Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Chasing Rainbows

Chasing rainbows generally refers to trying to achieve something that is not possible or practical. About a week ago I was away in the Okanagan Valley for a break and to see the harvest (more on that next post) and  while there experienced some amazing rainbows.

The Valley had not had rain for 9 or 10 weeks, allowing for ripening and harvesting of fruit, vegetables, nuts and grapes. So when some storms brought rain (and rainbows) no one seemed to be complaining.

In the first picture I managed to capture two small planes as well:

I photographed two rainbows, the first seemed to shine right down on an orchard, and lit up the surrounding area.

Dreaming of Rainbows

"A rainbow is an optical and meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection of light in water droplets in the Earth's atmosphere, resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicoloured arc."
"Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the sun.
In a "primary rainbow", the arc shows red on the outer part and violet on the inner side. This rainbow is caused by light being refracted while entering a droplet of water, then reflected inside on the back of the droplet and refracted again when leaving it."
"In a double rainbow, a second arc is seen outside the primary arc, and has the order of its colours reversed, red facing toward the other one, in both rainbows. This second rainbow is caused by light reflecting twice inside water droplets." (Wikipedia)

I did not see a double rainbow but here is the second rainbow, from much later in the day.

"The rainbow is not located at a specific distance, but comes from any water droplets viewed from a certain angle relative to the Sun's rays. Thus, a rainbow is not an object, and cannot be physically approached. Indeed, it is impossible for an observer to manoeuvre to see any rainbow from water droplets at any angle other than the customary one of 42 degrees from the direction opposite the Sun. Even if an observer sees another observer who seems "under" or "at the end" of a rainbow, the second observer will see a different rainbow further off-yet, at the same angle as seen by the first observer. 
A rainbow spans a continuous spectrum of colours. Any distinct bands perceived are an artifact of human colour vision, and no banding of any type is seen in a black-and-white photo of a rainbow, only a smooth gradation of intensity to a maximum, then fading towards the other side. For colours seen by a normal human eye, the most commonly cited and remembered sequence is Newton's seven fold red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet."
"Rainbows can be caused by many forms of airborne water. These include not only rain, but also mist, spray, and airborne dew." (Wikipedia)

This one seems to rest on the top of a hill.

Then slides down into the valley.

Just after the rainbow was gone:

So apparently one can't actually catch or find the end of a rainbow, well that won't stop me from trying.

Here is "Somewhere over the rainbow" sung by Judy Garland

This little lady followed me as I was taking pictures; I think she thought I had a treats for her, or maybe she was following a rainbow of her own.

The late afternoon light after the rainbows was beautiful.

Here is a little something for Master E and his Grandmama, both faithful followers of my blog. Master E had a severe respiratory infection and spent a few days in hospital last week. He is home now though and getting better with each day.  He requested a video, so here is a chickadee:

I have been away quite a bit lately and although I have started quite a few painting projects, I haven't finished any so I thought that I would share one of my favorites from a few months ago. This is "Path of Light" and it seems to me it contains all the colours of the rainbow:

This is a watercolour of a pathway that I photographed while in Italy a few years ago.

Well that's all for this week, Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next time .............


  1. Your photos of rainbows are beautiful and the scenery of the Okanagan valley is fascinating. I used to know that area very well indeed many years ago.

  2. Gillian, lovely shots of the rainbow. For me, it is a treat to see a rainbow. I like your cute duck and the chickadee. The valley is very pretty, lovely photos. have a wonderful day!

  3. A superb painting.
    The colour palette is perfect.

  4. I always learn something when i visit your blog. I had no idea that the colours of a rainbow were reversed in a double rainbow. We have seen many rainbows here on the farm and often there is a double rainbow. Next time I'll pay closer attention. your rainbow stairway does remind me of Italy.

  5. Beautiful shots and painting. I enjoyed learning more about rainbows and loved the ones you captured.

  6. your painting is lovely, as always!

    i am hoping your intendeds can view the video as it is marked 'private'.

    the hill photo is gorgeous, and i love the way the rainbows seem to drop in front of you - like if you ran down to them you could walk in them. :)

  7. Love your photos, and you captured the beauty of the rainbow so perfectly..

    From our kitchen window we get to see a double rainbow out over the valley...that is magical.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  8. Your painting is awesome! Enjoyed your photos today.

  9. Beautiful to follow and feelings of the rainbow, love 'em. And, I've been watching your paintings going round, the one that gets me, is the Puffins, aren't they superb.

  10. Excellent rainbow captures.
    It looks like your rainbow-hued watercolour stairway could well lead to the elusive pot of gold.

  11. You really hit the pot of gold in imagery with those rainbows. :) Your “path of light” has the same translucency as the lovely rainbows.

  12. what a beautiful, very vibrant rainbow, this will bring you good luck!!

    love your path of light!!

  13. Wow wow wow - fabulously enchanting and gorgeous shots. Your watercolour is stunning too!

  14. Okay being a birder nut....I love that video of the Chickadee dee dee!:) Awesome.

    And if you can't find the end of the rainbow, then at least you can capture it on film:) And that painting is lovely....

    I know I seem to say things like this over and awesome or beautiful but they are wonderful pics. And what a great inspiration for your art. It must be so relaxing and therapeutic to do such things. What a way to pass the day:)

  15. What a beautiful blog you have ~ which highlights your talent. A magical post filled with rainbow hues!

  16. Your rainbow photos are gorgeous. I always enjoy stopping in to read your blog. Seems like I always learn something new. And your painting is another reason I love to stop by. It is beautiful.


  17. I’m getting more and more knowledgeable as I visit this blog. You’re so lucky to be able to take pictures of as many as two rainbows. As for myself, when I saw a rainbow, I had no camera with me. Have happy days ahead.


  18. fantastic rainbow shots ! very beautiful post ! love your watercolor!
    wish you a great weekend Gillian

  19. Rainbows are so magical! I rarely see one here and rush for my camera whenever I do. But I don't believe I have EVER seen as one so beautiful as the one you photographed.

    The rainbow pathway is fantastic!

  20. Your rainbows are fantastic. Would love to see you paint one.

  21. There is a similar pastel peacefulness in your rainbow photographs and in your wonderful watercolour, Gillian. Did you know CBC has been running a contest for several weeks to see which version of "Over the Rainbow" is best? It is now down to the final week, and is between Eva Cassidy and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. I like both but think Eva will get my vote.

  22. I love spotting rainbows, a reminder to me of God's promises. Your watercolour has a wonderful mix of colours and light, very unusual and inspiring.

  23. Your rainbow shots are amazing, it is beautiful in the Okanagan and aim sure they were finally ready for rain. We have been keeping our bird feeder full this fall now that the weather has changed and we have lots of visitors, the chickadees are one of my favourites.

  24. What a lovely series of rainbow images, Gillian. You always tie your posts together so beautifully. Your painting is amazing.

  25. Love seeing your rainbow! And your napping doggie!

  26. Wonderful rainbow shots Gillian and I really love your watercolour.

  27. Fabulous rainbow!! It is so romantic to chase the rainbows!
    In the middle of September, I took the photos of double rainbows. I checked them. Yes, as Wikipedia says, the second arc has the order of its colors reversed, red facing toward the other one, in both rainbows. I had never noticed this!!
    Thanks a lot. Whenever I visit here, I learn something interesting always!
    Have a great week.