Monday, August 11, 2014

Sky events

Supermoon at sunrise
Last night’s full supermoon made the forest almost as bright as day, or at least dawn. The night was bright enough to see color in the leaves at 2 a.m., not just their darkened shapes. I was tempted to see if the moonglow was bright enough to read by. Certainly, it would have been close.   An ill-timed nap on Sunday afternoon meant I was awake enough late into the night to notice just how light the woods were.

A screech owl squealed not far from the cabin through much of the night, too. I was tempted to get up and see if I could find that little bird, but I resisted that temptation as well. It likely would have been a fool’s errand, unless the bird flew. Screech owls aren’t very large, are the color of tree bark and even in a supermooned, brightened forest were likely to be invisible.

More than a supermoon, I look forward to the annual Perseid meteor shower, which is due tonight and tomorrow. This year it’s likely to be rained out in my area, and even if the rain has stopped, the clouds are likely to still obscure the sky. Such is life, and this won’t be the first Perseid meteor shower I’ve missed due to poor weather. Often, the December meteor shower, the Quadrantids, is a more intense show, but the weather then is usually quite cold, and even a better show can’t compare to laying out in a field of summer grass watching meteors stream by overhead. It’s just not the same in long johns and a parka.

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