I never think to pull out my cell phone to record a “Karen” screaming at a store clerk or a cop making an arrest, but I do like to take pictures of curious sights around Cache Valley.
For instance, I got a pretty clear shot of a flying saucer over Logan one day last fall.
OK, the obvious truth is that the photo topping the display above is a cloud, not a UFO, but that’s not just any cloud. It’s a rare “lenticular” formation that in my mind is almost as exciting as a flying saucer since pictures of suspected alien spacecraft are a dime a dozen these days.
Google lenticular clouds and you’ll see much more amazing ones than this, photographed above iconic mountain peaks and other exotic locales around the world. It thrills me to know Cache Valley is one of those exotic locales.
Conditions have to be just right for these swirling lens shapes to form in the sky, and when they start stacking on top of each other — as you can see is just starting to occur in this photo — the effect can be quite otherworldly.
Back in the 1990s, The Herald Journal printed a reader-submitted photo of a giant orange-tinged and multi-layered lenticular cloud floating across the center of Cache Valley at dawn. I can’t find a copy of that photo, but if the Greek god Zeus had a sailing ship, this was the closest thing to it!
A couple of other otherworldly sights are featured in today’s photo montage. They are variations on a rainbow. Thinking myself quite clever, I presented the pictures to my granddaughter recently as prime examples of a “fogbow” and a “rainblob.” Turns out the terms had already been coined.
I hope the reproduction here is good enough for readers to see the small, puffy rainbow arc that formed in the fog on the Logan River Golf Course one morning in November. There was no color in the arc, and it was only about 30 yards across. I’d never seen anything like this before but learned later that it’s not that uncommon, and “fogbow” is an actual term for the phenomenon. Wikipedia even has an entry on it.
“Rainblob” is another term you can find on the internet, but there’s no Wikipedia page — just random online usages accompanying photos like the one you see here.
My blob was visible along the Bear River Range north of Logan. I know partial rainbows are not uncommon. However, this one seemed about three times wider than a typical rainbow, creating a fairly unusual sight, and I wasn’t the only one gawking at it.
Below those two photos is another curious Logan visual that seemed to warrant a snapshot. It looks like a row of tropical trees, but they’re actually just good old poplars reshaped by the big branch-busting snowstorm that hit Cache Valley in October.
Since there are so many poplars around, the redesign, if you will, made the valley look like a different place late last year — some far off place where things like lenticular clouds fill the sky.
Mother Nature had no hand in the final oddity shown here. It’s not every day you see a church steeple standing alone in a vacant lot.
The steeple once stood atop a Latter-day Saint chapel there that was torn down last year. Dedicated in 1950, the chapel at the corner of 100 East and 200 South most recently served as home to the Central Park and Larkspur wards, but originally it was the 11th and 13th ward meetinghouse.
On the outside, the red-brick building still looked pretty stately and stable right up to the end, but Bishop Corey Yeates told me church authorities decided to raze it and sell the land after it dismally failed an inspection by a seismological team sent out to evaluate regional church buildings in the wake of the 2020 Magna earthquake.
“They were appalled, basically,” he said.
Yeates’ understanding is that the new property owner is thinking about incorporating the steeple into the design of a new building there. I contacted the owner to talk about his plans but have so far not heard back.
It would be hard to bring yourself to toss out a church steeple, though using it in secular architecture might be a bit tricky too.
Well, it looks like I’ve run out of pictures to talk about today. But I shouldn’t sign off without saying if somebody out there does get a photo of a UFO in Cache Valley, I actually would love to see that.