Monday, September 3, 2012

5 days of hot balloons and a wizard sighting

It's a Beautiful Morning!  The kind that makes you think you can see heaven in the sky.
When I arrived at the airport, all was calm and quiet at 6:10am.  I planned to shoot each morning of the 5 day event so I could get the different light levels available each day. I found a spot in the field where the rising sun would be at my back, sipped my coffee, prepared my camera and threw some fetches for the semi-awake P. Dog. This became our routine each day.

The volunteers were scurrying around looking for their assigned areas as the trucks arrived.  The trucks were lined with lights like christmas trees and drove slowly around the dark field looking for a perfect spot.  A weather balloon was launched to locate where the wind would blow the big ones that day.  All morning tests were completed as the bystanders waited for the action to begin.

Rolling out the balloon.  It came out of a large sack, just like a rolled up mylar sleeping bag.

The volunteers, or balloon crew, helped hold up the edges of the balloon so the fans could blow air inside after the attachment was made to the basket.
I don't know him.  I didn't talk to him, but I had a special name for him, "The Wizard of Balloon." If you didn't look close, you would not see him.. He was often hidden behind a curtain of people, reminding me of The Wizard of Oz. The Wizard manned the final propane blasts after the initial fan blowing. This would soon raise the balloon to a standing position.
 He was probably the pilot for this balloon,
but I'm not positive. 
I was satisfied thinking of him as The Wizard; not knowing the details.
 Imagination is a gamble.  If left unsolved, it may sometimes be better than reality.
Otherwise, he might say, "Go away and come back tomorrow! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"
"The Wizard of Balloon"

               And of course, the flames in darkness are irresistible and a powerful show off tool.

And a necessary lift-off tool.

So, would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon?
                                     A special viewing of the "Blue Moon" and of the mountains.

For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away
My beautiful, my beautiful balloon
***Love is waiting there in my beautiful balloon
Way up in the air in my beautiful balloon
If you'll hold my hand we'll chase your dream across the sky
For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away
My beautiful, my beautiful balloon
Up, up, and away.....

 - The Fifth Dimension

And as P. and I walked home picking blackberries to share, we watched one float away over the wheat field..

To be continued...

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