Black crowned night heron © Robert Sommers 2023

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Astronomers Monument, Griffith Park Observatory

Ken and I attended a meeting of our photographer's group, Clickers and Flickers, in Burbank last night.

We always try to find a cool photographic diversion to capture before our monthly meeting.

Yesterday we drove to Griffith Park. I had permission to photograph the carousel from the owner but the results were not so satisfactory and I will have to work on them.

Afterwards we wandered over to the Autry Museum to see the incredible new photography show f/64 and finally ambled up to the Griffith Observatory.

I haven't even gone through the shots yet but wanted to post one or two.

This obelisk is called the Astronomers Monument. Designed for the PWAP, the local Works Progress Administration, by Los Angeles artist Archibald Garner, it was executed by he and five fellow artists Roger Noble Burnham, George Stanley, Gordon Newell, Djey el Djey, Arnold Foerster and completed in 1934.

It depicts six famous astronomers, Hipparchus, Copernicus, Galileo, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, and John Herschel.

What was doubly wonderful yesterday was the splendid atmosphere.

Ken, a pilot and native Kansan, explained that what I was viewing was a rare (in these parts) cloud formation called Cumulus Mammatus.

He said that these formations are much more common occurrences in the midwest.

The latin term refers to mammary for the round cloud shapes or pockets which are said to resemble breasts or udders.

Cumulus Mammatus is said to occur when ice crystals fall and turn into water vapor, which cools the surrounding air. Very beautiful phenomenom.

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