It has certainly taken me long enough to post this. It has been months since my successful flight in a hot air balloon, but I have been dragging my feet in sorting through the pictures. Anyway, I wanted to give you guys some beautiful shots before I take an internet break (for those of you who talk to me through e-mail, I will still check it. I just may be slow in replying).
Every time I say I am going to take a hiatus, people seem to worry, so in advance, let me assure you that everything is fine. The coming month is going to be a busy one, and I need time to read, write, and do odds and ends around the house and with my family. I will probably be gone a month, maybe two.
When I come back, I promise to post pictures of more masks including the ones I am currently working on.
On to ballooning!
For those who missed out on the first failed ballooning attempt, there are details here. We had one more failed attempt (making, I think, three for my dear friend) but finally, luck was with us! The basket was very large, made to hold at least eight normal-sized people.
Here is the balloon which was called, if I remember rightly, Spirit of Africa. The first stage of inflation is done with a fan.
Once the fan has blown up the balloon enough to where the flames won’t burn it, the spurting fire thing is used.
I found the colors quite beautiful.
My fear of heights made takeoff a bit nerve-wracking. There was someone on board with a worse fear of heights than I have, though, and that helped calm me down.
Once I was over how high we were, I found the flight soothing and I enjoyed the patterns I began to see below. Balloon flight is very smooth.
This is some of the countryside relatively near where I live. There are some farms left, though not many, some large estates owned by people whose wealth is beyond my comprehension, some forest, and encroaching subdivisions.
On the whole, it is pretty, though it makes me a little sad to see how it is changing.
One of the real farms! Those red-ant things are cattle. We flew over horses and deer (who really did not like the roar of the balloon’s blowtorch thingy) and a blue heron in flight, but my shots of them did not come out well.
Looking up into the balloon!
And my best shot of that lovely flame. It is loud, and close, but really beautiful. I would not recommend a balloon flight in hot weather, though. It was cold when we flew, and that was the only reason I could bear the heat above me.
We had some beautiful clouds that day.
Every time we went over water, we saw the balloon’s reflection.
Even with the blur, I find this shot lovely.
Sycamores are as dramatic from above as below.
I think the trees below look almost like moss and lichen. Beautiful.
Even the horrible subdivisions with their monster houses and boring yards look nice from this height. Great patterns. Notice the interrupted sidewalk.
The skyline, of course, was gorgeous. All those tree-covered hills fading in the distance to meet the sky, and echoed from above by the clouds.
And so, in failing light, we landed. We landed in enemy territory (people who are hostile to balloons) out of necessity, but fortunately no one was home. The team and our pilot broke down the balloon quickly, and we called it a night.
I am very glad my friend gave me the opportunity to do this. I hope you enjoy the pictures!
Farewell for now. I’ll be back soon.