Sun Dogs


Last night as I went outside to lock the girls in for the night I could feel the weather was once again changing. We had enjoyed a few really nice days where we actually made it into the thirties.

As I stood outside, the snow was falling (as it had for much of the afternoon) and the wind was picking up. Looking toward the barn I could see the snow sifting off the roof and falling in a fuzzy sheet onto the ground.

As we listened to the weather man he told us that it was, once again, going to dip below zero  during the night. It was definitely going to be a night for the heat lamp in the chicken coop so I headed back outside, (once again), to go plug it in.

Waking up this morning, the snow had stopped but the wind had not. As I made my way to the coop to check on the girls, the wind was bitter. It did not take long to numb my face and drive the cold through my big yellow farm gloves to also numb my fingers.

With the weather this cold and the sky so clear we were treated to a rather beautiful sight….sun dogs.  I have no idea why this phenomenon is called sun dogs but you know it is almost beyond bearable cold whenever you see them.


For those of you who are not familiar with them; it looks like we have three suns. The real one in the middle and bright lights on either side. Today the sun dogs were brilliant and lasted a long time. It was rather ironic that only two days ago we had commented on the fact that even with all the cold weather, we had not yet seen any sun dogs.


I didn’t stay outside long to take a lot of photos this morning; as the temperatures were just to harsh and the wind to cold to do so. Today was the kind of day where you only went outside to do what was necessary as the temperature never did get above a balmy  -4º.  It was truly a day to stay in and stay warm.

There is one consolation to the way this weather so quickly changes from a beautiful day to a freezing one….you know it can change back just as fast. I am ever hopeful that this will happen soon!

If we can believe the weatherman (and I choose to on this one) we only have to survive this sub-zero cold for a little bit longer. As my husband was putting more wood into the woodstove tonight I could hear him mumbling, “Just one more day…..”

It brought a grin to my face but I was in total agreement with his heartfelt words. These are the days to hang on to the fact that this cold will not last forever….spring will come…and with it….days that are warmed by the sun and not by the wood in the stove.


In cold weather a good rule is to light your fire first
before doing anything else.
It is always more sensible to keep yourself warm
rather than trying to thaw yourself out later.
Mors Kochanski



34 thoughts on “Sun Dogs

      • thechickengrandma says:

        I just heard on the radio tonite that they can occur anywhere Anne. It has to do with ice crystals in the air and them being in the “halo” family (think rainbow) I also learned that it is something to do with a 22 degree angle and with the sun being low on the horizon, which is why you see them mainly in the morning or evening. Our local radio station was giving us a bunch of scientific reason…some I understood and some I did not. I know that we only seem to see them on bitterly cold days and they are really pretty. Yesterday was the brightest I have ever seen them.


  1. A. Michelle! says:

    Love reading your blogs. I always, always learn something new, “Sundogs”. I never at a lost for inspiration after reading it and your words warm my heart every time. Y’all remain warm. Praying warmth and rare Sundogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      That is what is so cool about blogs isn’t It? I always learn new things also reading various blogs. So glad you enjoyed this one!
      I guess if it has to be cold it is good to be rewarded with sun dogs and other really neat natural things! God has put some amazing things here for us to enjoy and wonder about.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Al says:

    I almost always learn something new when I read your blog and today is certainly no exception. What an interesting phenomenon. I hope I never see one in person though, since that would mean I am in that kind of cold!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      After I started typing about sun dogs it kind of hit me that maybe those who don’t live where it gets this cold had probably never seen them. And also probably had no idea what they were.
      I am just grateful we are halfway through January so getting closer to spring everyday!


  3. says:

    Beautiful photographs and lovely words to go with them. I pray that this dangerously cold weather comes to an end soon. Our water pipes have frozen. We’ve had to resort to heating them with heaters – somewhat like your chickens. I love my old house, but there are always disadvantages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I remember wrapping water pipes with a heat tape…..kind of a long electrical hot water bottle for pipes lol. Not too many people do that anymore around here as a lot of house fires tended to start that way.
      I bet you guys are cold as well! My husband and I were talking of things like sun dogs and now I am wondering….do you see the Northern lights where you live? We only remember seeing them a few times in our lives. They were an amazing sight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • says:

        Were still close to the city lights so don’t see them. A little further north in the country the can be seen. We’ve seen sun dogs though.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. bcparkison says:

    Ugh…You make me feel wimpy for being cold at 20 something. It is what we are used to I guess, but there are good reasons to live South lol We are having snow. Still very fine but the ground is frozen so it will stick. Weather people may have missed target though. Schools were call off but it may not be a big deal. Better safe than sorry. You know down here it doesn’t take much to throw us for a loop. Which reminds me…better light the fire before it gets too cold.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      When it first got in the 20’s here we were cold also Beverly. As the thermometer kept going down 20 starts feeling kind of warm again! Many schools in this area have a late start due to the cold…that way they don’t have so many kids on the road before the sun comes up.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. thecobweboriumemporium says:

    I’ve never seen Sun Dogs (or even heard of them) before, so your photos are brilliant for showing a new thing for me and your explanation was very welcome!

    I feel such a wimp for my complaints about how cold it is here, when in fact it’s practically the Bahamas compared to your temperatures!
    Sending warm hugs and hot squidges ~ Cobs. xxx


    • thechickengrandma says:

      I wouldn’t feel like a wimp if I was you…..the temperature is kind of relative. In the summer if it got to 30 here we would whine and complain how cold it was! (because we have whined and complained about 50’s in the summer!) Now if it would get to 30 we feel like it is wonderful!
      So glad I could do some educationalamizing for you this time!

      Liked by 2 people

      • thecobweboriumemporium says:

        Yes, you’re spot on with your wiseness – the temperature is relative.

        I’m giggling to myself about how I’ve ‘infected’ you with my ‘wordies’. I’m on a mission to get the world talking ‘Cobs’. (I’ll laugh myself silly if one of my words makes its way into the dictionary one day. I’ve no doubt that I’ll be sat on a cloud playing a harp, but I’m sure The Lord will allow me a bit of giggling time if it ever happens! LOL

        Sending love and squidges ~ Cobs. xxx

        Liked by 2 people

  6. says:

    Winter is so beautiful-and your photos prove it-but that kind of cold is brutal! I have never seen sun dogs in real life. Well, not yet- Can you believe we are getting snow tomorrow???? wow! what a different winter for us! Had to laugh at “one more day”- we said that a lot with that storm here! stay warm! love Michele

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      It is good that God gives us some beauty to compensate for this cold weather! But yes…it does start to get really sickening. I am very grateful for all the wood we cut and split this summer…it makes it nice and toasty in our living room even on a cold day!
      It has been a weird winter all over the country it sounds like. Hope this finds you warm and safe Michele.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sandra Campbell (Sandy) says:

    I have never seen sun dogs! I am happy you shared this post and pictures for those of us that haven’t! We get thrilled with rainbows and the northern lights and I had no idea! They are amazing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mrs P says:

    I’m afraid I had to ‘google’ sun dogs I hadn’t heard of /seen them before the explanation was …. ‘Sundogs, light pillars, and other kinds of halos seen in the sky are atmospheric phenomena that occur when light, is reflected or refracted by ice crystals in the atmosphere’ what a wonderful thing to behold ….even if the cold was beyond endurance xx


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