My sister Deb who lives with her husband Rex in Jamestown, ND sent me the above photo they had recently taken one day when out for a drive. Sundogs are beautiful but only seen during extreme cold. They are colored spots of light that develop due to the refraction of light through ice crystals and are located approximately 22 degrees either left, right, or both, from the sun, depending on where the ice crystals are present. A rainbow usually signals an end to the rain, while a sundog often means that rain is on the way—often within the next 24 hours. Next time you see a sundog, look out for foul or wet weather!

My sister-in-law, Judy, who lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota sent me the photo on the right showing the complete circle of a sundog which was taken near Sturgus, SD.

In spite of the cold, Dakota winters have tremendous beauty, occasional northern lights, sparkling snow, amazing sunsets and sunrises, and ice covered landscapes. One thing I have never seen in the Dakotas that I saw here in Washington where I live is a lunar rainbow. Coming home from visiting friends around mid-night I saw my first lunar rainbow. Up to that point I did not know there was such a thing. Several years later driving near Anchorage, Alaska, we saw half of one on a moonlight night. I read a lot and had never seen one mentioned in literature until finally I read a book by a guy on a lone trek across Yellowstone Park and he mentioned seeing a lunar rainbow.

A lunar rainbow is made up of different shades of gray

Mother Nature has so much to offer in the form of beauty if one takes the time to look for it.

Here we are ending the first week of Lent. I had mentioned in a previous entry that we enjoyed a crab feast on fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. Everyone was in a great mood which made the meal lots of fun. Eating crab takes concentration, however. Latah was our photographer.

Life has been very quiet lately and uneventful. My routine of everyday life carries on. When my cats show up in a blog entry you know life is slow. Life being slow from time to time is a blessing however, and I am not complaining, I am just telling the truth of it all. Cats are fun but can be frustrating at times as well. It is time for little Wolina to be spayed which is scheduled to occur March 16th. She has been a stinker lately but she is also great company for my other cat Teach.

Wolina’s toy
Another one of Wolina’s toys

For Lent this year I am learning how to pray the Seven Sorrows of Mary rosary which was introduced to us in 1994 during the genocide that took place in Rwanda at a time when the Blessed Virgin was appearing to a number of young people to warn of the threat of disaster caused by all the hate in the world. Instead of five series of ten Hail Mary’s prayed there are seven series of seven Hail Mary’s in which we enter into the mind and heart of Mary and reflect on the seven major sorrows in her life. Our Sorrowful Mother can teach us much about the sanctity of suffering and be a source of consolation to all who suffer. The Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15.

Just when we were beginning to start thinking of spring, winter came again. It arrived with a vengeance to the Willamette Valley area with school and road closures, but soft and gentle where I live.

Providing unfrozen water to the animals was a problem for the Pebble Creek folks.
Snow arrived gently during the night in White Salmon Valley where I live.

No one was complaining, really, as we are still in the dead of winter. In fact the kids were over joyed at school closures, or around here school started two hours late. Jason’s gang were without power off and on but are prepared for that so enjoyed family time together. I was pleased as I was not prevented from making it up my driveway. The folks in Deadwood, SD and Jamestown, ND, where my family live have not had a reprieve from winter for a few weeks as we did. They are experiencing full on winter this year.

Photo by my sister-in-law, Judy, taken in Lead, SD