On Friday the 17th Fred posted the following;
Leonids: Time in the Dark
This is a timely selection from Slow Road Home. Tonight you can begin to look for the Leonids to zip past, a few or many, depending on which experts you listen to. But maybe it is more about just going outdoors. At night. With expectations. Happy hunting!
I left a warm bed, got dressed in every piece of clothing I could lift and carry, and stood outside in the dark for a half-hour this morning. With my neck craned, spinning slowly in circles, I waited in the cold to see the grand show of the Leonid Meteor Shower. My toes are still numb an hour later, and I need to find a good physical therapist to do some mobilization on my stiff sky-watcher’s neck. Was it worth it? Yes indeed.
So, when something woke me at 2:30 am Saturday morning, I pulled on a long sleeved henley grabbed my hat and boots and headed outside to see what was up. It was brisk in the pasture out back, a bit hazy with a low hanging fog…There was lots of dew on the ground. Once my eyes adjusted to the dark, what there was of it, I started scanning the heavens. Sadly, I wasn’t able to see more than 3 or 4 streaks at the edges of my vision in the 15 to 20 minutes that I hung out before heading back to a warm bed inside.
Every time I make one of these treks into the cold and the dark I think of the John Denver song, Rocky Mountain High, and the lines:
It’s a Colorado Rocky Mountain High,
I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky
The shadows from the starlight are softer than a lullaby.
Those lines and the story he once told about he came to write those lines after camping through a night of a meteor shower on a mountainside in the Rockies. I don’t know if it was the altitude, the particular shower or the power of the herbs, but John Denver was definitely impressed by the “fire” raining down around him that night.
On Sunday morning before sunup I tried again. I had even less luck then. Oh well, there’s always next year…and the next.
Source: Leonids: Time in the Dark