Air Painting ~ A camera shot, not a painting, of Lake Storsjön, Jämtland, Sweden. Imaged by Göran Strand (web, blog).

We mostly select mirage images that are clean easily categorised examples of inverted, superior, mock-mirage, Fata Morgana or whatever.  This one shows that Nature’s artistry and guile is richer and more subtle.

Wind was ruffling the nearby water. 'Above' it the mirage starts. Not a near shoreline, a mirage. The far lake shore and its lower trees are apparently reflected in smooth water. That is an illusion. The inverted part is an ‘inferior’ mirage (image below the real objects) made by warmer air below cooler.

What is happening above the immediate inverted image is strange. There are hints of at least two superimposed images. There is a beguiling blobbyness that could be mistaken for a watercolour painting.

Above the double vision layer the landscape settles. There is a snow covered village in a clearing. Yet the blobbyness from some kind of turbulence and resulting refraction persists.

                  Image ©Göran Strand, shown with permission

Turbulence creates a strange blobby watercolour brush stroke appearance

Atmospheric
Optics
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The mirage edge gives the false appearance of smooth water and a nearby lake shore.
             
Inferior mirage, the distant lake shore is imaged inverted and below the real shore.
Air near the lake surface is warmer than that higher up.