Who Let the Dog Out?
A sundog. It's a meteorological phenomenon, to do with clouds and specific angles of the reflected sun. But that's not what it IS. Which is a ball of white fire in the clouds, right across from the sun and so bright you can hardly look directly at it: radiant, silver, glowing. For a moment there, I actually thought the Earth had acquired a second sun. Which would have been so cool.
I've seen something like it before: on a winter flight to Toronto some years back, to do a TV show, I looked out the window and saw the plane shadow below in a glory, a round rainbow with the same kind of sundog light. Sometimes this is called the specter of the Brocken, after a German mountain where it was first noticed: a giant shadow on clouds far below, in a blazing rainbow. Fantastic. Watched it all the way across New York State.
You don't get this kind of thing much in an urban environment. And if you do, you're not always outside in a position to see it. Though I have seen the most spectacular double rainbow ever, arching over the towers of midtown on a thunderstormy afternoon against a dramatic backdrop of retreating black clouds, once, long ago. And some others in Mount Desert Island, Maine and Hana, Maui that were almost as good.
But I'd never seen a proper sundog. And now I have. So I watched till it was gone, then went to the gym, where a personal trainer knocked the stuffing out of me with power yoga, and went home to eat shu mai, Chinese shrimp dumplings, which I felt I richly deserved.
Sundogs and dumplings. Altogether a fine, FINE day.