A rare event

We were sitting outside having lunch yesterday when we noticed beautiful colours in the sky above our olive tree.

We knocked on the door of our neighbours opposite and brought them outside to see the sky. I quickly took a photograph of the sky above our neighbour Annie’s house for her.

Kourosh took photographs on his phone too and sent them to Meteo France. Surprisingly, they sent us a beautiful reply explaining the phenomena. The general term is a  photométéore, which would include rainbows (I rather like this word, even if it is French and not English.) The phenomenon is rather rare and is associated with light being reflected by particles (water?) suspended on the surface of the clouds. So it is an iridescent cloud or irisation.

It was very beautiful and reminded me of watching the Northern Lights in Aberdeen.

Back in the garden I made a discovery that the clump of Oxalis, that I had planted years ago from some bulbs given free with a gardening magazine, was extremely attractive to the honeybees. I had never cared for it and it survived by finding a secluded spot here and there in the garden where it escaped being culled.

It is a strange flower and it will close in the middle of the day if there is not enough sunshine. It looks as if it is hiding (from me?) when it does that. When I looked closely the stamens held plenty of lovely yellow pollen.

Our wildlife pond continues to fascinate us. There are thousand of tadpoles now.

It is a great excuse to take a break and go and watch the tadpoles. Very relaxing. Have a look at this video and see what I mean.


23 thoughts on “A rare event

  1. That is a lovely sight…. yes, it is particles….particles of fine ice crystals it is so high up!
    I have seen it once, too, in similar circumstances as you….
    I was, as Mr Pretor-Pinney terms it in his book…. “Cloudwatching”…..
    he calls them “cloudbows” and they are, rare…. cirrus clouds, full of ice crytals have got to catch sunlight at the perfect angle for us on the ground to see the prism effect….. so it is a right time right place event…. but, once seen never forgotten.
    I prefer the name “firebow”…. it is more descriptive imo
    Lucky you…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Photometeore – beautiful! I envy your tadpoles, always been fond of frogs. It looks like you don’t have any kind of pump circulating the water. That doesn’t cause issues with mosquitoes or the water getting murky?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a complete experiment. We are not putting in fish as they would eat too many tadpoles and other larvae. We have put in aerating weed but no pump. It is in the sun which will be bad for algal growth but I am counting on the tadpoles to keep the mosquito larvae down – for the moment. Frogs hopping in and keeping it clean later? We have a smaller pond but that has Gambusia in it and is in partial shade and that has stayed clear for two years. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw this phenomenon while watching a tennis tournament. Baffling and distracting! The ‘Cloud Appreciation Society’* explained the science of it, calling it a ‘circumhorizon arc’. *Well worth a look – amazing photos. You could even upload yours to their site. RH

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very interesting. We saw this phemomenon once some years ago when walking on the south Devon coast. Once seen not forgotten! We have a widlife pond although it is rather deep, we get frogs and newts and the newts eat any frogspawn.


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