There Must Be Magic

By GirlWithACamera

Chasing Rainbows: The Magic of the Vernal Ponds

Well, folks. We've got a "best ever" event going on here. The news from the Barrens is that the second pond is covered in that silver-gray mist that the sunlight turns into pure magic. The name that I give to it is pollen rainbows, though I don't actually know what it is or how it is made. So there is some mystery to this magic.

I've been to the Barrens most days during the past few weeks, chasing newts, frogs, rainbows, turtles, and what-not. Spring is the best time in the Barrens: the ponds are all running high, the amphibs are chatty, and the first few little greenies that will turn into lady's slipper orchids are visible in all of the places where orchids usually grow.

But the story of this day was the pollen rainbows. They have not been on the first pond, nor the third pond, but the second pond is just chock full of them. I've been there on cloudy days and all they look is gray. On this morning, the sunlight was shining bright, and I knew where I was going: over to the Barrens to check out the pollen rainbows!

I arrived at the second pond, and I walked all around it. For I know, now, where I need to be. And as Ansel Adams would say, "A good photograph is knowing where to stand." Well, here's where you stand: you stand on the far shore, looking back up into the light, with the silver-gray mist between you and the light. The sunlight is what turns it into rainbows!

As soon as I saw the sun lighting up the pollen rainbows on this pond, I knew I was there for a "best of" sort of experience, so I let myself go wild snapping away on the camera. I took 122 photos of the rainbows, and here are just three of them to share with you.

The shot above shows the size and scope of the rainbows, covering the entire pond. The one extra photo gives you a better view of the rainbow color stripes, mixed with slim, dark tree shadows. And the final extra shows you what it looked like when I pointed the camera at the sun's reflection: rainbow spots extraordinaire!

What the photos don't show you is how it feels to see such a thing. I'll bet you can guess from my words that it was a sort of peak experience in the woods, almost a little trippy. If you have ever been there when the magic comes down, you know what I mean: it's like unexpected grace. Why is it sometimes so hard to put into words what is so delicious to the eyes?

I've got three pollen rainbow photos, so here are three songs to go with them. First, here is a song that is precious to me, and I'm betting the lady who sings it has saved more lives than she will ever know (and we remember with great love and sorrow the one who could not be saved): Kacey Musgraves, with Rainbow. Just perfection. And not just the singer and the piano player (viewer comment: "the Angel with a microphone singing and Jesus at the piano grooving"), but the set, the lighting, the outfit, the earrings, the whole darn thing. Second, I've got Steppenwolf, with Magic Carpet Ride. And third, here is Benson Boone, with Beautiful Things.

Let go of your umbrella
'Cause, darlin', I'm just trying to tell ya
That there's always been a rainbow hangin' over your head
Kacey Musgraves, Rainbow

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