The faint iridescence you see in this cloud is called a sundog, which occurs when ice crystals shaped like hexagonal prisms refract sunlight. These ice crystals are contained in cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. Sundogs happen mostly when the sun is low (at sunrise or sunset). I took this photograph from my front yard a couple of hours before sunset. As sundogs go, this one is pretty run-of-the-mill, but there’s something to be said for the happy serendipity of looking up to see something like this while you’re engaged in an ordinary task like watering the flowers.
And speaking of serendipity, while Googling “sundog,” I was clicking around when I found a website that made me laugh out loud with delight. (Sometimes, for me, looking up something on the Internet is like looking up a word in the dictionary. You know how it is: you go to find out if “folio” has the same derivation as “foliage,” and before you know it, you’re lost in the “F’s.” Fogbow…Foehn….Foison…)
Anyway, my vote for one of the Best Sites I Found While Looking For Something Else goes to the The Cloud Appreciation Society, who fight valiantly “the banality of ‘blue-sky thinking.’” I’m generally not much of a joiner of clubs (mostly because I’m such an oddball, it’s hard to find a place where I fit in). But I’d like to wear the badge of The Cloud Appreciation Society, if they’ll have me. Check out their Manifesto and the Cloud Gallery. I hope to capture a cloud soon that might be worthy of their Gallery.
Thank you, Cloud Appreciation Society. I hereby pledge to “fight ‘blue-sky thinking.’” And to look up at the clouds every day and “marvel at their ephemeral beauty.”
Looking up from my front yard.
Looking up from my back yard.