Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex

A Painting Puzzle

My thanks to Sebastien from Leipzig, Germany, for sending in this photo of a painting in the Museum of Communism in Prague.

Have a good look at the picture.

Q.1 Can you spot anything amiss? There is one aspect of the painting that won’t ring true for natural navigators.

Q.2 What weather should we expect?




Clue: Look at the shadows.





1. From the perspective of the viewer, rainbows form in the opposite direction to the sun. This means we should always see shadows pointing towards any rainbow. The shadows we see in the picture – look near the workers’ feet – point well to the left of the rainbow.

2. Showers are very likely and soon. The rainbow = showers in that direction. The wind direction is obvious from the chimney smoke and is coming from roughly the same direction as the rainbow, meaning showery weather is on its way. But the rain will be light, because there is not much red in the rainbow.

(See Sky and Weather chapter of The Walker’s Guide / The Lost Art for full detail).