From Valentino Pier, Red Hook, Brooklyn

by Mary Staub

Today, as is often the case, the sunset views from Valentino Pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn, were awesome; and, once again, the vastness of these views served as superb backdrop for some significant mental musings.r0

We really should have a word in English for Gschlirkwolke such as these, so regularly part of the Red Hook sky at dusk and somehow only adequately nameable in Swiss German.
‘Streak clouds’, as its literal English translation would have it, simply doesn’t do. We all know ‘schadenfreude’ and its supposed boon to the English language. But what about Gschlirkwolke? r1And speaking of our celestial shortcomings, what about Schoefliwolke? Again, ‘little sheep clouds’ just doesn’t seem appropriate. Yes, we do have ‘mammatus clouds’ (or mammatocumulus), derived from the Latin ‘mamma’ (as in breast) and perhaps, by extension, related to sheep. But Schoefliwolke says it so much better.

(And although the idea of Jesushimmel is probably not politically (not to mention religiously) correct, it, too, seems to lack an adequate English-language counterpart.)

(Who knew that Swiss German(s) had so much atmosphere?)

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