Mauve rings around the moon; blood-orange sun;

Twinned Iris; and that rare phenomenon

The iridule-when, beautiful and strange,

In a bright sky above a mountain range

One opal cloudlet in an oval form

Reflects the rainbow of a thunderstorm

Which in a distant valley has been staged-

For we are most artistically caged.

          V. Nabokov - Pale Fire



Jansy Mello: Today I was surprised to find a new image for our Nabokovian picture book that papers our artistic cage. My first thought related this image to John Shade's "iridule" but a quick analysis showed me that it's nothing of the sort - but a phenomenon that's equally worth noticing and sharing.

Image from clouds and rainbow in Wontagghi (Australia)



More associations: "In his memories of his father, Dmitri Nabokov relates that there was a reproduction of one of Fra Angelico's Annunciations propped up on Nabokov's lectern, with a handwritten note saying that the angel's rainbow-wings have a "dash of Iphiclides podalirius, with a slight dash of Papilio machaon and perhaps a hint of the day-flying moth Panaxia (=

>Euplagia) quadripunctaria. The two blackish stripes on each 'wing' correspond to the pattern of I.podalirius in the natural position of rest."


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