Over the years I have expressed the deep sighs of the environment that surrounded my temporary home.  For years I lived in the Great Northwest.  Those views of Mt. Hood, towering fir trees and the mighty Columbia River were stunning.

We lived on the coast of the North Sea.  There wrapped up in down parka we gazed at the powerful surges of the frigid waters that lapped the shores of Scotland’s Eastern seashore.  Hills filled with blossoming heather and flocks of grazing sheep would birth many smiles.

California had every imaginable natural scenery.  We could take in the majesty of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the rugged Pacific Coastline or the indomitable desert landscapes.  Man added the vast vineyards, engineering marvels of the Golden Gate Bridge or the stunning presence of the Giant Sequoia or Redwoods. 

Now, I’m in Houston, Texas.  Here everything is flat, very flat.  The highest point on the horizon is the Highway 99 overpass that carries traffic through our town of Katy.

Don’t despair.  For those who love scenery and quickly dismiss Houston for the lack of anything for an eye-feast, make sure that you look up a little higher.  That will give you a chance to take in the spectacular and give your visual memories of this special city something to always remember.

I left my house for work recently.  Our neighborhood is crowded with well-placed trees that give shade, texture and aroma to our home.  It’s not long before I’m on the highway that leads to the tollways.

While speeding along at posted speeds, my attention was ripped to the East.  I love sunrises.  But, that morning there was more to see.

A cumulonimbus cloud was coming into view as the light of the new day was dawning.  It was spectacular.  Rising high into the sky, defining its presence, this meteorological phenomenon was about to crowd the city of Houston and initiate a thunderous storm on our citizens.

The blue sky of the morning was the backdrop.  Giving the cloud depth was the rising sun, hidden partially by a low-lying cumulus cloud layer.  Every moment the shades of color and sparkle changed as the sun rose higher and the density of the precipitation in the cloud fought the rays from shining through.

This cumulonimbus kept billowing skyward, hitting an upper atmosphere layer and then flattening out and streaming Northwest.  Some the best scenery ever!

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography