Monday, December 13, 2010

The Heavens

Jilda does a free yoga class on Monday nights at the community center in town and we just got back home. Only the hard core yoga-folk were there tonight because it was colder than an ice chest, here in Alabama. 
When we walked in the community center, it was 22 degrees outside. It didn't feel much warmer inside either. The city has the building on a timer and we couldn't kick up the heat. After a few minutes, of core work, I warmed up enough to feel my toes. 
When we got home, I grabbed the flashlight and went down to check on the chickens. I know birds are fine in cold weather, but I still put a small electric heater in their coop, and installed  a heated water unit so they wouldn't have to peck on ice to get a drink.
When I looked in on them tonight, they looked comfy on their perch. I got a few extra scoops of corn for the deer and scattered it under apple tree where they feed. 
I stood for a long time in the garden looking up at the sky. Even though the moon is only half full, the sky was bright. Off to the northeast I saw a shooting star spark across the night sky. A few seconds later, I saw another one that darted across my field of vision.  
I stood there for a full five minutes longer until my teeth began to chatter like an engine running cheap gas, and I didn't see any more meteors so I headed inside to warm by the fireplace.
Tonight is one of the best meteor shows of the year. The Geminid showers yield 45+ shooting stars per hour. Most meteor showers occur when bits of comet particles enter the earth's atmosphere. I guess the earth blows through the trail left by a comet at some time in the past and as trailing particles come in contact with the earth's atmosphere, they create the light show that we call meteor showers. But the Geminid meteor showers were from a asteroid.
I bet you didn't count on getting a sky-watching class tonight, but even though I know very little about astronomy, I'm still in awe when I look to the heavens at night.


  1. Oh you lucky lucky man!!! Wow!! A meteor shower!!! Wow! That;s just brilliant!!! My astronomy knowledge is probably less than zero but I do appreciate the beauty they offer!!
    Take care

  2. We looked for them when we took the dogs outside, but were not very lucky. I guess because it had gotten into the low 20's and we were into getting them back in as soon as business was done, we weren't patient. Good for you to have seen the meteors.
    Once in Virginia we laid in the middle of the street on lawn furniture cushions looking for the Persaids showers. We did see some that night.

  3. The best meteor shower I've ever seen was when was in Panama during my stint in the Army.
    I sat on an ancient wall at Fort San Lorenzo. It's an old Spanish fort situated on the shore of Atlantic.
    I could see from horizon to horizon and the sky was unencumbered by city lights.
    The show was stunning.

  4. Just thinking about a meteor shower can make me feel pretty insignificant in the scheme of things, which is probably a good thing. Boy, am I ever blessed! So are you from the looks of it.

  5. I just couldn't make myself go out in the cold to look for meteors last night. I'm glad you got to see 'em. Kaye

  6. I love your blog! The stories about Duke and Charlie are touching. And your similes like "wrapped up tight like sausage links" make me laugh out loud.

    I'll be back! :)

  7. Lucky you got to see them. The last one we had we drove out to the beach around midnite but wouldn't you figure we had a lot of cloud cover that night. One of these days we'll see something.


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