Posted in Air, Earth, Eastern Shore, Fire, Gifts, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photo Challenge/Assignment, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Winter, Wonder


First look
One sun dog

Sun dog, the phenomena of false suns which sometimes attend or dog the true when seen through a mist (parhelions).  In Norfolk, a ‘sun-dog’ is a light spot near the sun, and ‘water-dogs’ are light watery clouds; ‘dog’ here is no doubt the same word as ‘dag,’ dew or mist, as “a little ‘dag’ of rain.”  In Cornwall, the fragment of a rainbow formed on a rain-cloud just above the horizon is called a ‘weather-dog.’

~ Abram Smythe Palmer, Folk-etymology: A Dictionary of Verbal Corruptions or Words Perverted in Form or Meaning, 1882

The other sun dog
The other sun dog

While I was outside yesterday trying to hunt down the next clue for Karma’s photo hunt, I took a moment to look up for a moment.  I spotted a sun dog off to the west.  I found the second sun dog (because they always hunt in pairs), and then backed up my view enough to realize that I could see the halo with it.

I have never seen this before except in photos taken by others.
I have never seen this before except in photos taken by others.

I ran out to the dock to get an unobstructed view, hoping it wouldn’t disappear before I got there.  I needn’t have worried.  It hung in there until sunset (almost two hours later) when the sun dogs dropped below the horizon with the sun.

Watching from the dock
Watching from the dock.

This was my first viewing of sun dogs with a halo.  I’ve seen other photos of the phenomena, but have never witnessed myself until yesterday.  There’s more…


A double halo!  There were four sun dogs hunting in the sky instead of the usual two.  How cool is that?

Eventually the outer halo vanished, and the sun dogs followed the sun down to the tree line.

February 2014K 064a
You can barely see the halo.
Almost sunset
Almost sunset

The sun, not to be outdone by its canine companions, put on an additional show just before slipping away for the night.

Back Creek reflections at sunset
Back Creek reflections at sunset

As for the next clue in my word, I’ve had a little trouble in that regard.  I had no idea vowels would be so difficult, especially this particular vowel.  I even looked at lists of nouns that start with this letter, and it was no help at all.  I thought about going obscure, but as I mentioned yesterday, the creative side of my brain is sleeping right now and refuses to help.  So, without further ado, the next clue in one shot:

Too easy
Too easy

So there you have it.  The first two letters.  I’m sure that one was easy enough, but just for fun, here’s another because it dawned on me this also starts with the second letter of my word.

These flowers bloom in the fall.  In the Bogs, we had pink, purple, and white varieties.  Here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, they were all white.  They also start with the letter you're looking for today.
These flowers bloom in the fall. In the Bogs, we had pink, purple, and white varieties. Here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, they were all white. They also start with the letter you’re looking for today.

Thank you for visiting on this gorgeous day.  The sun dogs are often a sign of rain or snow to come, and they predicted well yesterday.  Around 2:30 in the morning something woke me, and I got up to look outside.  I never figured out what it was that woke me, but did get to see a lovely covering of snow.  It was more than a dusting.  I can’t tell you how much more because by the time we woke up this morning, the temperature had climbed into the 40’s and most of the snow had already melted.  The clouds cleared, the sky turned an amazing shade of blue, and it’s been sunny most of the day.

I hope your Tuesday has been filled with warmth and sunshine, and a little something wonderful.

Night is falling
Night is falling

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂



Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

38 thoughts on “Parhelion

    1. Thank you, Kathy M. 🙂 Sometimes they are hard to spot. Polarizing sunglasses help. But other times, they look like little blobs of vivid rainbow on either side of the sun.


  1. Such a glorious phenomenon, I have not heard of it at all until recently (in your blog?) … I wonder if it happens here too??? Your photos are fabulous Robin, as usual, I love how you have showed us the halos and the little ‘dogs’ and thank goodness you included that lovely explanation at the start … wishing you a wonderful day too 🙂


  2. Overwhelming Robin, if ever we feel down and wonder what’s the point of anything, well, that’d do it for me, heavenly light to brighten anyones outlook. Such glorious photo’s capturing pure magic, and you being able to see it all first hand (or eye , I should say) F ..a.. ntastic!! simply put, made my eyes fill in emotive response. xPenx


    1. Thank you, Pen, for your wonderful comment. It was just what I needed to read this morning. I’m feeling a little down and overwhelmed. I need to go outside and have a look. There’s bound to be something to lift my spirits. 🙂


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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