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Posts Tagged ‘rainbows’

The drinking glass I picked up at a thrift store with the intention of planting sprouts in it this winter.  But for now it has been sitting on a table next to the window.  This morning I dropped two small tomatoes into it, just a placeholder until I chop them up for salad later.  Then that thing happened again.  While at the keyboard I happened to glance over my shoulder and there it was, a curious light on the tomato as the morning sun shone through the curves of the green glass.  At first my focus was purely the tomato but as I hunched over my still life I noticed what was happening at the base of the glass.  So I placed a piece of black cardboard beneath the glass, removed the tomatoes and added some water. This is what I saw.

I changed the level of the water. I placed the green glass on top of a clear glass to raise its height.  At one point I dropped in an ice cube.

It was just fun to see what changes might take place.

I set aside the green glass and replaced it with a clear square glass that has a thick bottom.  I photographed its pyramid like base and that was pretty cool.

Overall, my “experiment” took about 15-20 minutes.

Not much clean up.  Just some glasses to dry.

Just some glasses to dry.

 

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Probably not, but it can be fun looking.  These slices of color were found inside shells that lay on Revere Beach.

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my rainbow plate

my rainbow plate

And when I’m not looking out the window to see what the sun is doing to water droplets, there are the rainbows illuminated by the sun on my plate.

violet curves

violet curves

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I’m no illustrator but I do enjoying pressing colored pens to paper, and the weather this weekend provided a good excuse.  You see, after a heavy rainfall late Friday, the sun came back out.  There was that magical moment of rose red clouds appearing.  I stood at one window watching the clouds form, but then by chance, I glanced over my shoulder through another window.  A double rainbow graced the sky. Later I tried to explain to that science guy of mine the beauty that I’d seen of rose clouds in front of me and being surprised by the rainbows behind me.  His response?  “Of course.  Your shadow points toward the rainbow.”  Hunh?!

I grilled him all weekend  and finally he was able to break it down to me in a way that I understood though it helped me to draw it out, too.

“If you’re looking at rosy colored clouds, you’re probably looking toward the sun with the sun lighting the clouds from below.  The sun’s white light — and remember that white light is really all the colors combined — is being filtered through the earth’s atmosphere.  Blue light is scattered leaving behind the reds.”

“If you’re looking at the rainbow, the sun must be behind you.  Why?  Because the rainbow is formed by white light hitting water droplets in the air.  Again, white light is refracted.  Different colors are scattered.  The angle at which the light strikes the water droplets produces the spectrum of colors you see.”

He had more to say about angles but by then I just wanted to play with the markers.

This morning he shared the following “timely comic: with me.  Enjoy:  Frazz Comic Strip, July 28, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

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My friends accuse me of always finding the bright side.  I don’t think that’s true.  I can be quite the curmudgeon.  But I do have to admit that when a sudden gust of wind tossed the lamp to the floor, shattering the glass shade and bulb, one of the first thoughts that ran through my head was, “Hmmm.  I wonder what photos might come out of this incident?”

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The man with whom I am involved I tend to describe as a science guy who works with light.  He says that’s not quite accurate but it works for me.  Since the beginning of our relationship we have  shared many an illuminated experience that we have described quite differently.  There was the infamous halo around the moon.  I will forever describe sunlight on water as “dancing” but now I also see the resulting light-filled ripples as “caustic.”  Most recently we have talked of rainbows.

I see rainbows all around on earth.  I am amazed at the places I find them like on the back of this silver tray left forgotten in a corner closet.   Or the rainbows formed on the surface of CDs left out of their case on a table near a sunny window.

I see them less often in the sky mostly because I usually have my head ducked down in the rain. And that is the source of rainbows in the sky, my science guy reminded me at the dinner table recently, rainbows are formed by sunlight striking raindrops in the air.  White light is divided into all its splendid colors.  I listened attentively as he described how the water drops act as prisms, how light is refracted not reflected, and so on and so forth.  It was like a cool Cliff Notes version of The Science of Rainbows 101.

As the lecture wrapped, I stood up, my mind swimming with the science of it all.  Suddenly my guy added, “Of course, my dear, you do realize that there were no rainbows before Noah and his ark.”  He smiled gently.  “Or so that story goes.”  With an exaggerated sigh, I sat back down.  “Remind me of that story please.”  You see, my science guy’s bookshelves are not only filled with the science writings of Feynman and Einstein, they are also filled with the religious writing of Chesterton, Crossan and even a little Thicht Nhact Hanh.  It is amazing to walk in this world with this fellow (and with others) and to have my eyes and mind and even on occasion my heart opened to the different ways of experiencing the world, even something so seemingly simple as a rainbow.

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