Mist and Shadows

One early foggy morning, while running with the dog in the dark, I gazed in wonder at our haloed shadow as it paced ahead of us then glided out into the field beside us and disappeared. A car had come from behind just as we passed a large barn and somehow this combination of refracted light and mist caused a Brocken Spectre – a shadow projected onto and in a cloud, usually with a halo around it.

Now, seeing a shadow is one thing, but seeing a shadow move out and away from your body is quite another thing and ever since that morning I’ve held that image as one of the most profound sights I’ve beheld – all without a camera, of course and with only the dog as my witness.  On many other occasions, though, I have stopped to take a shot of the shadows or the mists.


Up by the Lillooet Forest Service bridge, the fog swirls in imitation of the river flowing next to it.


At Logan Lake, shadows are sharp and crisp.


In the backyard, surprises appear in the shadows.


On the Tenquille trail, my constant companion appears in the mist ahead of me then we both gaze at our dark reflections cast on a tree.


I’m not alone in admiring shadows and mist; much is written about the meaning and the wonder of them. Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in Constancy to an Ideal Object describes the Brocken Spectre when a character Sees full before him, gliding without tread,/ An image with a glory round its head; at the time I saw this same apparition in the dark misty morning, I had no idea there was a name for the phenomena, nor did I know that the idea had been so clearly captured by a poet who lived one hundred and eighty years ago.

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