NABOKV-L post 0014512, Wed, 27 Dec 2006 14:28:46 -0500

Christmas Reading & The Spectre
Thanks to Stephen for the charming article. It inspired me to dig into
own list of not-yet-read essentials.

Risking tedium, I will relate (as Flann O'Brien's Finn would say)
my own Brocken tale. In the summer of 1995 I was stationed in a
fire lookout atop the summit of Up Up Mountain, Lolo National Forest,
far western Montana. The lookout was a 41' timber tower with a 14x14
glass house on top and a narrow catwalk skirting all sides. One
night when the lookout was deep in the clouds, as it was much of
that summer, I stepped out onto the catwalk to deliver a mouthful
of water and toothpaste over the edge. As I leaned out, I was startled
by a dark figure hovering over the abyss, about ten feet out. It
seems my Coleman lantern was hanging directly behind me, and the
atmosphere was sufficiently thick to provide a footing for my dark
double. I suppose the dual effects of being so high in the air and
so utterly alone made the appearance of this other seem both
frightful (immediately) and delightful (upon consideration). In any
case, it was one of the two remarkable parhelia I witnessed that
summer, the other being a complete double rainbow (a complete circle!),
which appeared just off the east bow of the lookout one evening
after a rain when the sun was even with me on the western horizon.

I promise to digress no more.

Matt Roth

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