Friday, August 21, 2009

What a Storm!

In case you haven't heard, we had quite a stormy evening last night in Southern Ontario. Heavy rain, a little bit of hail and for some, tornadoes - as many as six, I heard today. Over 200 homes in the Vaughan/Woodbridge area might need to be torn down as a result. Worst of all, one poor 11 year old boy lost his life and several people were injured.

It's true that Nature can be a cruel and vicious visitor at times. And yet, just as there is often a silver lining to every grey cloud, so too can Nature provide us with some wondrous experiences. The double rainbow that appeared just after the storm passed through my neighbourhood is one such example. Hopefully, you can see it in this photo, it's very faint but it's definitely there, to the right of the more obvious rainbow:

Of course, I had to check this out on Wikipedia, which pointed out that the second rainbow has the colours in reverse order to the first one. I didn't notice this last night but now that I look at the photo again, I can see that! A rainbow appears when the sun shines into drops of water in the Earth's atmosphere. The second rainbow is caused by a double reflection of sunlight within the raindrops. It's all rather scientific, it's probably better if you read it for yourself, if you are so inclined:

It was certainly one of the clearest rainbows I have ever seen and I could see where it ended at ground level. As you can see from this second photo, it seemed to end right on top of this house, or at least, in the park across the street from it.

I was tempted to rush down and look for the leprechaun and his pot of gold that is said to be found at the end of a rainbow, but as Wikipedia points out, this is merely an optical effect - as the viewer walks towards it, it will move farther away. Good thing I didn't go chasing after it!

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