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April 14, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Not crazy, this rainbow quilting

Rainbow rising over Atacama base camp for ALMA Observatory. (ESO:A. Silber/

Not a sci-fi movie set. Rainbow rising over Atacama base camp for ALMA Observatory.(ESO/A.Silber/

Such a jumble of disjointed rainbow segments that afternoon. Like a child’s Chutes and Ladders game board. Mischievous arcs giggling and darting: momentarily here, then, over there. A pale one shyly stretched from horizon to 10 o’clock. Between snowy puffs, mini rainbows sorted themselves in the bright blue sky – as if finding their assigned seats in a piece-worked quilt.

Strikingly intense, one vivid ribbon jolted almost vertical like a striped trouser’s left leg.

“It’s for you, babe. This sky show is yours.”

I memorized it all as fast as possible and shooed the images west.

If they could make it to the pass, surely the Rockies would speed them onward. 

Despite the bright sun, a few rain drops toyed with us.

Not surprised. Into every life…

White clouds in blue sky. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Doesn’t look like rainbow weather. Were they waiting in the wings?©

Rainbows are show stoppers.

They are really round, you know.

The complete view limited by the horizon, so people only see half – unless you’re in  a plane. Each end of a rainbow’s arc is less visible since there’s usually fewer rain drops near the ground to dance with the light.

NASA features a full circle rainbow near Perth, Australia here.

Just like human twins, double rainbows can be either identical or different in appearance.

Double rainbows are two separate concentric arches hand in hand across the sky. Like with people, one of the twins is often a paler image of the other. The secondary rainbow’s color sequence is the reverse of the brighter one.

A true twinned rainbows start out as one at the base then split into two running independently across the sky. Both of these rainbow twins have their colors streaking in the same order.

Even rare triplet rainbows are possible. (One from Japan in 2012 here.). There are many other rainbow variations, too: reflected rainbows, reflection rainbows, stacker rainbows, monochrome rainbows, even rainbows dancing with fog or moonlight.

Quite a colorful crowd. (Read more here)

White clouds' ready for their close-up. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

A few rain drops, then wait for it, wait for it – and suddenly…see the next picture.©

That afternoon’s intriguing sky show could have been Mother Nature’s thanks.

Those with fur, fins, or feathers from coastal wetlands to mountains high may have felt a small ripple and wondered. Winds dutifully slipping through aspen branches to tell.

The message came shortly.

Our crowd is one less. We’ve lost our environmental warrior princess, our smiling yoga guide. Seen off by cat, dogs, and family at home.

A life lived well. A world left better. Wonder embraced.

Rainbows to dance you on, baby.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

rainbow by bridge. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Although busy sending the sightings winging their way west, I did manage one to hold onto. This was the briefest flash of a rainbow you can imagine. Just as my cousin’s kid: gone too soon. ©






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