Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Green and gray

It’s warm and overcast today, threatening rain but I’d be hard put to report more than 6-8 drops on anything so far. For a while I thought I’d be forced into a rain jacket on my morning walk with Baby Dog.  I say forced because it was warm enough this morning that even the backpacking shell I use as a rain jacket made me as though I was in a sauna.  I decided that I was better off getting wet than wearing even that feather-weight thing, but I didn’t get wet after all.

Still, rain is falling all around my area but somehow missing Roundtop.  Instead, the humidity is cloying. Rain would likely reduce the humidity.  For August, the landscape around me looks remarkably green. Usually by this time of the year, the grass is withering and the annual wild plants are looking pretty ragged.  This year enough rain has already fallen that the fields and woods retain that deep green shade of midsummer.  If not for the sudden lack of swallows and the shortening length of the days, I would guess it was July.

On clear evenings, now that darkness comes early, Baby Dog and I have been heading up into one of Roundtop’s parking lots to view the night sky.  I am an early riser and so head early to bed as well, and in the prime of summer, by the time the sky is dark enough for good star viewing, I am yawning and ready for bed.  Now, darkness comes early enough that I can enjoy the star viewing and be warm at the same time. Winter brings me plenty of opportunities for star viewing, but the early darkness also brings falling temperatures that can get uncomfortable quickly.  Now and for the next few months, I have both early darkness and balmy temperatures and that makes a good combination for star viewing.

Sometimes I take my spotting scope or binoculars, but mostly we just stand and look.  I never see too much that’s very exciting—a brief flash of a meteor is about as exciting as it gets.  Instead, I watch planes pass, look for the Milky Way on the clearest nights, look for a planet or two, watch the moon rise or set and just generally enjoy the quiet and sky above me. It’s always a beautiful show.

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