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Sundog in Tan Sky

Sundog in Tan Sky

Sun Dog on Woman's Neck

Sun Dog on Woman’s Neck

What to others a trifle appears

Fills me full of smiles or tears

For double the vision my eyes do see

and a double vision is always with me

with my inward eye ’tis an old man grey

with my outward a thistle across my way.

– William Blake, on his divine imagination

Victor Hugo and Leonardo DaVinci were interested in chance images. Many others have been as well. These are images that appear to the eye when staring at such things as dirty walls or clouds. Images come up out of the mind–or out of where? That question, to DaVinci, was possible to answer: from the mind of the beholder, he thought, and they were a rich source of subject matter. But how does such imagining happen, if that’s what is is? I will elaborate soon on this very fertile topic.

From Wikipedia: “Sundogs are made commonly of plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds or, during very cold weather, by ice crystals called diamond dust drifting in the air at low levels. These crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them with a minimum deflection of 22.° If the crystals are randomly oriented, a complete ring around the sun is seen – a halo. But often, as the crystals sink through the air they become vertically aligned, so sunlight is refracted horizontally — in this case, sundogs are seen.”

I have several photos of sundogs, taken mostly in Belgium. The tan sky was really blue, but the experimentation with light created the shift in color to tan.

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