I’ve always been a sky watcher, a self-proclaimed lunartic. That’s lunaRtic, NOT lunatic, although some people may beg to differ!
While I was growing up, I remember my dad being a sky watcher of sorts. I don’t know that he was looking at the stars so much, as he was hoping he would spot a UFO! Remember the Betty and Barney Hill incident in 1961? That, and 1947 Roswell -I think both spurred my dad on to hoping he would spot the next UFO. In later years, my parents’ travels took them to Roswell, NM- he scratched that off his bucket list!
My sky watching is a bit different -not sure I want to spot any extraterrestrials hovering over my house! Since moving out here to the country, sky watching is sooo much better! The skies are clear, no city or suburban lights are messing up the view. The stars on a clear night are beautiful. Although I don’t know the names of all the constellations, I always search out the few I do know. It is fun to learn more names, and to pass on that information to my grandson, along with the names of the planets that are occasionally visible.
The crisp, and lately, freezing nights we have had last month have sort of curtailed my viewing times. But anytime the moon is hanging bright in the sky – I’m there, camera in hand! I am fascinated by the moon, the phases of the moon, and now that we are out here, learning about planting by the phases of the moon.
How many of you actually plan your gardening by the lunar cycle? There is the new moon, the waxing moon, the full moon, and the waning moon. All beautiful in their own right.
The gravitational pull of the new moon is supposed to be the best time to plant seeds or young plants. You should also harvest by a full moon.
The day sky’s clouds are interesting also – billowy, cottony puffs, or dark, foreboding storm clouds. So many cloud formations I have yet to learn the names of.
The clear country skies are also very advantageous when you want to see Starlink crossing over, find the Milky Way, or see meteors fall to earth.
If you are looking up, February 24th reveals the Snow Moon. Sometimes called a micro moon, because it is farthest from earth. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, it will be 252,225 miles from us! Hopefully, it doesn’t bring more snow!
Living in the country has so many benefits, definitely a dream come true for me.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, if I am not checking out the night sky, I will be sitting with a lap full of gardening catalogs, my box of assorted seeds, some hot tea, and a box of dark chocolates.
Remember to look up from time to time, you never know what you will see!
All is well, here at Mountain Meadows, on this clear night of starry skies……