Sundog over the PV

Dear diary,

Been real cold.  Saturday morning cold tap water was frozen in the kitchen.  Used hot water to wash dirty dishes and that was enough to thaw the pipes.  Same thing Saturday night before bed — cold water was froze, washed dishes and got it thawed out.

Thought we’d be smart and let the cold water drip all night.

Sunday morning discovered the hot tap was frozen instead.  Opened cupboard doors, positioned space heater near pipes, and washed hot bath water down the drain.  Husband banked wall outside of house with snow for extra insulation.  Water finally thawed about 2 p.m.  Thaw coincided with a 30° temperature increase outside.  Husband says we have a klondike chinook to thank for the relief.  A regular ol’ chinook I’m familiar with — it’s a warm wind that blows in and warms freezing temperatures.  A klondike chinook, Encyclopedia Blake tells me, warms temperatures that were so cold to begin with that the resulting warmer temperature is still pretty dang cold by the average gal’s standards.

Husband continues to astound me with knowledge of random trivia.  Yesterday told him I saw a strange rainbow over the shed:


“Oh, yeah,” he said, “that was a sundog.”  Sundog?  I’ve lived in a cold climate my entire life and never heard of a sundog.  So I looked up sundog on Wikipedia:  an atmospheric phenomenon that consists of a pair of bright spots on either horizontal side of the sun, often co-occurring with a luminous ring known as a 22° halo.  Sundogs are a member of a large family of halos, created by light interacting with ice crystals in the atmosphere.

Here’s a Google images photo of a sundog over Fargo, North Dakota:


(Brrrr.  Fargo.  Land of my Norwegian ancestors.)

Hmmm.  This means I only saw one side of the PV sundog from my limited view here at the house.  When it’s below zero, my photographic explorations are limited to what shots can be captured as I stand outside the porch door, holding said door open with either my foot or my free hand, in case of necessary emergency evacuation back into the house.  Of course.

Husband says he saw entire sundog from his vantage point down by the shop.  Of course.

How does husband know about such things as klondike chinooks and sundogs?  I think he must’ve read encyclopedias when he was little.  He also listens to talk radio now.  He’s nerdy like that.  But very interesting.  I love him for expanding my horizons.

More mysteries to solve next time, diary.  Sincerely,

The Girl Who Never Read Encyclopedias but Who Uses the Heck out of Wikipedia Now

Note to self:  to do when time allows:  freshen up on high school English lesson that covered which words to capitalize in an all-caps title.  …  Or just ask Encyclopedia Blake.

© Tami Blake

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