Sun Dogs!


Check out the “sun dogs” seen over the tribal college! Very cool! (Well, actually, very COLD as it was -4 when this picture was taken!)

What’s a sun dog, you ask?

It’s those two glowing things on each side of the sun. Sometimes, if the sun is just a bit higher, there’s actually a full circle, around the sun.

Sun dogs are actually airborne ice crystals reflecting the sun’s rays. It’s sort of like a rainbow (water droplets reflecting sun’s rays.) Rainbows occur, generally, after the storm. Sun dogs, on the other hand, usually signal incoming cold. Oh, yay….

Why’s it called a sun dog? The Greeks named it because it reminded them of two dogs walking along beside their master.

The Northern Plains tribes, including the Dakota here where I live, tell stories that the sun dog is a very powerful portent of change, a sign from Tunkasina (Grandfather God, Creator) that marks a time of great change or transition on the Earth. 

It is also understood to be a sign to people of the necessity of living a life in respect and harmony with all the creations that make life possible, all the relatives of humanity: plants, animals, waters, minerals, fires, winds, and other humans. 

Hmmmm…. somehow, both of those “fit” today, don’t they?