Pretty in Pink

Yesterday, I was forced to deal with one of a writer's biggest problems: split ends. The hair--not the writing of a book with two possible endings. I made a same-day appointment at a little salon in Olympia for a haircut. The stylist I have been going to is perfect for me: quick, precise, friendly, enthusiastic, easy to talk with, but not too chatty.

We caught up on the holidays and then moved on to how business was at the salon. She was new in the area and was doing well rebuilding her list of regular clients. We hadn't yet talked about my line of work (so far all she knew about me was that I was a mother who needed the occasional haircut). I began telling her about the books I had written on various "nature" topics--endangered animals, ecosystems, snakes, and birds. When I got around to clouds (my current project), her face lit up.

"Oooh! I love the pink ones!"

I think there is definite market for my book.

So, for all of you lovers of pink clouds and sunset cloudspotters, here is the story. Pink clouds appear almost exclusively at sunrise and sunset when the sun is shining through the microscopic dust and mist particles near the earth's surface. These particles scatter the shorter blue- and violet-looking wavelengths and make them difficult, if not impossible, for our eyes to see. The longer red- and orange-looking wavelengths are not scattered and therefore can travel from the sun to our eyes unimpeded by the particles in the atmosphere. The clouds reflect these warrior red wavelengths and create the beautiful pink clouds that may begin or end the day.