Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Whilst Doing The Chores

I went out Monday afternoon to take our old kitty cat Bonsai for a walk around the yard. He likes to sniff around and stare beyond the gate to the bird and squirrel drama out front. I took a glance up at the sky and saw this:
Ah, a beautifully formed circumzenithal arc (CZA) right over the backyard. I was so delighted to see it, I ran for the camera and took eighteen photographs as it faded. It was gone in literally five minutes. I was so glad that Bonsai wanted to go for a little walk.

About a half hour later, I went out front to toss the compost into the outside bin. I took another glance up and saw this:
Another CZA, just slightly southwest of where I had seen the first one. I ran inside to get Roger to come out and take a look. That's when we noticed that there was another arc.
I ran inside and called the neighbors and told them to go take a look. This is a beautiful atmospheric optic, a CZA with a supralateral arc. I ran back outside to take 22 more photos. It changed quickly.
And then disappeared.
Check out the post I did on Parry Arcs. It was almost exactly two years ago to the day, at exactly the same time of the day (2:57 pm), in that same part of the sky where there was another magnificent show.

PS: It has occurred to us that the sky has been doing these things all of our lives. How is that we didn't look up and see it for all these years?


  1. You sky posts encourage me to learn more than "sun dogs", "mare's tails", and "mackerel sky". The first picture here obviously is a psychedelic Cheshire cat grinning down at Bonsai.

  2. Just this afternoon I was looking at the sky to the east and south, wondering if I would see any rainbow phenomena. Didn't see any but loved seeing your
    circumzenithal arc this evening. I can see a big picture with you and Bonzai and the circumzenithal arc. As to your question, I wonder that about myself, too. How is it that I didn't see some things until now?

  3. Wow I've never seen the like of that before

  4. Good to know Bonsai is still enjoying walks. That is amazing that you saw so many, I have seen none and I do look up often.

  5. Very cool! I've never seen a rainbow like that.

  6. Nice catch, and nice shot.

    Keep looking up!

  7. Look down once in a while to see where you're going. Love the photos!

  8. Minnie-- I love the Cheshire cat perspective. I hadn't thought of that. Wonderful! Thank you for stopping by.

    am-- It's a big beautiful sky, and I'm glad we're both looking up. There are often such beautiful surprises.

    Bill-- I hadn't seen anything like it until we moved here to the Sierra foothills. Now, I've learned that they happen everywhere. You should see the sky posts from England at The Cloud Appreciation Society. Also check out Atmospheric Optics, another website from England. They both showcase images from around the world.

    Patti-- Bonsai is definitely slowing down. He has taken to yowling a bit during the day. Not sure if it's discomfort or dementia. We keep our eyes on that boy, and on the sky!

    Francine-- It's like a rainbow, except that it's not! Check out Atmospheric Optics for a look at what the sky can do.

    Mark-- Thank you! Glad you liked it.

    Dave-- You made me laugh. Thank you for that.

  9. Wow! I have to suspect that where you are living now, it is a place particularly prone to presenting these lovely phenomena.

    1. Actually, Kathy, she's now seeing them everywhere she goes!

  10. I have seen that (once) in Cambridgeshire, England, so they can occur elsewhere. At the time I was working on a farm so much more likely to see such things than I am these days. I was not aware that the phenomenon had a name until now.

  11. kathy a-- I think it's that these are such ephemeral things, and I run outside ALL THE TIME to take a look. That's why I was so happy to find the iridescent clouds at the beach last week. It happens everywhere!

    John-- It does take spending a good amount of time outside to see these things. If the cat didn't want to walk, and the kitchen compost didn't need tossing, I would have missed this very quick and beautiful show.

  12. Amazing with your neck you can actually look UP! I had never noticed this formations before you brought them to my attention. Good question, about spending our whole lives not paying attention.

  13. Tara-- I was lying on the ground when I took these photos. I absolutely couldn't take them standing up and tilting my head back like that. I'd pay for that with headaches and pain. So, I get leaves and pine needles in my hair, and great photos of the sky!