Photo borrowed from http://www.crazymonkeycreations.com/Portfolio/Photography/Sky/
the new moon added no illumination after sunset and the sky quickly
turned indigo before fading to black as the stars twinkled to life.
Off the back deck I could see a firefly blinking in the darkness like
a distant lighthouse. The dogs won't be fretful tonight I thought...not
like on a night when the moon is full and the shadow of a night bird
or a prowling opossum would send them into a frenzy.
My old friend Ed Boutwell used to come to our house on nights like this
to look at the stars with powerful telescopes. We'd walk down toward the
barn away from the streetlight in the front yard and setup. We'd put on
long sleeve shirts and long pants to keep the skeeters at bay and we'd watch
the sky. When you look at stars with a really good telescope, they quickly
move across your field of view unless you have a scope that has a tracking
system that slowly moves in sync with the stars. We saw constellations,
the rings of Saturn, and the Orion Nebula....and the remnants of a supernova
somewhere deep in the galaxy.
Ed has spent a great deal of time and energy traveling all around the country
to get a better view of the stars. He says Texas up close to Oklahoma and
over in New Mexico are the best. But he enjoyed coming to our house too.
Not only could we lie our on backs and watch the show without the interference
of city lights, but also because we always had a good meal and enough wine
to keep us warm even when the nights were cool.
We haven't seen Ed in several years but I thought of him tonight when I
saw the indigo sky.