Monday, July 27, 2009

Further Revelations
The Heavens

Other weather-related phenomena would be on display, and I would see them on and off the bike. One late morning there were a trio of "sun dogs," a type of ice halo which forms amorphously with rainbow-like colors to the left or right of the sun, or above or below it, or even around it.

A sun dog is known scientifically as a parhelion - parhelia is the plural form of the word - which means "beside the sun."

Our group of kids, parents, and trip leaders spotted these sun dogs as we topped out on the summit of Pothole Dome, at the western end of Tuolumne Meadows. We made our way down the dome to a stretch of the Tuolumne River, where a series of spectacular cascades flow loudly along the northern base of Pothole Dome.

An added visual bonus was a collection of rock art we found not far from the beginning of the cascades. It made a nice counterpoint to one of the sun dogs.

Before too long, the clouds disappeared, and so did the parhelia, as the sky turned solidly blue under the indifferent gaze of a bright and warm sun.

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