The Clouds and The Smoking Dragon

???????????????????????????????       What does that look like?  My daughter,  Andrea  the sky reader   ??????????   would have been pointing out shapes and forms. She’s read clouds since she was a child, been a cloud ‘tattler’ for years.  And now as an adult, sometimes when outside together she’ll point to something in the sky and give it  some form of nephomancy, she’s a  diviner of cloud meaning.

And so I wondered what the clouds were whispering on Friday night as I stood below in awe. The sky has been such a draw lately. I find with the latest tropical storm that just passed, (aptly named after my daughter,) the days this week were filled with skies painted by Monet with a tinge of Ernst and dashed with both Paul and John Nash for fun and fantasy. A castnet of  massive frozen crystals reflective  against the drama of painted sky has been so appealing, I find myself looking at the clock, then walking to the back and forth judging whether the sunset will be one for my third eye. (my camera) to lavish upon.

Clouds seem very special in Florida, there’s a good amount of water vapor to inseminate a fertile pallet of white clouds and tinge them with pinks. peaches, blues purples, yellows too . It makes me happy, thrilled actually to see nature  so ‘tangy’,   even violent  in her generous overhead art displays.  During the day while sitting at my desk, I’ll notice the cloud formations and  it overtakes me, I find I must give up what I’m doing to take pictures –  a reprieve from sitting so long, it gets me out to enjoy  the dragonflies, turtles, birds and other flora and fauna.

Tonight  I was there because I had art to bring up to the “Smoking Dragon Hookah Lounge”  on First Street. Owners, Nadia and Shawn Walker have given their all in presenting a new lounge, a “sister lounge” as Nadia describes
it on the other wall of The Vine, a wine bar  ???????????????????????????????       which has been opened since last November.  When I arrived it was almost 6pm,  a few friends were there already as Nadia and Shawn and others ran around getting Friday night all set up for the weekend crowd. I brought pieces of art to change out for The Vine,  they really liked the one that is Signorelli inspired,  ??????????????????????????????? (I had fun with that, plan on doing more of these. )  If you recall in an earlier blog about the Walkers who in the recent past have been chicken farmers making their own sauces and selling organic eggs, they took over The Twisted Vine, formerly Gypsy’s Lair,  last November and now it is called The Vine. Since things were going well, that’s led to The Smoking Dragon Hookah Lounge which has wonderfully sculpted walls and now they have my work upon them, thank you Walkers! The do have a great crowd of supporters who come out for their nightly karaoke. They also have themed nights, Nadia is always thinking of ways to make her bar a fun environment.  The themed nights take place during the Pub Crawls the last Friday of each month. You can like them also on FB,

They also have Steve Patterson, who was showing off his singing and playing skills at the Wooded Keg next to the Smoking Dragon Lounge. Steve is back and forth between the two neighboring bars. Tuesday, June 18th will be Open Mic night at  The Vine, they have a super crowd of friends and people who come for a complete goodtime saturation that the Walkers always provide. Both Nadia and Shawn always have a smile and a warm welcome for all, go introduce yourself and look at the art, between artists Gena Semonov, Michael Stevenson and me, we have it covered literally — so go, have nice wine or pick a crafted beer, and enjoy the atmosphere – you’ll be back! I am so happy to have a place that appreciated ‘rock art’, I have two Marilyn Manson’s hung up, Madonna, even Tim Curry from the The Rocky Horror Picture show. Of course Iyla is on the wall with Dali, and with “The Sitter”, Herbie Hancock too, so stop in and feel like you’re 20 again! These are great folks trying to make a name for themselves in our little city of Sanford and with “The big trial” next week, I hope all Sanford merchants will be making a pile of money after the last time they were harangued by the media for nothing other than being in a city that had a notorious “stand your ground law” abuser!  That’s another story! Here’s a few bar looks.


When I finished hanging and talking, it was time for marina highlights, the sun still had 15 minutes till the Lake claimed the massive star’s body. Upon reaching Lake Monroe, it was almost empty! The breeze was perfect, the cloud anatomy perfect, the temperature perfect. It was a gorgeous night and only a few people were enjoying it. Though as the sun was getting ready to set, about 10 people came to worship at the sun’s altar — and only one fisherman. He stood near the seawall facing Wolfies. I sat on a bench just a few yards from him declaring I was so sad because I hadn’t seen one gator. I heard a big belly laugh and then he pointed, there it was, a most splendid gator bathed in a blue cast, It was more lumpy and bumpy than most and I bet about a 8-10 footer.  I also watched many mother ducks with their ducklings swimming nearby and thought how sad some will end up in the belly of that reptile.


And then of course, the finale, the parade of light: the augury  and umbra and color mixed and morphed, it was worthy of having stayed instead of going home to fish, (why don’t I ever bring a rod to the marina?)
Have a few views of the Sanford Florida sky, and you too be on the lookout, read the sky with abandon, make up stories under the clouds and share with your children and grandchildren, friends and family. Stretch the imagination,
encourage children to do so, nature and art will make them well rounded, will give gifts of beauty and peace and appreciation that are overlooked. Look around at the simple things you can enjoy that cost nothing.
There is so much on that boob tube to make life seem lousy, lose your head in the clouds as I do,  (and maybe too often…)

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????   You never know what will be in the sky, “look” up as Astronomer, Jack Horkheimer (RIP) used to say,  you might even notice a smoking dragon….???????????????????????????????


About A.j.

old enough to know better - self taught artist whose specialty is wildlife photography and art published writer - love fishing - love exhibiting member - Florida Museum For Women Artists - refined sugar addict

2 responses to “The Clouds and The Smoking Dragon

  1. Clouds, art, alligators…one of my favorite of your blog postings. The Florida skies are a wonder to behold. Thanks for capturing them in all their glory!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: