I'm not sure if it is due to global climate change or what -- we've had snowless Christmases before -- but pretty much every bit of snow which has fallen to date this season (and it has been pretty meager) has disappeared within a day or less.
So it was that yesterday, the day before the day before Christmas, I found myself taking a cold but pleasant bicycle ride on one of my favorite routes. A significant part of it follows a river path that ends at Paradise Pond, a lovely feature of the Smith College campus.
Stopping at the overlook above the pond to catch a view of the sunset, I observed something I am pretty sure I have never seen before. The setting sun was somehow casting a vertical shaft of red, poking up from the horizon like a flaming sword. I took several photos of it, though they don't completely capture the nature of this phenomenon.
Here's a zoomed-in view of the strange light…
… and here's a panoramic view showing the setting.
I wonder what trick of physics created this intriguing light effect? -- PL