Welcome to my World
Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!
Friday, February 15, 2013
Eighty Three and Counting--Random Thoughts
Midday today that huge chunk of space rock zipped past us. My first thought was the meteorite that caused havoc over Russia was a piece of it that had broken off but I suppose the scientists are saying otherwise. At any rate we dodged that bullet but there are a lot more out there. Some have impacted in the past and surely others will in the future. But I am not worried about it!
Above is not my photo but a neat one of four planets visible at sunset! I have a bunch of fair to middling astro shots I've taken but need to scan them into the computer before I can share. That is a project for this year as soon as I decide on and acquire a mid-level photo scanner that will do all media and formats since I have a variety of slides, negatives, transparencies and prints to digitize.
"Space junk" both natural and man-made is actually pretty fascinating. I got interested in space and man's efforts to enter it when first Russia and then the US launched their first satellites back in the late 1950s. For awhile Sputnik and Telestar were big news but then they became ordinary. Still though, my late husband and I spent many summer nights in California and later in Arizona sprawled on a tarp in the yard watching the sky and counting satellites that passed overhead. From deep dusk until about ten on summer evenings they would be illuminated by the sun enough to watch them cross a good part of the sky. I do not recall the greatest number we ever spotted but it was probably around twenty. And we saw some meteors, too. There was a spectacular blue-green one just after dusk that we spotted in California (we lived just south of Marysville at the time) and a rather fiery looking one we saw in Arizona. And many other less spectacular sightings over those years from about 1978 until 2003.
One evening in about 1995 or so when I was returning from a VFW Auxiliary meeting with another member I'd given a ride to, we saw a flamboyant flaring object moving from west to east at an angle across the valley. It came over the top of the Whetstone Mountains and crossed the whole valley. My first thought was to identify it as an airliner that had caught fire and was going to crash but apparently it was a lot higher than that. Now, although I never knew for sure and there was no news report about it, I think it must have been some man-made space debris that burned on reentry. Had it been a meteor that low and hot, we'd have had a catastrophe similar to today's in Russia.
I think people miss so much because they spend most evenings indoors glued to the TV or perhaps their computers. Of course if you live in a city or even a large town, there is so much light pollution that the sky is washed out until only the moon and a few of the brightest stars and planets can be seen. But even in town if you have a walled or fenced yard to block out the local streetlights, the neighbor's floodlights etc. you can see a surprising lot! I'm thinking here of making a V-shaped enclosure facing to the southeast to cut off the worst of the bright local lights and setting up my big 8" Celestron scope this summer. Alamogordo is somewhat sensitive to light issues and does use red-glowing streetlights that reflect down and do not impinge on the observatory facilities in the Sacramento Mountains to the east here. I appreciate that! Actually except for the motion activated spotlights in a neighbor's yard, it is not too bad here. More on this later this year if and when.
I'd have to relearn that scope though as I have only had it set up once or twice since two nights before Jim's death when we watched an eclipse of the moon. For quite awhile I just could not get interested in using it again. But now after nearly ten years, I'd like to! Grief and loss has odd ways and pace to heal in various areas of one's life. In my special Yahoo group, Arizona Ambience, several of us are widows and as others of our group lose spouses we try to give support and remind them that everyone has to handle grief and parting in their unique way and there is no 'normal' or 'typical' nor any reason to aspire to it. I cherish the friends in that group and love the way we all are supportive and caring to each other despite living all around the country and even the world and having many different spiritual beliefs, political slants etc. We just agree to disagree and let the love and sisterhood take care of the rest! Isn't that what friendship is about?