Starry Starry Night

Yesterday, we were obscured upwards of a half mile by fog for the better part of the day--only finding some relief in the early evening when the sun magically appeared. If my writing sounds like a weather report, it is because I have become a keen observer of the elements. 

Tonight, as I lie in bed, I cannot sleep, for the clear black sky scatters stars outside my window. I cannot help but stare out as they stare in at me. My bed lies along a north-facing window, so all I have to do is glance out to come face to face with Ursa Major AKA The Big Dipper. This flirtation continues for an hour or more. By 3am I concede, get dressed, grab my camera, and stumble outside into the darkness, startling a deer browsing by my front door, as she startles me. I assume, perhaps wrongly, that a deer will not browse in the vicinity of a bear, and feel some comfort in the darkness.

But my little camera is no match for the celestial heavens. For a time, I watch our light revolve in the night and wonder what it must have been like before there were lighthouses and technology, when mariners navigated by the stars. 

On a night like this, they would surely find their way, north at the very least. The two stars on the outer edge of the Big Dipper’s bowl point to Polaris, the North Star--a yellow-white Supergiant, it has 1800 times the luminosity of the sun.

An hour later, when I wander outside again to do my first morning marine weather, Ursa Major has vanished. Clouds have formed and a fog bank hovers over the channel. Later, tucked back in bed again, slashes of pink break the distant sea blue clouds and birds begin their morning music. 

5:20am Cape Scott

map courtesy of: Remote Sensing @ CES

PS. I've since been told that where there's prey there's most likely a predator. Since we have wolves and cougars here, that's a good thing to know.


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