Labor of Love

Photos by Jim Lockman/Click! copyright 2011

I woke up yesterday to a blanket of fresh fallen snow with plenty more to come. After spending the morning hearing the news broadcasts warning me not to venture out into the treacherous roadways, I called my granddaughter, Natalie, to announce we were on our way to her house for some lunch, snow cream and backyard sledding.

Our son-in-law wasn’t feeling well and our daughter was in the middle of a major bedroom cleaning project.

Our grandchildren were needing recreation. This is a job for Super MomMom and Super Poppie! “Here we come to save the day, that means that Super MomMom and Super Poppie are on their way!” (apologizes to Mighty Mouse)

When we arrived, Arden had prepared a wonderful soup and tasty panninis. After filling and warming our bodies, it was time for some serious sweetening. Poppie and Natalie bundled up , grabbed the biggest bowl we could find with two giant spoons, and proceeded to scoop the surface of the freshly fallen snow. It was a dry snow and would make great snow cream.

Back inside Poppie prepared the time tested recipe of milk, vanilla flavoring, sugar and snow. The only change would be the addition of almond milk for a portion of the milk requirement. (Love that stuff!)

After a couple of bowls of snow cream and feeling pretty proud of myself, we were ready to venture out into the wild backyard. We were all bundled up  (I had four pairs of socks!) and even little Nyla was ready to trek into the blizzard.

It was great fun sledding down the massive ten foot drop at the rear of our children’s property. You would have thought it was quite a long trip down with all the squeeling and excitement taking place.MomMom was a sport, taking the main job of entertaining both grandkids.  Since Poppie’s main job was to capture the event for posterity, I’ll let the photos do the talking. Even Nyla thought this was a great sport!

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“Look, up in the sky… it’s a bird… it’s a plane….. no, it’s a rainblob!”

Last Sunday afternoon, returning from a late Christmas dinner celebration with my family, I observed something I had never seen before. Looking out the window of the van, I spotted something that looked like a rainbow in color, but wasn’t the arched shape rainbow I have known throughout my life. It was a spherical shaped area of the sky, but had the colored aspects of a rainbow.

I immediately grabbed a few exposures with my camera and shared with my wife and family, “Look out the back window. It’s a ‘rain blob’.” This is the name I had come up with to describe this occurrance. I also called it the “Cowpens Aurora Borealis” in honor of the nearby community we were passing through.

My family was amused at my naming efforts, but I don’t think any of them had ever seen this strange phenomena.

After arriving back at my mother’s house, I was talking to my sister-in-law about the “blob.” She informed me that it was a “sun dog”.

This morning I downloaded my photos and googled “sun dog”.

I found a number of images, one of which closely resembled mine. The definition was facinating and I found a description on a website that solves mysteries, called WonderQuest.

A sundog is a rainbow-like spot in a cirrus cloud. Light shining through ice crystals in the cloud makes a sundog, much like light shining through raindrops makes a rainbow. “They are reddish on the side facing the sun and often have bluish-white tails stretching horizontally away from them,” say David Lynch and William Livingston in Color and Light in Nature.

Anyone else seen a rainblob besides me?