Super cheesy topic folks. I want to preface the following remarks with the explanation that I was, indeed, a child who believed in fairies, unicorns, spirits and menehunes. Not Santa though—we didn’t do Santa. But we loved rainbows in our family, and surrounded ourselves with crystals, the better to see more of them. I leave you to draw your own conclusion about what kind of family we were, but let’s just say health food and natural fibers figured largely in the lifestyle.
Rainbows are rich on so many levels. After disillusionment set in with the aforementioned piskies, etc, I continued to find rainbows uplifting and a great metaphor. But I never knew rainbows could be so varied and truly amazing until I moved to Maui. I’ve become something of a rainbow connoisseur and like to keep a daily ‘rainbow count.’
Maui’s topography is what has created this phenomenon. The island has a prevailing wind direction from the north that brings rain, and a great open sloping plain between two volcanic ranges. Clouds blow in from the north, collect on one side of the mountains, and rain falls, but only on one side. We call it the ‘rain line.’ It blows in the aforementioned strong wind and the opposite sides of the dormant volcanic mountains are sunny. Ergo, a plethora of bizarre and spectacular rainbows.
I have come up with some new types as a result:
- The Triple: hardly ever glimpsed before Maui, the Triple is a fairly common sight, with three luridly bright rainbows to its span. I am still looking for that leprechaun with his pot of gold at the end of—oh yeah. I don’t believe in that stuff anymore.
- The Curtain: a unique configuration where a low lying cloud, with rain emerging, is glimpsed from the right direction, and the entire rainy area turns into top to bottom rainbow. I hear the Aurora Borealis is kinda like this, but I’ve never seen that. The Curtain is a truly amazing sight and I’ve seen about 18 of them.
- The Spot: occasionally a cloud will spit some rain, usually pretty high up Haleakala, and a perfectly round Spot rainbow will form. Spots are even more unusual than Curtains.
- The Moon: yeah, these pale nighttime beauties really do exist. They have all the ROYGBV colors too, only paler.
Almost universally across the globe, rainbows are a sign of good luck, foretell good fortune, and in the Bible were the sign of a promise from God. We may not have leprechauns, but I’ll take rainbows any day.
My husband has painted a “slash” and until we moved to Kauai I would comment skeptically on the impossibility that such phenomena would occur in nature. Of course, I had to eat my words. We often see the “slash”coming out of a cloud.
Ah, the Slash. Now we’re talking, another connoisseur!
What a lovely way to be. I remember living in Papua New Guinea, some of the rainbows where so beautiful they made me tear up. Such simple and glorious things.
Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!
Thanks so much for the feedback, good to know the aspects of Hawaii people enjoy reading about.
Ahh…I love Hawai’i. Nothing like it in the winter when the breeze is cool and the sun still shining.