Saturday, 15 December 2012

Shooting Stars

I read on a website that watching for meteors is like fishing - you get out there, enjoy the wonder of nature all around you and if you are lucky you might just catch something.

After a miserable wet and windy day, conditions did clear up yesterday evening. I thought it was worth putting on my coat, grabbing a blanket and taking a chair outside to see if there was anything remaining of the Geminid meteor activity.

The sky didn't have the sort of inky blackness that you can lose yourself in. Streetlights, Xmas lights and most annoyingly, the garish illuminated Lidl sign that is just on the other side of the hedge at the bottom of my garden, all contributed to the light pollution. As well as that, a light smudge of thin cloud appeared and disappeared and reappeared to confuse the eye and spoil the effect of falling into eternity.

However, the air was crisp and fresh and with my hands wrapped around a hot mug of coffee and my head supported against my husband (doing his best Indiana Jones impression with his choice of headwear to conserve body heat), it was lovely.

As the website suggested, I did get out there, I did enjoy the wonder of nature (especially the nature that produced the coffee beans destined for my cup) and I did catch something.

Most of my catches were the little tiddlers of the cosmos... the sort of shooting star where you are not quite sure if you saw it or if it was your mind playing tricks. Some were aeroplanes, which can actually be quite beautiful as they traverse the backdrop of endless darkness punctuated with pin pricks of light. But twice - twice - I witnessed a meteor streak across the night sky leaving a blazing trail that although lasted but a moment, will remain clear in my memory. Magical.

Definitely worth getting cold toes for.

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