Sun Dogs and Some Real Life Sunshine

north dakotaI usually complain about North Dakota, and trust me there is AMPLE material to complain about today (-14 with windchill, more snow, wind blowing about 24 mph, white out conditions for Josh driving to work…), but today I’ll share something less whiney. I suppose. Maybe not… considering that I’ve already shared the picture above. (only 7 more months of living here!)


A few weeks ago Josh and I were driving to a friend’s apartment when Josh asked me, “Do you see that? It looks like there are two suns…” And then we realized it actually looked like there were three suns. Well lucky for us, one of our friends that we were getting together with is a meteorologist! So we described what we saw and he was like “Oh! You mean a Sun Dog?”

Yes? That. I think. If what you say looks like 3 suns, then yes. Sun Dog.

ND Winter 2014 050
Not the greatest example, but this is a Sun Dog I saw today on February 13, 2014. Picture taken on the UND campus.

I guess Sun Dog makes sense because it’s kind of like the sun a two pets? I’ve found that Sun Dogs are also called mock suns. Although they can technically appear anywhere in the world, I think it only happens when it’s really cold. Maybe I’m wrong. Why am I sharing this information with you that I’m not totally sure about? I don’t know, because I think Sun Dogs are cool? We’ll go with that. As wikipedia describes it, this phenomenon is caused by, “the refraction of light from plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds or, during very cold weather, these ice crystals are called diamond dust, and drift 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, sun dogs are seen.As the sun rises higher, the rays passing through the crystals are increasingly skewed from the horizontal plane. Their angle of deviation increases, and the sun dogs move further from the sun. However, they always stay at the same elevation as the sun.”

IT’S (earth) SCIENCE. So that’s your lesson that you never asked for. You’re welcome.

Tomorrow I am heading off to more acceptable weather conditions – Las Vegas! I’m meeting up with 9 other lovely ladies to celebrate the impending nuptials of Miss Katie Krouchick and Mr. Kevin Gearns. Originally we picked Vegas as our party destination because we wanted to see Celine Dion (big fans). So we chose a 3 day weekend to go, booked our flights and SHE’S NOT PERFORMING THAT WEEKEND. But we’re going to have a great time – lots of fun (and appropriate) things planned for the BTB. On Saturday, we are going to go see a Cirque show – Mystere at Treasure Island. I also arrive before the majority of the girls, so I’m going to go sneak away and see the Chapel of the Bells, the place where my Nana and Poppy ran away and eloped. Really looking forward to it.

Details, stories and photos to come!

One thought on “Sun Dogs and Some Real Life Sunshine

  1. I love that you are going to go see Chapel of the Bells! It’s also where CC and Deano got married =) ♥♥♥♥

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