Amazing shots of the sundogs , visiting Sheila and racking the wine.

The sun with his dogs.  Frankly I find these images downright spooky.


These were taken from the field and yes it was cold. sudog-011

Ads shooting straight into the sun creates some odd effects but there is something deeply supernatural about these.  What does it mean to have this in your skies, as you trudge in from doing ordinary chores in the early morning.


After the work for the morning was finished and I had dealt with the supernatural, we loaded up  the white truck (too cold for the red truck) and slipped and slid on the ice  covered roads out to visit Sheila.

She popped up out of her deep straw bed with much more vigor than the day before. I had brought her a big feed of her favourite oats,barley, molasses and eggs and an apple with an aspirin hidden in it. Aspirin is amazing for pigs with limps. Plus her  hay and another half bale of straw as last night was forecast to get dangerously  cold at -16.  (Though to be fair she would not have been any warmer in my barn) She ate and then set to work on her bed, rearranging all the straw. I took this as a very good sign and helped her for a while, chatting as girls do and when I could no longer feel the fingers attached to my hands I said, bye bye darling girl and shuffled off back to the truck.

Later we racked the Lady Bird Winesudog-036

and the beer.


I have kept the left over beer for when we breed Sheila. As a special treat. Seems appropriate actually. Maybe she just needs a drink then the Boar will look prettier!

The Lady Bird Wine made with natural  wild yeasts is tasting startlingly good, even now, with at least 6 months before I can bottle it.


I hope you all have a lovely day, maybe this is the last bad cold day for a while. As I write this before dawn and at 4.50 am it is only -9F (-22C) with no wind. So not as cold as forecast. Which is a relief. I look back at that sentence and wonder how I can think -9 is not too bad! Have to laugh at myself really.


Your friend on the farmy,



71 Comments on “Amazing shots of the sundogs , visiting Sheila and racking the wine.

  1. Those sundogs are amazing. We’ve not had any this year as it hasn’t really been cold enough, but I agree they are spooky. We have had some great aurora though (do you get them in your neck of the woods?) and they are a joy to behold. Even after several years here I get goosebumps when I look at those pulsating lights.

    “I look back at that sentence and wonder how I can think -9 is not too bad!” Oh my, I so recognise that statement. I remember thinking 15°C was freezing cold when I lived in Australia. Now it’s more t-shirt weather and I don’t don the hat and gloves until it’s down to under 5°C. As for -9°C … well, that would depend if there was wind or not. Oh how our perspectives change. Today we have -2°C but a really brisk wind and driving snow so it feels much colder than this time last week when it was -15°C and still. Go figure… 🙂

    I’m glad that Sheila has rallied somewhat from the trauma of the unwanted attention of the opposite sex. Luckily “mum” is there to commiserate, support her and help her lick her wounds. Let’s hope that her next date is more of a success and she can come home.

    • Deep down i think Sheila quite enjoyed a good dust up. She is a pig after all and has been so good for so long, maybe she felt like biting someone! But she will only receive a boar if she is ready and wants to. If not then we have to force her hormones through it chemically which is not my first choice. Though this is what i do with the cows.
      No I have never seen an aurora, how marvellous that must be. There are a few of the fellowship wearing the icebug boots now, including me! those swedes know how to keep my feet warm! c

      • I hadn’t realised that pigs were so fiesty. Go, Sheila! My little dog is best friends with a fiesty little Australian Terrier (my Swede swears we Aussies are all the same) and you should see her defend her friends. More than one large dog in this town has lost a mouthful of fur to her – tiny, but so brave and just itching for someone to start a fight – which she’ll happily finish. Animals are all so fascinating to observe – each with their own unique personality.

        I’ll say this for the Swedes, they know how to dress for the cold. Their stuff is never cheap, but boy is it warm and cosy. When I first came here, my Swede laughed at my Australian “winter boots”. That was the first thing he did – drag me to the shop for proper boots. My gloves, scarf, hat etc were the next to go, followed by my joke of a winter jacket in which I froze to the bone while spending the day in Stockholm. I wear a lot of outerwear from Fjällräven and it’s also terrific. Well made, warm, rugged and lasts forever.

  2. Good on Sheila. Good news all round. I wonder how many people in centuries past mistook those Sun Dogs as angels. Good morning, c, and keep yourself warm. Goodness me, those temps are other-worldly.

    • This one in particular really does look like two angels stood up straight like guards.. That is exactly what I thought too.. morning misky.. c

  3. Happier Sheila, happier Celi… Those sundog photos are just weird. Seeing them you can understand people thinking they were seeing UFOs.

  4. Never seen sun dogs quite like those…usually just a bit of one. ‘Course, we don’t have as big a sky as you do… 😉
    Good to hear Our Girl was better yesterday…Perhaps she doesn’t quite agree that she’s a pig, and that boar was a surprise?

