Summer night and Campfire

This weekend I was together with an old school friend on our annual "Campfire trip" to Bønnerup strand - a beautiful beach in the northern part of Djursland, not far from my home.

On Saturday the weather was hot and humid but late in the afternoon a few hours with thunder and rain changed the air. In the evening we made a camp-fire and grilled our food, the evening sky was very dramatic and for a few minutes we saw a rare phenomenon - a cloud formation called Mammatus cloud extending from the base of the mighty Cumulonimbus thundercloud. I was out all night sitting at the camp-fire watching the few stars in the Danish summer night but also saw the Noctilucent clouds. Early in the morning I made a few shots near the beach including the very photogenic flower Rose Bay Willow Herb.

Image 1
Strange clouds such as these are probably behind one of the most perplexing phenomena of modern times - the UFO sighting. They look like an expensive special effect from a horror movie, in fact, this picture shows a rare but perfectly natural (and perfectly harmless, provided you do not try to fly through it in light aircraft) meteorological phenomenon known as a Mammatus cloud. Named after the Latin for breast, Mammatus clouds are associated with the powerful storms which can occur in the summer, and are a sign of the massive quantities of water vapour that are held in the languid summer air. Mammatus lobes can form under several types of clouds but this particular spectacle appears to be associated with the Cumulonimbus thunderclouds. The exact forms are also governed by a complex interplay of wind, rising and falling air, and changes in humidity and density. But while most clouds have wispy edges, mammatus lobes, which are usually stable for only a few minutes-have unusually sharp and well-defined boundaries. (Wikipedia)

Image 2
Noctilucent clouds are a phenomenon that I like to photograph every summer. They are visible in a deep twilight and they are the highest clouds in the Earth's atmosphere, located in the mesosphere at altitudes of around 76 to 85 kilometers; the name means roughly "night shining" in Latin. (Wikipedia)

Image 3
Fireweed - (Rose Bay Willow Herb), Epilobium angustifolium is my favourite plant to photograph in the summer.

Image 4
What makes a good fire so magical? I mean there’s just nothing like it, they bring out the good spirits and this fire brought me a wonderful kind of peace and comfort out there in the Danish summer night.

Mammatus cloud, Bønnerup Strand, Denmark
(Nikon D700, Carl Zeiss ZF.2 100mm 2,0 T* Makro-Plarar, iso 200, handheld)

Noctilucent clouds, Bønnerup strand, Denmark
(Nikon D700, Nikkor AFS 16-35mm 4,0 VR ED, iso 200, tripod)

Fireweed - (Rose Bay Willow Herb), Epilobium angustifolium, Bønnerup strand, Denmark
(Nikon D700, Carl Zeiss ZF.2 100mm 2,0 T* Makro-Plarar, iso 200, tripod)

The campfire and me (Canon Powershot G10)

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