Most nights, before I go to bed, I make one last check outdoors. I tell myself it’s a last patrol of the perimeter and a chance to walk the dog before I turn in but mostly all I do is peer at the sky. I’m a big fan of northern lights. I don’t see them very often but I check just about every night. Also, I have a fabulous night sky and it seems like a good idea to appreciate it.
In a proper world the night sky would be free to everyone, after all it was free to everyone for most of humanity’s existence. Unfortunately, if you live in an urban area your sky sucks. This means for many people all over the world their sky sucks and that’s a real bummer. As one of the lucky minority I make sure to savor the stars on their behalf too. No need to thank me, I’m here to help.
Last night I stepped outside for my evening check for the northern lights and low and behold there was a shooting star! This shouldn’t be surprising, it’s the Perseid meteor shower. Duh! (I’d forgotten.)
Fortunately for me it’s a weekend; how good of the Universe to schedule the Persieds for my convenience. I decided to watch.
The bad news is that the moon was up and it was ruining part of the view. Also it’s been really humid so the dew had everything soaking wet. Did I mention the mosquitoes?
My solution was to throw my sleeping bag in the back of my truck, drive to the back field where trees blocked most of the moonlight, fire up an anti bug device (I’ll link to it later… it really works), and hunker down to observe. (The truck bed also blocked the moonlight a little more.)
This worked pretty well. I forgot about the bugs and once my pupils adjusted to the dark I had a fabulous time. Just me and the sky. All humans ought to spend a few hours staring at the stars from time to time. As my grandmother used to say “it’s good for what ails ya'”. (I have a feeling that 2016 wouldn’t be so stupid if Hillary and the Hairball both looked at the night sky and got a realistic view of their insignificance in the cosmos. How much bullshit would be averted if everyone in D.C. had to spend a night alone in the dark under the stars? “I’m sorry Senator Shithead, the historic Curmudgeon Act of 2016 requires you to sleep in a truck bed in a field in Wyoming no less that quarterly or face impeachment and execution. While considered obtuse at the time it led to our current age of peace and contentment.” Whoops… sorry about the rambling. Forgive me.)
Someone, likely someone smarter than me, said that the best things in life are free. Laying in the back of your truck staring at the sky enjoying a couple shooting stars (which is not a euphemism!) is cheaper than dirt and time well spent.
Sadly (or maybe not) I didn’t last long. After a couple hours I fell asleep. I woke after the moon had set but by then the sky had clouded up. Oh well. ‘Aint nothing wrong with a good night’s sleep either.
I hope everyone who wanted had plenty of time to see the the show. It was pretty decent, even in sub-par viewing conditions.