Thursday, January 3, 2013

Meteor Shower!!

That exclamatory title was the embodiment of my attitude yesterday when I found out there was going to be a meteor shower at 3 a.m. Stay up until then? No problem! I felt all spontaneous and inspired. It'd give me the perfect excuse to go out and use my new camera. I had all these wonderful little cotton candy dreams about becoming the next Sally Gall of night time photography.

Did I mention I live in the Midwest where it is currently freezing and where about twelve inches of snow is still waiting to melt?

We live in the city, not the inner city, but close enough that it'd be difficult to catch the meteor shower because of city lights. No problem though. I called my mother and made sure it was okay that I show up in her driveway at 3 a.m. and wait to be amazed by the splendor of alien nature. She lives in a small rural/suburban town where the closest they come to street lights are the headlights from cars on the interstate.

So I packed up the truck with blankets, over-sized couch cushions, a big fluffy robe with a hood, my laptop and car charger, my camera, and I headed for my parents place at two in the morning. I get to their driveway, throw the pillows in the bed of the truck and lay down, wearing my winter coat, my fluffy bath robe with the hood, my winter Penguins hat, two pairs of socks and prepare to be amazed by the splendor of outer space.

It was seven degrees.

And I lasted about 45 minutes. I might have held out a little longer if I wasn't sure my brand new camera would have fossilized in the cold. Ready to see my super spectacular moment captured in time via digital photography?

Prepare to be amazed ...

No, don't adjust your monitor settings. Those first two pics are not the same. They're two different photos. If you look carefully enough, you'll see the faintest smidge of a gray star in the second picture. The third picture, well, I think that's a star but at that point my fingers were about to give in to frost bite so it looks a little more like a streaking meteor than it actually is.

It didn't help that a blanket of fog was rolling through the area, or that our local Fox affiliate posted contradictory "optimal viewing times" than did NASA.

And to top the story off, I had to call my sleeping-has-to-get-up-in-a-few-hours-told-me-it-was-a-bad-idea husband to talk me through switching the truck to four wheel drive because while all the streets leading to my parents were clear of snow and ice, the cul-de-sac they live on (with a slightly uphill angle when exiting) was most assuredly not de-iced. I seriously contemplated camping out in the middle of the road until dawn, when my step-dad would be leaving to work, and asking him to help me figure out how to drive uphill all so I could avoid calling my husband and admitting he was right ... but the idea of loitering in my parents' neighborhood during the predawn hours in the middle of an Arctic freeze was even less appealing than admitting there's a slim chance my husband was right and it was a waste of time, and that I'm not, in fact, the next Sally Gall.


Samantha Torres

Though I am sorry your night didn't go as planned I have to admit I was cracking up at this! I sounds exactly like something I would do, lol.

Ava Z.

It was fun and it was nice to be spontaneous. It'd be a lie if I said I wasn't fairly disappointed I saw absolutely nothing, but it was really nice to do something unexpected and out of character for me. I listened to Elvis Costello and Mona and Benji Hughes and drank a cold frappucino. I wish I'd taken a photograph of my ensemble ... it was hobo-chic if I do say so myself. 8 )

Angelica R. Jackson

My husband's an amateur astronomer and we used to stargaze in all weather, all hours. But now I'm like "I'll wake you up when my alarm for my 1:30 a.m. pill goes off, but that's the extent of my effort." And we have skunks and foxes that visit him while he's stargazing--the skunks are so complacent that he has to make sure to make some sort of noise every once in a while or they forget he's there and practically rub on his legs.

Ava Z.

Wow, Angelica! I think I would be a little too nervous to share my immediate space with a skunk that I occasionally have to remind I'm still out there ... LOL

I will see a meteor shower and get fantastic photos. I'm determined now, though I'll wait for a warm weather meteor shower.

Misha Gericke

Hahahaha sorry, but this had me laughing. Did you at least see anything, though?

Ava Z.

Nope, Misha, I did not see anything. It was not a good day for my dreams of being a super awesome amateur astronomer. 8 )

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