Friday, January 16, 2009

Sun Dogs

"Mom, why are there three suns today- two little suns and then the big one?" That was the topic of conversation that needed explanation as I was dropping off Princess Maren at "pretty school" (preschool) this morning. She had spotted the Sun Dogs who had come out to play with their Master Sun on this crispy, frigidly clear Iowa morning. If you haven't ever seen one, they are these little mini rainbows on either side of the sun- evenly spaced, sometimes connected by a perfect halo - a beautiful triptych illusion.

Naturally, I had to look it up on the Internet. Wikipedia had some fun explanations. Their scientific moniker is parhelia (singular), parhelion (plural). I have to say I have never seen just one Sun Dog (parhelia). They always seem to come in pairs here in Iowa. I find that comforting. I also find comfort in their rainbow colors - God's promise to us Iowans that surely winter WILL soon end.

Parhelion - they are the Sun's loyal companions. Sun's Best Friend(s). Go fetch us some warmer weather would you? Good Boy(s)!


Annie H. said...

Shannon- that is perfectly awesome. I am truly in awe... never knew of Sun dogs. Particularly interested because Ellie loves dogs (and nature in general) so much. Just showed the pics to her and she loved them. And I absolutely love your interpretation... promise that winter will end! Great way to look at it. Oh, and pretty school... that is TOO cute!!!

The B Keeper said...

Awesome photo ! We had caught a glimpse of some when we were in Iowa over Christmas. They weren't this brilliant. I showed the kids & they thought it was neat. Chloe had lots of questions about the dog part, but understood the master & his companions. Glad it wasn't too cold to go to "pretty school"... :-)