Hot Air Balloon Launch

The local Chamber of Commerce sponsors a hot-air balloon weekend that always seems to attract terrible weather; we got to see one of the launches at a nearby park on a hot afternoon before the storms.

The crew cold-inflates the balloon with a roaring gasoline-powered blower:

Balloon - cold inflation
Balloon – cold inflation

Way over there on the left, almost out of sight, one of the ground crew tethers the top of the balloon:

Balloon - anchoring the top
Balloon – anchoring the top

When it’s mostly inflated, they fire the burners for the hot inflation:

Balloon - hot inflation
Balloon – hot inflation

And then the magic happens:

Balloon - liftoff
Balloon – liftoff

The Montgolfier Brothers would be proud:

Balloon - up and away
Balloon – up and away

These are all hand-held with the Canon SX230HS at looong telephoto, with a bit of cropping & tweaking. They’re the usual low-res blog pix, but the originals aren’t much less gritty… the camera you have is better than the camera you don’t: we were out and about on other errands.