Lifestyle & Human Interest

They Say This Angel in the Sky Was a Weather Phenomenon, But What Do You Think


A photographer from the U.K. snapped a photo of a rare weather phenomenon that has an other-worldly composition resembling an angel in the clouds.

Lee Howdle was hiking on Mam Tor, a hill in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire, central England, when he saw his larger-than-life shadow set against a low-hanging cloud.

Armed with his camera, Howdle snapped a few photos of the rainbow halo that glowed around his shadow.

“My shadow looked huge. It was in this circular rainbow,” Howdle told the South West News Service, reported by KTTV.

“I took some photos of it and carried on walking. It was like an angel in the sky over the hills, it was quite magical.”

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Howdle posted the image to social media, explaining that what he had photographed has a name: the Brocken Spectre, named after a peak in the Harz Mountains in Germany called Brocken.

Is there a deeper meaning to this image?

The Brocken Spectre is visible when a person is “standing with the sun at your back, gazing at your own haloed shadow cast on fog,” according to EarthSky.

“Sometimes I Think I Am Lucky,” Howdle captioned his photo. “Today I Saw This Rare Weather Phenomenon Called [Brocken] Spectre. My Shadow And A Circular Rainbow Projected Onto A Low Cloud.”

Though the image is indeed only a shadow, the photo serves as a reminder of the One — the God who created the heavens and the earth — who is sovereign over his creation.

The photographer said he felt blessed after witnessing such a splendor of nature.

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“I have never seen this before in my life,” Howdle said.

“I read about it once on the internet.”

The moment, preserved forever through Howdle’s lens, seems to have left a mark on the photographer’s heart.

“It’s really amazing and I feel very blessed to have captured such a magical moment,” Howdle said.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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