Thursday, August 13, 2015


 I was sleepy last night but I did not want to miss such a good night for viewing shooting stars. I've been going out to look for the Perseid meteors since I was 16, and last night might have been the best viewing conditions I have ever had. The sky was mostly cloudless, and there was no moon. I took a drive out to a park in Oldham county that is better than any place here in Jefferson county. I had set my alarm for 1:00 a.m., left around 1:25, and got to the park's car lot right at 2:00. During the hour-and-ten-minutes I was there, I saw 61 meteors. There were a good mix of bright and faint ones. My favorite was a short, parallel pair of simultaneous meteors--they looked synchronized. Three of the meteors were not Perseids, they were moving from other parts of the sky. And this was the first time I can recall seeing the stars that comprised Perseus and seeing them well enough and high enough that I could actually recognize them.

I also saw insects lighting and fading in the grass around me; I guess they were glow worms, but I don't know much about them and will have to look it up. When I first got there, barred owls were raising a fuss. There were two nearby, and at least one more farther off. I think.

There was one other vehicle in the lot when I got there; it was two or three people watching the stars from the back of their pickup. At least, I suppose that's what they were doing, but who knows?. I parked as far from them as I could get, and they packed up and left before I did.

On the road out and back I passed two farm cats and a raccoon, but not all at once. And while I was sitting in the dark, by myself, I thought I heard something moving through the tall grass nearby, which weirded me out a little, but made a little noise to make sure any creeping critter knew I was there and could avoid me if it wanted to.

It was a fun excursion.

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