Today’s my day off for good behavior from the April A to Z Challenge, so I thought I’d look to The Daily Post for something fun to do. Sara Rosso asked for a photo that means “up” in Friday’s edition of the Weekly Photo Challenge, and I immediately knew which folder to visit in my photo archives.
My husband and I were driving home from a day trip in October 2011 when we spotted a whole army of hot air balloons rising up from the English countryside. We pulled into a roadside parking area directly in their flight path and waited as they floated nearer, the dragon’s roar of their burners clearly audible above the whoosh of passing cars. This was my first close-encounter with hot air balloons, and some of their antics conjured up all sorts of horrific accident scenarios, prompting me to pat my back pocket to ensure my cell phone was handy (not that I’m a nervous Nelly or anything). There were a few anxious moments as some balloons struggled to maintain altitude near the high-voltage power lines, but all safely crossed with a few feet to spare. More than one balloon was forced to land prematurely in sheep-strewn fields (intentionally? lack of a favorable wind? pilot error?), but luckily well back from the busy highway, and almost all were able to regroup and rise again to continue on their southward journeys. One balloon in the flotilla was poised to drift directly overhead, so I readied myself to capture the gaping mouth of the beast, feeling a bit like a rabbit analyzing the silent approach of a hawk.
The message in this shot screams “up” to me, from my craned-neck perspective of the underside of the basket, to the painted bird soaring across the envelope’s cobalt background, to the word “sky” lettered on the nylon skin. If I’m ever lucky enough to take a ride in one of these graceful giants, I’ll be sure to collect some photos for a companion post entitled “Down!”