Tuesday, 26 April 2011

V is for... Vapour trails

Here in the UK we have had almost unprecedented fine weather during April. The grey skies have disappeared for a while and there has been uninterrupted blue sky - the like of which is not usually seen here until Summer (and even then, it seems to be fleeting!)

So, sitting in my chair in the garden, wondering what to write for the letter 'V', I was gazing up into the blue for inspiration - and it arrived!

Scribbled on the sky were the vapour trails left by aircraft - some still sharp lines, with a tiny silver 'writing point' moving silently across the heavens; others 'feathered' and fuzzy, blown by the high-altitude air movement.

In history, this is a recent phenomenon - for countless centuries the skies were the domain of only natural cloud formations: cirrus, cumulus, nimbo-stratus....

The aerial 'dog-fights'of WW2 left hideous etchings on the skies - but even they inspired art.

Paul Nash 'Battle of Britain'

...and the real thing!
Battle of the Bulge, Europe 25/12/1944

Now, as I look back up at the sky, the earlier vapour trails I studied have almost disappeared, literally 'airbrushed' from existance!


  1. What a great post Sue. I saw one lone vapor trail the other night as I watched a storm roll in and briefly thought of it for my V post. Glad I didn't as yours is much better. I settled on one that I am sure no one else will use. Feel free to stop by for tea.

  2. Sometimes I worry what is in these vapour trails - the ones that don't disappear quickly.

  3. Our April is cloudy, rainy and cold! I would love some sunshine to last more than a few hours.

  4. We don't seem to see vapor trails as often as when I was younger. That may be my faulty memory, though.
    There's something thrilling about those lines, sharp or fuzzy, against the blue sky. I can't explain why but they do touch my soul.