DEAR SUN SPOTS: I saw your scientifically correct answer to the query about a rainbow around the sun and had to write to share a bit more.

First, let me say that I love the name of your column. Right after I graduated from journalism school at Boston University in 1975 I was editor of the weekly Watertown Sun, in Watertown, Massachusetts. At the suggestion of a colleague, I named my column Sun Spots. I felt it was so useful, for the name suggested focusing beams of light on a wide realm of reportorial possibilities.

Since you focused your editorial light on the natural phenomenon of a rainbow around the sun, I wanted to add to that picture by sharing the mythology of the circular rainbow, also called the Whirling Rainbow, or Sunbow. I learned about this in the 1990s, as part of a small band of pilgrims walking from the Atlantic (First Encounter Beach on Cape Cod) toward what is known indigenously as the Western Gateway at the Pacific Ocean. As a journalist, I naturally kept a daily journal for all 225 days of the walk from east to west.

As it happens, there is a considerable body of lore about the Whirling Rainbow. Day 7 of my available online journal Odyssey of the 8th Fire relates elements of that lore.

If you have an interest in the mythology of the rainbow around the sun, you can search out my journal, Odyssey of the 8th Fire on the internet, or simply go directly to www.8thfire.net.  Find Day 7 on the navigation menu on the left side of the page then scroll about half-way down the page for Day 7 to where the journal reports on some elements of the myth.

In the late 1960s after high school, I worked at an apple orchard in Sweden, Maine. When harvest season came I got to load the apples onto a big old creaky truck, rumble down country roads to the highway, then onward to deliver the apples for cold storage in Lewiston-Auburn. What a great job that was! — Steven, Albuquerque, New Mexico

ANSWER: I hope you will take a few moments to read Steven’s information. It’s really interesting!

It never ceases to amaze me how far Sun Spots travels. Over the years, letters have come in from all over the country and from as far away as the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: While walking, to my delight I noticed a Little Free Library had popped up at Apple Valley Golf Course on Pinewoods Road in Lewiston.

I love these little free libraries and it’s such a great way to share books. We read on electronic devices, but a real book can’t be beat. — No name, Lewiston

ANSWER: It is a delight to find a Little Free Library! If you are interested in creating your own, it’s easy to do and would make a great end-of-summer/early fall project. For everything you need to know to build your library and to find others nearby, go to littlefreelibrary.org.

If you would like to share a Little Free Library story, I’d love to read them!

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: