A Song Dog and a Sun Dog on the same day!

/, Coyotes, Utah/A Song Dog and a Sun Dog on the same day!

Sun Dog in the skySun Dog in the sky

Two days ago I posted some images of a lone Coyote on the shore of the Great Salt Lake and I had forgotten the Coyote wasn’t the only “dog” I photographed that day. I hadn’t uploaded the images from my back up camera and I remembered to do that this morning and realized that I had photographed a “Sun Dog” and a “Song Dog” on the same day.

I don’t see Sun Dogs all that often in the warmer months; though they do occur all year long, but I do see them quite often during the winter and when I can I like to take images of them. This particular Sun Dog was nearly a complete circle and if the sun had been a bit higher in the sky when it formed it would have been a full halo around the winter sun. The Wasatch Mountains are at the bottom of the frame and I photographed the Sun Dog on the east side of Antelope Island.

Folk lore suggests that when a Sun Dog appears there is bad weather ahead. There were some clouds in the valley but the forecasted snow never fell where I live.

Song Dog in the snowSong Dog in the snow

Earlier that morning I also photographed this “Song Dog” as it hunted for prey along the Great Salt Lake.

It isn’t often I am given the opportunity to photograph a Sun Dog and a Song Dog on the very same day.



  1. humming bird lover February 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Hi! I would like to say when I grew up in Michigan. My father taught us of Sun dogs ,ring around the moon! Yes the sun dog showed the weather that was coming in summer! In winter it showed the ice crystals that met snow storms. The ring around the moon ! You counted how many Stars you saw! was that many days before the storm! If no Star it would come within 24 hours. We as children also learned about lighting and by counting between striks you knew how far off the storm was in miles. Have a great day

  2. Patty Chadwick February 9, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    We see small, parts of sun dogs, or single, small portions of them fairly frequently. I only saw a “full” one once…your image is priceless!

  3. Jane Chesebrough February 9, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Great photos and play on words, Mia.Nice full circle on sundog and I took note of your settings.

  4. Lois Bryan February 8, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Both images are very beautiful, Mia!!!!!!

  5. Julie Brown February 8, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Great images and how wonderful to experience both!

  6. Larry Jordan February 8, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Cool Sun Dog photo Mia, and of course I can only dream of getting a shot of a Coyote that beautiful. How does one go about photographing a Sun Dog? Will will be in Klamath Falls Oregon next week where the conditions may be right to see one!

    • Mia McPherson February 8, 2014 at 7:51 am

      Larry, my gear and settings for the Sun Dog image were: Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/8000, ISO 320, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 18mm. I wish I would have had my circular polarizer handy which would have possibly helped with the extremely bright sun (some) and may have intensified the colors on the halo. I absolutely did not need to be at ISO 320 and should have bumped that down to ISO 100.

  7. Patty Chadwick February 8, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Oh, Mia! I can’t tell you how much your “birthday gift” means to me! I turn 81 today. The first thing I did was to open your blog…and find this sun dog, I wish we could meet face to face and I could tell you my experience with a full sun dog… and a very ill Lakota friend. It would take your breath away… We lost Bill, but every time I see a sun dog (i only saw a full one like the one in your photo one magical time…mostly we see small parts of one),I think of him and feel his presence. No one could have given me a better gift, Thank you!!!

  8. Montanagirl February 8, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Lucky you! Both are beautiful images.

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