The horizon-hugging sun of autumn and spring passing through the crisp, frosty air often whistles to her a pair of trusty companions: sundogs.

SUNN - dawg

Simply, sunlight refracting through ice crystals in the clouds creating a lens or halo effect in the sky.

Listed among my favourite words is sundog.

We had finished our recent Sunday Run and had gathered (socially distantly, of course) in the parking lot to chat and chatter. In the frosty sky to the east the glare of the sunlight through the wisps of clouds highlighted a pair of sundogs punctuating hours of the long spring dawn.

With similar optical physics to how a rainbow appears, I suspect, the photons of light of our sun scatter in a predictable path as they pass through the billions of billions of microscopic ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. The sky itself acts as though it is a miles-wide prism or lens, and the illusion that meets our eyes is a pair of visible flares approximately twenty-two degrees to the left and the right of the sun itself.

Or more poetically, the sun tracks through these cool spring skies with her sundogs by her side and surveys the world as it thaws beneath our feet.

The Other End of the Rainbow

Today is St. Patrick’s day here and I’m reminded that in 2019 I spent a weekend and a week in Dublin, Ireland.

I break it up that way on purpose. A weekend and a week. The family and I were on a group trip with my daughter’s dance school through Scotland and Ireland. I went ahead of the group to Ireland a full weekend ahead of the rest of the group so that I could run a half marathon through Dublin. They showed up on Sunday evening and we spent another week touristing.

I got out of the cab from my airport to the hotel and took this single photo.

for whatever one photo is worth:

It was raining when I left Scotland and raining still when we landed at the Dublin airport.

First impressions are often lasting.

I’d been crammed into a RyanAir flight from Glasgow to Dublin, snagged the window so I could breath, and also breathe in the view of the lush green of the Irish countryside on our approach.

I was travelling light. A change of clothes. Some personal kit. My running gear. A GoPro. My one small suitcase came off the luggage carousel (almost) first, and I quickstepped out into the taxi queue to find a ride to Chapelizod, a village suburb of Dublin where I’d booked my country-style hotel fit for my budget-conscious side-trip.

My first time in Dublin. My first hour in Ireland.

I paid the cabbie, stepped out into the small parking lot outside the hotel, and looked at the rain clouds drifting and clearing behind me to the east.

A rainbow.

I doubt I could have felt more of a stereotyped welcome to Ireland than a rainbow …unless perhaps a leprechaun had dashed across the street behind me.

I snapped this selfie and sent it back to my family to let them know I’d arrived safely, checked in, and then likely went to find a pint of something.