I like it when I stumble upon a form of magic that I never even knew existed.
That’s what happened Thursday, as I desultorily flipped through A Book About A Thousand Things, the 1946 magpie’s-nest from George Stimpson that addresses such burning questions as “how do bees hum?” and “does fright cause the guinea fowl’s flesh to turn blue?”
Rainbows by moonlight, known as moonbows, are unusual but not rare phenomena. Aristotle referred to lunar bows about twenty-two hundred years ago, and they are well known to scientists, although they are not often observed, chiefly because of the faintness of the light at night. Only under exceptional conditions can the colors of a moonbow be seen. Lunar rainbows are most likely to occur after showers on nights when the moon is bright but not too high in the heavens. Similar lunar bows are periodically visible in the spray of certain waterfalls, such as the Cumberland Falls about eighteen miles southwest of Corbin, Kentucky.
That’s a Cumberland Falls moonbow, of the harvest kind, up yonder. More moonbows beyond the “furthur.”