5 September 2015

Contrails

Contrail is a nice word. It describes the vapour trail that a jet leaves behind in the sky. In many parts of England you see contrails all the time. Usually they are created by military aircraft but of course there are many hundreds of private jets these days and in this area, high above,  we see air traffic moving to or from our northern airports.

Last evening I was up on Stanage Edge again, hoping for a spectacular sunset that never came. Summer is definitely receding as the length of night-time in this hemisphere increases and the sun sets marginally earlier each day. Up in the sky, old contrails were fading away as sharp new ones were being described like chalk lines slashed across a celestial blackboard.
Poetically speaking, you might say that human beings leave  contrails too as we travel through life but as time passes by the trails of our passing presence tend to blur and fade away. However, some contrails stick around for ages, still sharp - William Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad, Henry Ford... and who knows, perhaps little Aylan Kurdi's line across our troubled heavens will stay bright and clear for a long time yet.

19 comments:

  1. Oh, so they are called contrails ? We noticed they were a feature of Summer skies in England when we were there. We don't see them here very often. Don't know whether it's because we have less traffic or just less high flying traffic .
    Loved the analogy to people. Clever !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps there is some connection with air temperature and humidity. People tend to leave powerful contrails after eating vegetables and pulses!

      Delete
  2. Well-captured, Yorkie. I won't be leaving any contrails behind when I leave. When I depart, fade away over the distant horizon, that will be that...gone and forgotten, with no trail to prove that I was ever here.

    I hope that dear little soul Aylan, the poor innocent little boy, leaves his mark not only in the sky but forever in our hearts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your humility belies you Lee! As RWP (Mr Brague) suggests below, your blogging already guarantees that your contrail will endure. And this is to say nothing of the friends and colleagues you have connected with in your life.

      Delete
  3. YP, even this interesting phenomenon has been turned into a subject of controversy here in the U.S. My elderly aunt and her friends from the backwoods believe that Obama uses contrails in a nefarious scheme to spray us all with stupid juice. I'm not sure if they think he's then going to turn everyone into Muslims, or just put them in a stupor to take their guns. It's hard to discount their theory about the stupid juice, though, they are proof it's working.

    I love contrails, it's fun to imagine all the people on a plane and wonder where their adventures are taking them. In the good old days, before flying became torture, I used to wish I was on the plane with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These conspiracy theories! How come it is only dumb people who believe in them?

      Delete
    2. They weren't dumb to start with, silly. They became that way only after being sprayed with stupid juice by Obama.

      Delete
  4. Lee will most certainly leave a trail -- in her own blogposts and in her comments on the blogs of others.

    Regarding Obama spraying us all with stupid juice from contrails or the jet planes that make them, I like it! However, this is one of the few times I cannot say, "Stranger things have happened."

    YP, have you ever written a blogpost with more than a single word title? And why did you decide to use and persist in this technique? Inquiring minds want to know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that Lee is already leaving a lasting contrail through her blogged life story which is so readable and well-written.

      As for the question at the end Bob. No one has ever asked that before. Trust you! When I started this blogging journey, for some obscure reason I thought i would see if I could meet the challenge of only having one word titles for my blogposts. I have stuck to that system for ten years and every blogpost I have made has a one word title.

      Delete
    2. Good heavens, I've never even noticed that !

      Delete
  5. I like contrails also. We see lots of them this high up with nothing to block the sky buy pine and fir trees. Your metaphor is beautiful and thought-provoking, Mr. Pudding.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful photo, and a very nice post.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I too like your metaphor. But I have to say I prefer my skies clear, bright and sun- or star-filled.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Apropos of nothing, I thought you'd like this: part of a discussion about gravestone writings...

    'My favourite gravestone typo series is that of the Yorkshireman who chose for his aunt’s headstone the epitaph: “She was thine.” Finding that it had been carved “She was thin”, he complained to the stonemason: “You’ve missed out the ‘e’.” On his return, he found that the alteration had been duly made: “E, she was thin.” '

    ReplyDelete
  9. In my time in NZ I saw only a couple of contrails and they became objects of speculation. Intercontinental jets (i.e. the ones that fly over 28,000' where most visible contrails appear) rarely fly over NZ. They fly to and from but rarely over because NZ isn't on any routes between places.

    ReplyDelete
  10. There are folks in Germany (mainly in Berlin, which seems to be a magnet for all sorts of crazy people more than anywhere else in this country) who believe in contrails being similarly dangerous as Jan Blawat's elderly aunt and her friends. They demonstrate against this in front of the Reichstag building frequently, and I've seen journalists trying to talk to these people in a reasonable way (no success).

    As for your one-word post headlines, I've noticed that a long time ago and always liked it; it is something particular about your blog and suits it well.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I want to thnx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog post. I am hoping the same high-grade blogpost from you in the upcoming as well. Intellux In fact your creative writing skill has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a good example of it.http://www.supplements4help.com/intellux/

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.