Photo of the week – October week #2: Mistbows

I’ve seen a lot of weird cloud formations and atmospheric phenomena in the years I’ve been hiking Table Mountain, but nothing like this. Rounding the northwest corner of Table Mountain onto Fountain Ledge, the Atlantic Seaboard fogbound, I came upon a rainbow riding in the vaporous air directly ahead of me, drained of color and tubular in dimension. A remarkable sight in itself, considering there was no rain to account for its formation, but even more so when it stayed beside me as I proceeded along the ledge. It finally dissolved when I rounded Fountain Corner to the south side of the mountain, only to find a second ‘mistbow’ hovering over the sheer upper sections of Fountain Ravine. The atmosphere was surreal and otherworldly: not a breath of wind, not a sound save the clicking of moss frogs, just the shifting, slow-eddying fog swirling around the tall shrub and sculpted rocks. Minutes away from the summit, a third mistbow materialized behind me, framing the path like a portal into another dimension.

I have yet to come off a Table Mountain hike or climb without having made some small discovery, or having gained some  titbit of knowledge about the mountain. This is, among other things, what sustains my enthusiasm and passion for hiking Table Mountain.