Wheeling Worlds of the Winter Firmament

Every child in such a class is open to the wonders that science reveals, is interested in the wheeling worlds of the winter firmament.  -Charlotte Mason, Vol. 6, p. 50.

On the way to our TBG Community at 8:00 a.m. last Friday, we pulled off the country road to wonder at some majestic eagles sitting in the trees.  We didn't worry about being late because we knew that our friends would understand.  We watched and took pictures with our phones.  As if that wasn't enough to marvel at, dd turned around and took a picture of this phenomena - a sun dog!  I can't remember a winter in Minnesota that had so many of these.

sun dog pic taken by dd on 2/14/14

Here is an excerpt from A Prairie Boy's Winter by William Kurelek.  We had just read this portion in school.
The big blizzard that came each winter was followed by an eerie silence.  It was partly an illusion, a contrast to the howling fury the air had got used to after three days and nights.  The wind had stopped and the sun was dazzling over the crisp, fresh, white landscape.  In the clear air the train running three miles to the west of the farm sounded as if it were chugging down the highway, just up the lane.

As William went out on an errand, he noticed another odd thing.  The sun had two little snippets of rainbow some distance away from it, just above the horizon.  His father referred to this in Ukrainian: "the sun has ears," he said.  But the other children in school with William knew they were called sundogs.

"The sun has ears"
We  have noticed that we see them in the morning and that the air seems still and different. 

nature notebook entries

And I love how Shakespeare describes this sun dog during the War of the Roses in Shakespeare's King Henry VI, Pt. 3, Act II, Scene 1:

Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?

Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun;
Not separated with the racking clouds,
But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
As if they vow'd some league inviolable:
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
In this the heaven figures some event.

'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of.
I think it cites us, brother, to the field,
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
Each one already blazing by our meeds,
Should notwithstanding join our lights together
And over-shine the earth as this the world.
Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair-shining suns.

We hope to see a moon dog someday in the wheeling worlds of the winter firmament!

With affection and regard,


the eagles!


  1. Nancy, that is so beautiful! Great picture and notebook entries. I love those every day livable teachable surprise moments. Thanks for the selections...maybe someday will catch a moon dog too.

  2. Oh, how beautiful! I've never heard of a sun dog before. How spectacular! And those eagles are amazing too. What a blessing that drive ended up being! Thanks for sharing the photos. I wonder what sort of climate and terrain conditions a sun dog requires for formation. I hope I get to see one someday!