August 7, 1852

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Photo:  August 7, 2016

in Thoreau’s Journal:

We see the rain bow apparently when we are on the edge of the rain just as the sun is setting.  If we are too deep in the rain then it will appear dim. Sometimes it is so near that I see a portion of its arch this side the woods in the horizon tinging them. Sometimes we are completely within it––enveloped by it––and experience the realization of the childs wish. The obvious colors are red & green. Why green?  It is astonishing how brilliant the red may be. What is the difference between that red & the ordinary red of the evening sky. Who does not feel that here is a phenomenon which Natural philosophy alone is inadequate to explain?  

The use of the rain-bow, who has described it.