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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Beholding the Beauty of a Rainbow

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Arkansas River Valley Business Directory

By Vestal Hutchens

I really like rainbows. Not only do they remind me of God’s promise (Genesis 9:12-17), they are simply beautiful.
The mechanics of a rainbow are the light (from the sun) shining through a rain shower and the raindrops, acting as a prism, breaking the light into its primary colors of red, blue, green, yellow, etc.

This means you can only see a rainbow if the light source creating it is either directly or obliquely behind you. You will never see a rainbow if the sun is shining into your eyes. (Some might say it doesn’t even exist. Of course it does, you’re just in the wrong place or position to see it.)

I’ve seen many rainbows – dozens, if not hundreds. (Singles, double, triple and partial.) I remember one particular partial rainbow – very thick and vivid in colors, extending up from the horizon a short distance before being cut off by a very dark, dense cloud. I also remember two very particular rainbow incidents that were (at least to me) very unique.
The first one occurred in mid to late December of 1962 when I was 12 years old. I was helping Clyde Chambers (a local carpenter) build a carport extension to the house he and my parents had built in 1960. It occurred at exactly mid-day as we prepared to stop for lunch. At that time of year, the sun was directly south of our position. It was very warm for that time of the year (mid-60’s) and a pop-up shower passed over us. We looked up and there, directly in the north, was a perfect, vivid rainbow, exactly centered over Pilot Mountain.

I shared this with Garrett Lewis, Chief Meteorologist for KFSM-TV Channel 5 about a decade ago. He had never heard of anyone ever seeing a rainbow directly in the north or south as they typically occur early or late day in the east or west. Just a case of being in the right place, at the right time, under the right conditions.

The second incident occurred in the spring of 1971 during an early morning “April shower”. I was driving to work at about 7:30 a.m. on Highway 71 South, coming down the hill just south of the Jenkins community, traveling north-west. The sun was obliquely over my right shoulder in the southeast and a rain shower occurred. There about half-way down that hill was the end of a huge, vivid rainbow square in the center of the road. (No, there was no pot of gold.) As I drove into the end of that rainbow, it was as if every particle of the atmosphere was infused with those beautiful, vivid colors. Of course, then in less than the blink of an eye, it vanished. (I was then in the wrong position relative to the sun and the raindrops.)

I really like rainbows.

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