Most people call these ” clouds ” and stop. A few go further and describe them as ” beautiful clouds,” or, if a scientist, ” atmospheric conflagrations. ” My aunt called them ” buttermilk ” clouds when she was hunched in a bird blind shooting photographs of eagles nesting in the top branches of cottonwood trees on her ranch. Tonight, these graceful puffs of smoke move languidly through the cerulean sky, just before sunset turns the heavens reddish yellow. These cloud fingers are delicate as a concert pianists hands,look like Octopus tentacles reaching for prey near a coral reef, resemble the crust on a fine pastry in your town’s best bakery. No matter how you describe this natural phenomenon, the safest posture is to bow your head and appreciate your good fortune for a world you didn’t make but get to live in.  
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