Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Star Fall

Last night I wrapped a blanket around me (to keep the mosquitos at bay) and ventured out to my backyard to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. Trees surround my yard so I had to position my patio chair in the middle to get the most coverage. By the time I was settled, my quilt was dripping wet from the dewy grass.

I didn't realize how quiet a town can be at midnight. We're a sizable community, but all I heard was the distant hum of traffic from the 404. A single cricket chirped off and on. I thought there would be more crickets in August but it's been damp and cool most of the summer.
I also heard the sleepy peep of a bird in the next yard.

Although the sky was clear, dew fell, each drop hitting the leaves of the trumpet vines on the back of the house like soft, intermittent rain. I guess I'm not as deaf as I thought I was. It's odd to be surrounded by a kind of silence you can actually hear.

I tucked my head into the quilt and felt the cool night air on my nose. I stared at the sky and could swear it was visibly rotating. You know how you stare at something long enough, it seems like it's moving?

A few things did move. A satellite drifted past, like a star that had broken away from the pack to seek its own fortune.

After a half hour of patience, I was rewarded by one meteor that passed over the house in a long streak. No multicoloured tail like the websites promised, but it was enough to make a wish.

Then the mosquitos located me and I retreated into the house.

Maybe tonight I'll try to add to my wish collection.


jjdebenedictis said...

I saw one--and only one--last night, but it looked as big as a sequin held at arm's length and was as orange as a bonfire's spark.

I was stupidly excited. Then the mosquitos found me too.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

I should have dragged my husband out with me -- the moskies would have feasted on him and left me in peace.

Your shooting star trumped mine!

BernardL said...

Those electronic gizmos that repel mosquitos really work. Cool post.

rpattzlawyer said...

This is random, but you won a contest over on Mark Henry's website - just an FYI.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Holy crap - Thanks for the heads up! I'll get my arse over there post haste.

Lisa Lane said...

I wasn't able to make this year's Perseids, but I've seen some amazing Perseid fireballs over the past few years, very colorful and amazingly large.

My favorite shower was always the Leonids, which won't peak again for many, many years (circa sixty or seventy) ... I hope I live long enough to see them peak again. On the second to last good Leonid year, I saw the most spectacular show I'll probably ever see. It was literally a few every second at times, with a decent amount of fireballs, too. I sat out in the freezing cold all night, my toes numb by the time I went in; the show was just too good to leave.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Sometime we see meteors at unexpected times. I was picking up my son from work one night and a giant fireball descended due south toward the horizon. It was highly visible in spite of the streetlights.