Monday 25 June 2012: Sun Dog
There was a feeling today that summer was starting to stir from its slumber (the more cynical would say coma!), with sun early and late in the day, no rain, and temperatures that at least hinted that this is actually June! I had another long day at the office so I was actually glad that the best of the weather was to be caught this evening. The skies cleared, revealing beautiful wispy patterns of high cirrus.
Sun Dogs are not an unusual sight, but they are not that common either. The conditions tonight were perfect and they appeared a few times on my cycle home, which took me back via Otley, Timble, Blubberhouses, West End and Beamsley. As the ice crystals which compose these high level clouds sink through the atmosphere the hexagonally shaped plates become vertically aligned and refract the sunlight horizontally. The red colour is always nearest to the sun, then this grades to orange and then blue, although there is a degree of overlap so you don't get the same kind of precise delineation as you do with a rainbow. I find them very beautiful.
Thanks for the wonderful response to yesterday's Swaledale blip and almost blip. Your comments confirm why I was undecided. I'm glad you liked them both so much. I've got another fifty or so which could easily have been blipped on another day!
As soon as I posted this I found out that I am not the only one with an interest in Sun Dogs. This one, in the same patch of local sky, was just posted by Sgwarnog.