observing curious phenomena
October 26, 2008 9:43pm CST
Today there was a small water break two blocks from me. The stream of water followed the gutter to the drain, but it was enough to cross the street and run down to the drain in the other block. On the first block the water was very fast (no more than nine inches across, probably three inches deep at the deepest point (the curb is very curved). I was coming home from the store and something caught my eye while stepping over the little torrent, going against the current. I thought maybe an insect was swimming for its life. I stopped and observed - a submerged dead leaf was close to the shallow, and going against the current. It would turn toward the fast current and get swept down until it until it was pushed into the shallow end. It would then obviously follow a slower current that was there, going in the opposite direction of the faster flow, until it gets pushed into the main flow. I'm glad I still have my curiosity, spending the time to observe this kind of activity. Probably not as much as when I was a child, but it's still there. A constant fascination with me is lightning. I regret I now live in an apartment that has windows facing only in one direction. And the main window now has a tree. Good for the summer sun during late afternoons, not so for observation. It wasn't as big when I first acquired it, and I had a full view of the comet that visited us in 1997. Now it shades my apartment from the afternoon sun, but it also blocks my view during the summer. At least it sheds its leaves for autumn so I can kind of look through it. I try to catch every total lunar eclipse visible in our area. My favorite part is when it is at its darkest, and with a little patience, you see the burst of reflected sunlight on a point on the edge of the disk. I will now share two of the most memorable (and hence favorite) observations. I was living in Bayonne NJ, across the bay from New York City, the World Trade Center in the background (sometime between 1974-1976). The sky was almost clear - there were a few clouds, but there was one little cloud that stood out from all the rest. It was emitting lightning like crazy. It was at night so I could not see if there was rain, I just remember there were several lightning flashes every second. The second one I shared with my mother, while we (well, she) was driving on a freeway in Texas. The sky was absolutely clear. Except in one small area - The best way I can describe it, is one mixed up rainbow. It was a blob in the sky, some parts blue, some parts red, green, yellow, what have you, and not in any particular order - all the colors were all over place. I suspect it was ice particles in the air. I open this discussion to such observations to be shared with the group -
2 people like this
23 Dec 08
As to the little cloud emitting lightning, wow! I don't think I've ever seen something like that. I too have been fond of looking up and far out into the sky, trying to catch any solar or lunar eclipses, meteor showers. With rainbows, oh I think I know what you mean, I've seen rainbows that didn't seem to conform to the accepted configuration. You make great observations! Happy mylotting!