Saturday, August 29, 2009

Colorful Sport - Balloons in the Sky

This morning at 6:00AM I got over to the field where the hot air balloons were scheduled to take off around 6:30.

When I got to the field the small trailers were starting to pull up ...

... and most of them had their own logos on the back or side...

... inside they all carried the basket, envelope and hot air units.

The first thing everyone did was get their crew together and many were volunteers.

with the basket on it's side they then unpacked the balloon (envelope) and ...

... tested the burners.

When everything was correctly attached they started up fans to begin the inflation process.

This part of the preparation is done to fill the balloon with enough air ...

not to fly but ...

... to open the inlet ring so when the burner starts to pump in the hot air it doesn't burn the balloon.

Once the burner is started the balloon starts to rise into the air while the basket is held down and eventually rights itself.

This isn't a precision drill team thing so some are ready before others.

Then the event formally started when this balloon hoisted the flag for the national anthem.

More and more balloons began filling as the spectators walked around amazed to be this close to the giants.

They are huge balloons and hold enough cubic feet of space to challenge most homes for size and beat most.

Soon the entire field was awash with color and the sounds of burners whooshing away.

I got directly under this balloon as it was taking off...

It was like watching huge creatures waking up from a deep sleep.

I liked the Noah's Ark balloon and it was the most unusual of them all.

Truth be told they were all beautiful and all together they were breathtaking.

This balloon was named "Crossfire."

I don't know the name but this had to be a California Happy Face with shades.

Here is the "Crossfire" getting ready to lift off.

I liked the unusual pattern on this balloon reminded me of Sherwin Williams paint drips.

Up goes happy face breaking out of the crowd.

I cannot tell you the excitement in the crowd and for me a special event I've always wanted to see after visits to Albuquerque and seeing posters of the Hot Air show there.

Well there goes "Noah's Ark" into the wild blue yonder.

And here is another trio of Balloons sailing away.

There were at least thirty and probably more as the sky began to fill with color.

I wondered if the balloon with the star was from Texas, my home state.

It did have Dallas Cowboy colors so I bet it was a Texas craft.

I loved seeing the flames ignite but it was hard to know when to shoot a picture to see them full force.

Well they were great so here are a few of individual...

... balloons...

... as the slowly lifted...

... into the air...

...above Albany.

The last few were ready and off they all went, headed south.

Despite a light fog I was happy with the shots I got...

... and Sharyn enjoyed the sight of the colorful behemoths.

One of the last Balloons was 7th Heaven and it wins my award for the coolest name.

Walking back I shot this of a plane that was giving free rides during the event that also included an antique car show and exhibit of old airplanes.

Finally back at the Musemobile we watched them disappear into the fog.

I thought that would be all for Albany and the Hot Air Balloon Festival but then...
... at about 10:00PM we had fireworks. I wasn't prepared with a tripod but I managed to get a few pictures of the twenty minute display.

They were loud and not as big a show as 4th of July but it was a perfect end of a very nice weekend trip.

Sharyn finally suggested I come in and take pictures from the bedroom window and it gave me a steady ledge to hold the camera and a much cleared shot.

It was a good show and Albany should be very proud of a great weekend event.

It makes me think about the hardships our country has overcome by working together to make everyone's life a bit better, happier and give us the sense of looking up to the color that fills our sky in the Balloons, Airplanes that were giving free rides and the fireworks. Now if we can get a good health care reform bill we can begin anew on employment and education. I think the comeback has started.

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 334 - The Contender 304

Quote of the Day ~
"Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome." ~ Samuel Johnson quotes (English Poet, Critic and Writer. 1709-1784)

1 comment:

Parapluie said...

Wow, I live in town here in Albany. I even demonstrated watercolor accordion books at the Art and Air faire but I didn't go early enough and missed the balloons. There are some wonderful new ones this year.


©Paul Viel