A Fire Rainbow Evening

Apparently fire rainbows  (fancy name circumhorizontal arc or lower symmetric 46 degree plate arc) are rarely seen, which is a pity because this natural phenomenon is incredibly beautiful, almost ethereal.

Two main things have to happen for a fire rainbow to occur. The sun has to reach at least 58 degrees in the sky and cirrus clouds have to be present. In addition, fire rainbows only occur between 55 degrees N and 55 degrees S, so if you live above or below those latitudes you would have to travel to see one.

Cirrus clouds are fine, feathery clouds that occur at high altitudes where it is very cold. So cold that these clouds are actually made of ice crystals. These ice crystals act as prisms and when sunlight shines through them the light is refracted (or bent) and rainbows are formed in the clouds.

This afternoon the sun reached the perfect height, there were plenty of clouds and I was in just the right place to witness one of Nature’s miracles.





As a bonus I’m including this remarkable photo that Piet took on New Years Eve a few years ago.




This Land: Namibia

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge for this week asks us to find a theme in the second and third verses of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”.

In 1999 my family and I went on a camping trip to Namibia. Three weeks and seven thousand kilometers later I was convinced that country is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and I’ve selected a few of the pictures I took for my contribution.

NOTE: These are scanned copies of photos I took with my ancient Canon A1, before I owned a digital camera (had they even been invented then?). Unfortunately the quality is not great (and I am completely clueless when it comes to picture enhancing programs like Photoshop) but hopefully you will get an idea of the grandeur and beauty from the few I have chosen for this post.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway

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I saw above me that endless skyway

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I saw below me that golden valley

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This land was made for you and me

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I’ve roamed and I’ve rambled and I followed my footsteps

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To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts

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And all around me a voice was sounding

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This land was made for you and me

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Photo a Week Challenge: Flare!

I love taking pictures of sunsets.  Every evening here is breathtaking and I have hundreds (possibly thousands?) of sunset pictures filed away in my not-so-organised filing system. So when I saw this week’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Flare I knew I would be able find something suitable. The problem was choosing just one photo!

I took this photo of a flock of African Open-billed Storks (Anastomus lamelligerous) a few years ago, while bobbing about in a boat on the Zambezi River – just above the Victoria Falls.

African Open-billed Storks

African Open-billed Storks