Horizontally oriented…

hexagonal plates.

DSC_8331No one undertakes research in physics with the intention of winning a prize. It is the joy of discovering something no one knew before.

Stephen Hawking

Or in this case, something that I did not know before.

This is an image from 4 years ago. It’s the one that began my study of halo and atmospheric phenomena.

I was driving home as the sun was beginning to go down and spotted what I thought was a patch of rainbow. I stopped to photograph it and wondered why I should be seeing it alongside the sun, about a hand span to the left of it, and not opposite to the sun where rainbows occur.

It would brighten then fade and I watched it until it disappeared altogether and the sun sank below the horizon.

I couldn’t wait to get home and research what I had seen. Little did I know at the time that this would launch in me a passion for clouds and the ice crystals that can be found in some of them.

This beautiful patch of color I discovered was created by horizontally oriented plate crystals drifting down through the sky.

This is the sundog, parhelia, or “mock sun”. Sometimes they are seen in pairs on either side of the sun and sometimes they appear along with that full circle, the 22 degree halo, around the sun.

Cirrus clouds, my most favorite cloud of all. Wispy and somewhat ethereal and chock full of ice crystals…

Photographing daily has made me more observant and at the same time more inquisitive. My camera isn’t just a tool for capturing an image. It’s the catalyst for my exploration of the natural world.

Where has your camera led you?

 

One thought on “Horizontally oriented…”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s