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Perseids August 12, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Space.

Went out to a dark country road just outside of Rochelle, well not at first. First, on my mission to take in what is generally one of the more spectacular meteor showers, the journey led me down a dark road, one that stretched forever into seeming oblivion.

Two gravel roads stradling the border of DeKalb and Ogle counties, one, a straight shot into darkness and some terrifying horror movie cliche. The other, a pathway to apparent normality; looks, however, can be decieving.

The meteor shower itself was less than spectacular, at least for the Perseids. After about 15 or 20 minutes of craning skyward I counted 5 or 6 meteors. The moon, as predicted, played interference with all but the brightest. Have no fear, 2007 promises to be moon free.

Had I made an earlier arrival at my viewing spot, maybe nine or ten p.m., perhaps the skies before moonrise would have yielded more eye-pleasing results. Either way, any meteors makes for good viewing in my mind.

So, with the dud of a shower taking a backseat to, well, anything more interesting, the surroundings drew more attention than the sky did, eventually. The more innocuous road traveled was home to strange sounds of some unseen (and angry from the sounds it made) wild creature. Coyote? Bobcat? Maybe the rare but occassionally seen mountain lion? More likely a skunk or possum, don’t know, didn’t stick around to find out. The suggestion of immediate departure was welcomed gracefully from my skywatching cohort.

Fleeing the scene like teens pursued by a Satanic cult another road into darkness presented itself and we bit. The trip down this gravel laden road lasted but a moment when the creepy vibe of being surrounded by cornfields at night took over and another location needed to be found.

Seriously, have you ever been in, around or surrounded by cornfields in the middle of the night? It’s disquieting to be sure.

Wild creatures, strange feelings and gravel roads led us to the edge of Rochelle where it was decided after too few meteors to leave the chilly night behind and return forth from whence we came.


1. yinn - August 13, 2006

If you are used to city lights & noises it’s easy to feel disquieted by the deep dark & the songs of frogs. IMO coyotes can raise the hairs on most anybody’s neck, though.

2. yinn - August 13, 2006

p.s. Thanks for the report. Hubby thought he’d somehow missed the meteor show until he read this, didn’t spot a thing.

3. dr. gonzo - August 14, 2006

no problem

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