  5. I’d be the dogs in the house rather than the pigs in the barn, even if it is only minus 22. I’m glad to hear Sheila is improving.
    I thought at first that the sun dogs were a camera artefact, not a real phenomena. Wow.

    • No that is what was there, not through the window either, though i think the camera captured a wee bit more of the ring, so the image on the screen was a surprise too. All I did was add a darker layer in behind so the light layer was sharper..

  6. Morning Celi, funny how our perceptions change when we kind of get used to the cold. I thought yesterday was really warm at 28F! Dropped over night though but still warmer than you at 10F.
    Thought this would interest you:
    The Battle of Mortimer’s Cross

    In 1461, the War of Roses was in full swing. That cold morning of Feburary 2nd, troops commanded by Edward of York watched as three suns rose from the darkness of the Herefordshire, England horizon.

    They were primed for battle, but still heavily influenced by superstition. The fact that such a blatantly unnatural event happened so close to a violent conflict did not seem to bode well.

    However, their commander had a different idea in mind.

    To him, the three suns represented the Holy Trinity. He saw it as a sign that they were being blessed by their God and were guaranteed a win.

    If he had not been able to boost his men’s moral, would they have won that battle?

    That enigmatic commander later went on to become King Edward IV.

    Shakespeare had later commemorated the miraculous sunrise in his play, Henry VI, part 3.

    • wow, it is all in the interpretation isn’t it. Clever fellow. I always wondered how they rallied their troops without sound systems or written directives..relying on word of mouth is a tricky business.. chinese whispers and all that! c

  7. Stunning pix today. Is the sundog effect caused by the low temperature? I like your “only” minus 20 – I’m probably wearing as many clothes as you, and it is plus 20 C in the house!
    I’m glad Sheila was feeling better – your visit was probably the tonic she needed.

    • Morning Viv, the sundog effect is caused by it being so cold that minute crystals of water freeze in the air and then are suspended there, often just above the horizon, these catch the suns rays and bounce them back.. (this is why we usually see them after sunrise and before sunset but today was even colder and no sundog so must have to be just right to get the efffect. I think the theory (which I have to admit I only understand in a very rudimentary way) is similar to a rainbow. Hopefully the weather will stay settled for a while and I can see Sheila every day, this will make the difference I think. c

  8. The sundogs make me think of the Stephen King book Under the Dome. I suspect the reflection in the Dome would look like your photos. (and no, I didn’t watch the TV series, the book was too good to spoil my memories of it with some silly TV recreation)

  9. Those sun dogs certainly ARE spooky, but very beautiful. So glad that Sheila’s feeling better – well she would be now that she’s in a nice, dry bed. Hope that she accepts the boar soon so that she can come home to her mama’s tender care!

    • I hope so too, but the normal cycle is 21 days, so I think we may need to be patient. And this will give her time to settle down and get used to the other pigs around her.. and used to my morning visits.. c

  10. I said it to some one else who posted photos of sun dogs which we have never seen… you keep ’em we’ll keep the sun and warm thank you…

    • Yes well, i do see what you mean, i would take the warm anyday.. i do not function as well in the cold.. so love the sun for me would you?.. c

      • C I’ll love it for you with pleasure… don’t feel bad if I don’t ask you to love the cold for me… but I might just ask you to keep it there for as long as you can…

  11. I’ve never seen sun dogs that dramatic. I think they look spooky because — at least to me — they look like someone or something enormous is looking at you under a lens. Like the visual tricky tables have been turned and you are sitting under a giant fish eye lens. Or, it looks like the multiple suns out of that funky film Bagdad Cafe. I love the way you allot yourself time to be awed by the supernatural then move on! Such a funny lesson in there. Just gotta keep movin’ I guess, no matter what strangeness the universe is serving up.

    • Bagdad Cafe is one of my most favourite movies. I still have the soundtrack in my head and I must have watched over 10 years ago.. that long? I must google and see when it came out, it certainly was a long time ago, but a classic i think, still love it. On our route 66 travels we went to where they filmed it.. desolate in the extreme.. c

  12. The sun dog pictures are amazing!!! You really captured them at their spookiest!!! Do you have any snow rollers? I have seen tons of pictures of those the past couple of days. Glad you got some “piggy” time and that Sheila acts better than she did—-I am sure she just needed you to reassure her and that apple looked particularly tasty! Have a warm day—-I agree—our minus 8 this morning seems blazing hot.

  13. Stunning skies .. the Farmy needs a few good omens! Glad Sheila is more chipper. Laura

  14. what an apparition..real spooky stuff
    I am pleased that Sheila is ok and has managed to get over her bad experience….. give her a hug from me.
    don’t drink too much too soon otherwise you will be seeing more than sun gods!!!!

  15. Sun Dogs are beautiful!! Diamond dust in the sky!!

    It sounds like Sheila is doing okay and maybe that boar will start looking better to her soon.

