Maria Mudd Ruth - A Sideways Look at Clouds

Author Maria Mudd Ruth fell in love with clouds the same way she stumbles into most passions: madly and unexpectedly. A Sideways Look at Clouds is the story of her quite accidental infatuation with and education about the clouds above.

When she moved to the soggy Northwest, Ruth assumed that locals would know everything there was to know about clouds, in the same way they know about salmon, tides, and the Seahawks. Yet in her first two years of living in Washington she never heard anyone talk about clouds. Puzzled by this lack of cloud savvy, she decided to survey folks she knew—men and women, new friends, family on the East Coast, outdoorsy and indoorsy types, professional scientists, and liberal arts majors like herself. 

The results showed that, while people knew a little bit about clouds, most were like her: they had a hard time identifying clouds or remembering their names; as adults, life had largely sidetracked their sky-gazing time.

A captivating storyteller, Ruth blends science, wonder, and humor to take the scenic route through the clouds and encourages readers to chart their own rambling, idiosyncratic course.

A Washington, D.C. native, Maria Mudd Ruth has been researching, watching, photographing, and blogging about clouds for many years. She is the author of more than a dozen books on natural history topics, including Rare Bird: Pursuing the Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet and now lives in Olympia, Washington, with her husband and sons. Visit her website at

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A Sideways Look at Clouds Cover Image
ISBN: 9781680511185
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mountaineers Books - September 30th, 2017