Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Thomas Merton

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

3 in 30

Driving home from Guntersville this afternoon, we were treated to three different sundog sightings in just over thirty minutes. My apologies for the poor photo quality. Colors are washed out because of the brightness of the sun and the camera quality. Although sometimes I get pretty good photos with the cell phone, I didn't today.

No. 1, sighted about 1:50 p.m. when we were atop the hill near River Ridge Road at Gunter's Landing. The little bright spot is the parhelion (sundog). The colors don't show up in the photo. The bright sun to the left washed everything out.

No. 2 spotted about 2:05 p.m. on the highway between Grant and New Hope is a good example of what atmospheric phenomena are not. The bright spot in the center of the pink column is the parhelion; sun to the left out of the frame.The pink column and the tiny white spot above and to the left are photographic. Reflections in window of interior of vehicle are definitely not atmospheric phenomena. This sighting was neat because the entire cloud dissipated as the sundog faded with the movement of the sun.

No. 3 made about 2: 35 p.m. driving east on Weatherly Road. Despite the bright sun, you can see a little color in this photo. The horizontal rainbow line above the sun is photographic.

A shot of the cirrus clouds that often contain the hexagonal plate-shaped ice crystals that make sundogs possible.


  1. Nice sundogs and really nice one of the clouds in the bottom photo. It almost looks like steam rising, very pretty.
    Smile today. :)

  2. Nice photos and explanations! Thanks!

    I would ask, what is this Sun thing?

    We live in the Pacific Northwest and it is sort of an old wive's tale and a story passed down from elders.

  3. lovely photos. Rabbits' Guy's comment made me smile...

  4. Ah, RG, such a heavy question. The Sun is described by some as the flaming chariot driven by the Titan, Helios, across the heavens each day and drawn by fiery steeds. There are many more great explanations of this Sun thing. This is the one I preferred as a child when I was horse crazy. Rest assured it is much more than an old wives' tale, but up in your neck of the woods, it might as well be.

  5. I was at North Marshall Hospital with my mom Tuesday Bunnits! She's fine, had a kidney stone!! I did see a beautiful sun pillar early that morning as I was driving to get her. But no picture as it was an emergency!
    I also got to drive home Wednesday after taking her home and Grant Mountain was pretty much a block of ice. It was the worst drive of my life, and I lived 15 miles from Canada for more than 25 years!!! Just glad I made it home! And my mom was fine!

  6. Oh, Eve, I know kidney stones all too well. Hope you mom is feeling better. Also glad you made it through the ice.

    Neat that you saw a sun pillar. I saw one on the way to Guntersville late one afternoon back in the summer, but didn't get to get a photo.

  7. I showed a 70-year-old woman her first sundog a couple of weeks ago. it made me sad to think of all the celestial phenomena she had missed over her lifetime.

  8. wow!! so very cool!!!!

    i AM smiling.... :))