    Enjoy your day on the farmy!

  16. We rarely see sundogs here in Oklahoma in the winter. I’m not sure why but we do see them in late summer and fall. But these photos of yours are the grandest sundogs I’ve ever seen!

    I’m glad Sheila is perkier. You know how fickle we women can be… there is no telling what is going on in her head (just like the rest of us girls!).

  17. Fabulous photos of sun dogs. I had hoped to catch them in the sky early this morning, but was a lazy lady and stayed under cover too long. I did not know what they were the first time I saw them then heard a weather report. Glad Sheila is up and about.

  18. Could not even wait to have my coffee….had to see the latest news about Sheila. Ahhhh what beautiful pictures of sun dogs. I have never seen them (of course I really am not up at sunrise, so that is why, ya think?) When we have snow, we get snow rollers. No snow here….can you give us some of yours? I think maybe Sheila thought she was abandoned. Strange place and no Celi Mom or treats and then that fresh boar. No wonder she was depressed. I am so glad she feels better about the whole thing. OK…now where is our sweetness? We saw Boo but no Marmalade. Where is that sweet kitty? I did not know it was OK for pigs to have a little snort or an aspirin. Who knew?

    • I agree Emily, we dropped her off in a snowstorm, then were snowed in for days and I was unable to see her much at all. Now the weather though cold has been more settled and visiting her every day will improve her spirits. Now if only that kitty would stay in one place, he has taken to circling the room without touching the floor, he hides and ambushes people and steals food off the benches, eats dog food out of the dogs bowl WHILE the dogs are eating it, I am thinking of changing him name to Dennis. I will stalk him today and see what we come up with.. c

    • Too true, all they want to do is lie in the patches of sun in the house, how we all long to lie in patches of sun out of the house.

  19. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sundog! Such an odd name. Best of luck with Herself – she does seem like she missed you. A little routine in a strange place goes a long way. As does a bit of booze when the boys are snorting around!

  20. So glad Sheila is OK. I enjoy the reports of things brewing in the safe interiors of the farm, from bellies of animals to your own cellar. Spring is going to be pretty exciting. (And I cheered when I heard that the natural yeasts LadyBird wine is coming up trumps – not that anyone is competitive of course). Lovely to get your comment today; I’ve posted it with a reply.

    • even worse, (just quietly) Johns introduced yeast wine stopped bubbling some time ago and is destined to become vinegar.. (oh dear!).. c

  21. Don’t remember any sundogs from my childhood – Tallinn being a coastal city perhaps it simply did not get cold enough? Do remember seeing the Northern Lights many a time tho’ – awfully dramatic but the unexpected colours and patterns still made me hold onto darling Dad’s hand ever so hard 😀 !! Would have found the sundogs less spooky methinks! Glad one lot of wine going to be a good one!! Am wondering whether you will know the alcohol % ?

    • No we did not do that test yet, though I did have a wee glass so as to do a taste test, and it has a reasonable kick.. hopefully after a year or so it will develop into a lovely dessert wine.. I am feeling optimistic.. for the first time in four years of making this wine. I had a hard time convincing John to give me half to let the wild yeast go to work, so thank goodness it is shaping up! c

      • [little smile 🙂 !] Well, since you are the one with the wine and Big John will provide the vinegar for the household, don’t think he can ‘hold back’ ‘your half’ next year – and every year you will get more and more the feel of an expert winemaker!

  22. Beautiful shots of the Sundogs, C. I just love that name…sundogs! Do you think there are suncats anywhere? 🙂

  23. Great sundog photos!!!!! We’ve had a lot here, too but I keep not having my camera on me because I don’t want it to freeze in the car when I’m doing errands. I did take some with my cell phone, though – which were ok, but not the unobstructed view that you have with only the field between you and the sun!

  24. Even in the coldest most harsh of time, there’s beauty to amaze. Lovely
    I have been worried about Sheila. Horses and cows can also have difficulties and can’t be rushed. Stay warm!

  25. A super giggly happy post and I think it’s because Shiela’s happier now too. Interesting about the wonders of aspirin for pigs. Love the “girl talk” you had with her and all your efforts to make her snug and well fed. And the sun dogs shots are awesome! Your post left me full of smiles – even at the -9 temp reading..

  26. I am a huge sundog fan! Thank you thank you for posting those images, we get them here too but we don’t have your big big skies to enjoy them in all their glory and splendour. I don’t know if you sent them to lovely Les Cowley at he would probably love to see them, they are quite superb. Ice, it’s all in the ice…. I wish I was there with my nose tucked inside my muffler peeking out between frozen lashes, I wish…. xx

    • I tried to find his email but the site will not work for me, maybe I do not have enough signal.. I shall go and do some farming and try again later.. there must be an email address on there somewhere.. c

  27. Pingback: News from near the Bogs | breezes at dawn

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