the sky character.

Haven’t we all looked up in amazement as they turned into faces and animals and objects before our eyes?

They are constantly moving, changing, evaporating, morphing, disappearing.


We imagine them as puffy white cotton balls, yet they are ethereal, drifting away in wisps, proving that nothing stays the same.

And sometimes they’re angry and dark.

They defy the sun, preventing its rays from warming our faces and laughing so hard at their own power that tears fall on us, forcing us to run indoors, under umbrella.

To take shelter.

They work their way into our minds, preventing our words from warming the pages, causing tears to fall down our own cheeks, forcing us to wonder whether we will ever have a coherent thought again.

But then, they gracefully part to let us see clearly again.

clouds 2

To bask in the sunlight.

To breathe.

To be grateful.

And to realize we really don’t know clouds at all.


  1. Rows and flows of angel hair,
    And ICE CREAM castles in the air,
    And feathered canyons everywhere,
    I’ve looked at clouds that way.

    Classic. Timeless. Genius. Lyrical. Extraordinary.

  2. I love a cloudy day, myself. It gives me an excuse to stay inside, which is my natural habitat, LOL.

    I loved, as a kid, looking at the clouds for shapes, though. Yeah. Loved that. Those lazy days.

  3. I adore clouds! I have lots of cloud pictures on Instagram (lots of grandchildren pictures too) if you would like to see them I’m http://instagram.com/nanahood1956

  4. Thank you for reminding me there actually are clouds…we rarely see them. Just blue skies all the time…which oddly enough gets boring. I love a great rainstorm….thank you

  5. Love Joni Mitchell’s song. Have to get a turntable so I can play some of her records that I still own from the 70s.

  6. I always think of Judy Collins’ version and I never knew why – with me being just a kid when all this came down the pipe the first time – but I finally looked up the cover versions and Collins’ version was released before Joni’s 45. Wow I feel old.

  7. Love love love this….the photos and the song and all of it.

  8. Love this! And clouds. I’m always looking at them in thought. Love Joni.

  9. Love Joni. And love clouds. Love when they part and the sun shines through. You need clouds to get a beautiful sunset.Gives the sun something to reflect against.

  10. Amanda Love says:

    Love this post. We usually have some amazing clouds where I live, I think you would love it here.

  11. I have spent many a day just cloud watching. It is the most peaceful thing you can do.

  12. Lois, love your photographs. I really enjoyed the imagery in your post, your words brought me back to multiple memories of cloud gazing. Beautiful….

  13. jamie@southmainmuse says:

    I must admit I’ve forgotten the joy you write of. The joy of looking at clouds. My 11 year old will still point out things in the sky. Maybe I need to start looking too?

  14. OK, I am still thinking about a TEDx presentation we just saw. I wonder what clouds look like through the telescope on the South Pole? Now that would give us another view, wouldn’t it?

  15. Coolchillmom says:

    Clouds are so ethereal. They can be one thing and the next minute gone or totally different. The wonders of nature.

  16. Amanda McMahon says:

    Very true. What do we know about anything … we see just this dimension.

  17. Ive always been obsessed with clouds! I even wrote a blog post about them once too. Nice!

  18. Melissa Smith says:

    I still love looking at the clouds to see if I can find any shapes. Or on days where I really miss my grandparents, a sign of some sorts from them.

  19. I love clouds. It is always so much fun to look at them.

  20. Being a Joni Mitchell fan myself, I love this post Clouds are natures art in the sky

  21. I am not familiar with Joni Mitchell but clouds always amaze me. I remember as a kid laying in the grass staring up at the sky trying to see if I could determine things like the shapes, etc

  22. We love to look deep into the clouds to find shapes & forms, etc. Here’s a true story – my MIL – she was driving on the highway looking at the clouds and going a bit too fast. She was pulled over by a state trooper. He asked her how fast she was going – she says, “I don’t know – I was looking at the toothbrush.” She said he looked at her like she was nuts – did his thing and let her go – without a fine :).

  23. I remember being young and just staring at the clouds for many minutes at a time – amazed at how they move and change.

  24. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    This post really resonates with me, Lois! Many years ago I saw a piece on CBS Sunday Morning (when Charles Kuralt was the host) about a man who found great beauty in clouds. From then on I made a point to look at clouds every day and I find them fascinating. And I love Joni Mitchell.

  25. One of my favorite things about being a kid was laying in the grass and looking up at the clouds. There was so much unknown but those clouds were always there to make me smile.

  26. Her music is beautiful. I don’t have any of her albums, but my mom does.

  27. Lost in fluffy softness
    cotton candy in the sky
    I lay and wonder what you taste like
    As I reach to pull a piece

    Written by me (Rebecca Bryant)

    Your post inspired me to write.

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