For me, the rare gem during winter is the sundog. Due to so many extreme cold days, I have seen more sundogs this year than the rest of my life combined. Though they are sometimes feint, this morning the sundogs were particularly glorious, looking like 3 suns and a distinct halo over St. Paul. I wish I could have grabbed a photo to share it in its glory, but my iPhone’s lens is limited and I couldn’t get into a good position for a full shot, so I lifted a good representation of what it looked like (though the photo was taken by a professional in the more pristine setting of Denali: http://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/winter-activities.htm).
I did get some partial photos earlier this winter and here is a link to some other people’s pics thanks to MPR: http://blogs.mprnews.org/statewide/2013/12/sun-dogs/.
A sundog tells me that it is below zero F out, and today continues a string of subzero temps, I am not sure how many days total that makes this winter, but I suspect it would be easier to count the days it hasn't dipped below zero. I can think of perhaps two (if that is not true, well... it feels true). I have been able to get out on my bike during a few of them, but this bike commuter has been cooled by the weather. My hats off to the many bike commuters, heartier than me, I continue to see through the window of the bus – like the sundogs.
More on sundogs: