Friday, August 13, 2010


I incorrectly set my alarm for 2:20, resulting in it not awakening me.  Fortunately, I woke up on my own at 2:40 and checked the clock, got dressed, and set out.


I decided to take a faster route out to Long Run Park, but got lost when I couldn't find the back end of Flat Rock Road.  For the first time, I turned on my new phone's GPS, which allowed me to realize I was close to Shelbyville Road.


It was supposed to take about 20 minutes to get to the park, but it ended up taking almost twice that.  Along the way I saw more deer (six or seven) than cars (three).  The deer and I weren't much of a danger to one another, since I was slowly feeling my way along unfamiliar roads.


This is one of the latest times I've been out to watch the Perseids.  Usually I've gone out anywhere from 10:00 to 2:00, and been home well before sunrise.  At those hours, I'm more likely to run into other people at the park (some I've seen have obviously been sky watchers like me; but others I've not been so sure about and might be better off not knowing.)  Arriving at the park this morning at 3:30, I only saw on other car.  I didn't see whoever came in it, but they left before I did.


I set up my lawn chair by the road.  I used a little bug repellent, but they mosquitoes weren't too bad.  Occasionally, geese or ducks on the lake would make a racket; distant dogs barked; a barred owl was repeating, "Who-cooks-for-you?" in the trees downhill; once, I heard a very far-off donkey braying loudly.  It had a pleasantly pastoral feel.


The light pollution out at Long Run Park now truly sucks, though.  It is darker than the street on which I live, but not by much.  I had considered going farther out, either looking for a place way out Highway 22, or going with an astronomy group out to a viewing site in Crawford County, Indiana.  I'd be much more inclined to go farther if I were actually doing it as an outing with family or friends, but since it was just me, I settled on Long Run, knowing in advance that much of the sky would be washed out.


Over the course of the first hour, I saw twenty meteors.  Once I hit twenty, I almost decided to call it quits, but hung on for another fifteen or twenty minutes until I hit a tally of twenty five.  The best one I saw wasn't a Perseid meteor; it came from another direction, and I only saw the end of it as it came from behind me, flaring bright yellow.


The drive home was much smoother.


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