In the wee small hours of the morning, life seems so simple and perfect. A sort of calm and quiet that you can't find anywhere else when the sun is up above the horizon. I awoke this day in those wee small hours. Not by accident, but by appointment. If you are a star gazer like me, you'll understand what I mean. The Leonid meteor shower. According to Astronomy Magazine, as well as many other star gazing information hubs, this astrological event was due to peak at pre dawn hours this very morning. Tempted by the prediction of 12-30 meteors per hour, I was ready and quite willing to forgoe sleep on a Saturday. And so it was. In flannel jammies, slippers and my bathrobe wrapping me up, I ventured out into the darkness. This isn't easy in the suburbs. With street lights and building spot lights, it is hard to find a good dark viewing spot. I should have prepared this spot yesterday. By positioning myself in the shadow of the garage and the giant pine tree, I knew I had my front row seat. Once standing in my spot, I looked up into what was one of the most beautiful skies I think I've ever seen. My eyes immediately found Orion, who I thought was ironically facing the wrong direction if he were to shoot any of the meteors like an asteroid game out of the 80's. As Leo was behind him, the meteors had the total element of surprise. I kept my eyes focusing mainly on Leo as the meteors were due to radiate mostly from this constellation. The Leonid meteor shower was named after the constellation Leo the Lion. I saw only one. I was not disappointed. I did decide to stay out a bit longer in hopes of seeing a few more until this noise not too far off in the distance gave me reason to head back inside to the safety of the house. I wasn't the only one out in the darkness of dawn. Have you ever heard coyotes bay? An eerie sound when you're all alone in the darkness.
December 5th, 2012