Thursday, March 26, 2015

Glory and dusk

Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in Heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
- excerpt from The Cloud, Percy Shelley

We've all heard the saying, "Every cloud has a silver lining". BUT, I recently found out that some clouds, not all, have glorious rainbows too!

As I flew back home to snowy Minnesota, still adrenaline-filled from the thought-provoking sessions from the conference in Denver, I found myself not working, not sleepy, and not reading on the airplane. That in itself is rare, but even moreso is the phenomenon I caught on my handy-dandy iPhone: a rare rainbow halo from the clouds.
Apparently, this is called a Glory - a majestic, yet elusive optical phenomenon! It is a rainbow of concentric rings (or halo), which forms on a cloud of water droplets around the shadow of an object (our airplane). This article had an even better picture with the plane's shadow. Since there was a snow/rain storm from Denver to the midwest, I was treated to this great view.  While I was at it, I also took pictures of dusk as the plane started its descent.

Dusk from above

In the misty clouds

Dusk from below
Amazing what you see, when you actually look!

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.
 - excerpt from The Cloud, Percy Shelley, 1792-1822


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