Thursday, 23 January 2014

Sun pillar

Yesterday I nailed it. I happened to be in the right place at the right time and witnessed a fantastic sunset with a spectacular sun pillar. Such a light pillar is an optical phenomenon created when light is reflected from ice crystals.

I took some things to my son who lives in western Helsinki. When I left his place the sun had started to set. I hurried to a nearby bay parking by the bridge to the Seurasaari island.

Recent weather reports have warned people from walking on thin ice but around Seurasaari the ice seemed to have exceeded the safety limit of 5cm. Paths and tracks had already been formed on ice by people skiing or walking their dogs. 

I didn’t spot any Nordic skaters – tour skaters on natural ice – although this form of exercise has become rather fashionable in the last few years. They probably favour the lakes.

Seurasaari is a popular recreation area, especially in the summertime, much thanks to its rural atmosphere. The island is the home for an open-air museum with wooden buildings mainly from the 18th and 19th centuries that have been moved there from around the country. It’s been years since my latest proper visit. Another entry to add to my calendar for next summer.

More about halos and other optical phenomena in my post from two years ago here.


  1. What magical photgraphs - they gave me such a lift this evening!

    1. I am delighted to hear that. Just add -15 degrees centigrade and you will know what it felt like. Isn't nature our greatest artist!