Saturday, November 10, 2007

One, Two, Many Suns

Dedicated to my dotter, entering her first winter in Alaska -- may these suns brighten her days!

Suns are an extra popular folk and/or kitsch item here in the Southwest. I kinda like them...

...especially those plaster suns one sees in Mexican restaurants. I recall one year dotter requested such a sun for Christmas; her dad and I spent an entire day seeking one, in vain. No doubt I would find many now.

The other suns were hardware store items; at least they didn't have a phony smile pasted on. They look more like the suns one might find on an old map, blowing a wind. I like that.

Of course, you need the real thing to get a proper halo (or part thereof). Not to mention high clouds full of ice crystals that refract the light rays. I should think that the dotter would see many halos around her Arctic winter sun.

Sun dogs are a fairly common occurence here in the Arizona mountains. A visit to The Google turned up this description, at the points on the 22° halo which are on a horizontal line with the sun, the arc commonly broadens to two bright spots, reputedly referred to by artic people as the sun's dogs. The refracted light at these points is so much more intense than the remainder of the 22° halo that they are often seen when the remainder of the arc is not. The parhelia often show rainbow colors from the dispersion in the ice crystals. All the citations talked about the Arctic or Russia or northern Europe -- nothing about the Southwest or its aborigines and their lore, tho the term sun dog is very common out here. F'rinstance, we have some of our city works at Sun Dog Ranch. Curious.

9 comments:

3\\\ said...

How'd you know it was a Very Gray Day here today? Thank you for the suns.

I like those hardware store suns...

OmegaMom said...

Um. Sorry about that! I hit the absolutely wrong keys, and thought I was backspacing, but I hit enter instead. Signed, OmegaMom (just in case I do it again!)

Avus said...

Delightful and interesting post, Granny - I too love such "sun" depictions.

Lucy said...

What a sunny post in general!

smilnsigh said...

Her Alaskan adventure should be quite the interesting time. Hope she likes it, all through.

Mari-Nanci

Granny J said...

3\\\ -- what have you done with my dotter???

dotter -- I see you escaped the 3\\\ monster! As for the gray day, I gathered that I could take that for granted! Hence the suns.

avus -- may our suns shine on you, as well.

Lucy -- and you, as well.

SnS -- I'm looking forward to a visit from the adventurers next month. Already, there's been a moose in the yard.

meggie said...

Those sun dogs are fascinating. I had never seen one, until Joyce posted on on her blog, which she had photographed.
The suns are fun.

quilteddogs said...

I witnessed my first sun dog a few Saturdays ago. Coincidentally enough, there was an article in the paper the following Monday about this sun dog which is how I find out the name of them. And now, you have even more information on them.

Granny J said...

Meggie -- now you have to look for a sun dog down in NSW! Surely they have them down under.

QD -- I don't recall seeing the phenomenon in Chicago, but was certainly struck by their appearance out here in AZ. I sort of guessed that the term sun dog (which I had heard) meant those bright spots...

 
Photo Blog Blog Top Sites Blog Directory for Prescott, AZ

Local Blogs - Blog Top Sites