More Marvels of Water: Rainbow Spots

At one time in my life, I had never noticed rainbow spots in the clouds. Then I saw them from an airplane up above, and began to notice them more from the ground. These are like places where the rainbow painter has left touches of the colors, without the rest of the rainbow. They seem to happen especially when the weather is icy. Two days ago, from Dexter, we saw the evening sun in the west with sharp rainbow spots on both sides. From my shed last week, I saw the most amazing cloud with red, two clouds, a small one in front of a slightly large one, with red on the tops and blue and turquoise on the bottoms of both clouds. This goes on my list of new things I discover each year, a list I started when I saw that the shadows in a field are purple, as much or more than brown.

Drinking my snow water, I began to wonder about frozen clouds and what is happening when we collect water that falls out of the air because it froze into crystals. Why do the clouds not fall when they freeze, if clouds are like fog? How can they stay afloat when the temperature is below 32? The rainbow spots do seem to have something to do with ice crystals.

I am trying to devise a rain/snow collector that won’t blow away in the wind. I’ll try glass low to the ground, small enough to be manageable without breaking the thing. I need a cone shaped thing, so the water will go into a 5 gallon absopure jar. With glass, one might build a small fire on the downwind end of it, to melt a bunch of snow without bringing it inside. I’v been melting enough for drinking, but not for coffee too. Today I’ll put two pots of snow in the basement to see how long it takes it to melt.

On my window, I was watching the water turn to ice crystals through a slush stage, an intermediary stage clearly visible on the window between the frost and the dew. We think the mystery of life is related to the way frost takes the patterns that plants also take. The repetition of the gene and chromosome thing might arise through the repetition in the water crystal.

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