Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

April 14, 2008

The Sun Canvas

We've had the good fortune of living in 2 homes that get a Stonehenge-like effect in the spring and fall.

In our townhouse in Fairfax, CA, we had skylights in the cathedral ceilings and twice a year, a beam of light would creep down the wall on the stairs and light up the usually dark livingroom for a brief few minutes. We even hung a crystal prism that didn't see sunlight for most of the year, except on those few days in the spring and fall, when it would shoot rainbows all over the walls. Every time someone new would come over they'd say the same thing, "um...why do you have a crystal hanging there?"

Unfortunately I did not realize I had black & white film in my camera when I shot this picture, the one day that we were actually home for the full-on sunbeam hitting the crystal, in September, 1998. It was the only time I was able to shoot the effect and I blew it w/ b&w film! Oh well.
Then we moved into our house in Washington in August, 1999. That September, we witnessed the same kind of "Stonehenge effect", only this time it was with the cut glass in our front door and the hallway wall downstairs. Then it happened again in April, 2000, where the circle was centered on the wall. We decided that we would not hang any posters on this wall, and just call it the "Sun Canvas". Although the cut glass provides pretty rainbows and light during the long summer days, only in Sept. and Apr. is the design centered like this. I shot this on Sunday, 4/13. See the kind of pointy shadow on the left? That's Sagan's ear. He, of course, had to escort me to the landing and sit next to me as I shot.

Closeup of rainbow on the wall.

The frosted design on the pane acts as a stencil.


  1. That's beautiful Jojo. My parents house has sky lights, they get some amazing shapes and colors on their walls. My house...I'm not so lucky.

  2. Oh, JoJo, only you could take a rainbow picture in B/W!

    The effects in your house are stunning. Glad Sagan appreciates them too. (Course, dogs only see in B/W don't they? So he can get the same enjoyment out of both sets of pictures...)

  3. your inner hippy is showing! :)

    my pal jude lived in a townhouse in fairfax...the ones on the way out of town, just past the strip mall w/the 7-11.

  4. Annie - OMG, that's EXACTLY where we Canon Village, on the right side of SFD Blvd., as you head west!! We lived on Mitchell Drive and could walk to that 7-11.

  5. Anonymous3:52 PM

    Ooooh, how very X-Files! You should be a professional photographer Jojo....