Multiple Halos

On the way back to the Pacific Crest Trail from Kitchen Creek Falls yesterday, there were quite some lovely and wispy clouds in the sky. When I turned around and looked directly towards the sun, I noticed this fascinating combination of multiple halos, with what appears to be a small sundog (parhelion) to the left and right of it even. I’ve never seen them combined in a single appearance like this before.

Halos -- Kitchen Creek Falls, Buckman Springs, California, United States
Halos — Kitchen Creek Falls, Buckman Springs, California, United States

Update: what is seen in the image is a 22° halo around the sun with two parhelia (sundogs), the parhelic circle, and an oval circumscribed halo. I was able to identify them with the descriptions and images on the Atmospheric Optics website.

Here’s another image, with a partial of the halos. I liked the lines and curves in this detail:

Wispy Clouds and Halo -- along the Pacific Crest Trail in San Diego's Mountain Empire region near Buckman Springs, California.
Wispy Clouds and Halo — along the Pacific Crest Trail in San Diego’s Mountain Empire region near Buckman Springs, California. March 2014.

Update 2: I submitted the image to the Atmospheric Optics website, and Les featured it in his “Optics Picture of the Day” series (nice one to bookmark and/or add to your RSS reader!) and gallery (permalink).

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