Thursday, 12 August 2010
I have been reminded of the Perseid Meteor shower that the earth goes through every year, will be at its peak tonight, and that the Southwest of Scotland will be one of the best places to see it.
It just so happens that I am one of the lucky ones who live there and will be looking skyward from 11pm onward to witness once again the wonderful sight nature gifts us with when this event occurs.
It is not very often this part of Scotland has clear enough skies that allow us to witness the spectacular show, so I will be making the most of it.
The first time I witnessed this wonder of nature was when I was at the fishing, on the "Replenish," tailing prawns, well into the night, in the middle of The Irish Sea and it was by chance that I looked towards the heavens just as an array of shooting stars (dust particles as small as a grain of sand) flew through the darkened sky. I watch in amazement as each particle burned up producing tails of light across the sky, hitting our atmosphere at 135,000 miles an hour, although I never knew that at the time.
We were just in the right place, on the right night, away from light-polluted cities and towns that could clutter our vision, and reduce the spectacle of this marvelous sight.
Only us, the calm open sea and the stars above.
Stars above, shooting stars, that gave us the most brilliant display of astral fireworks I have ever seen, and it was from then on that I took more of an interest in the night sky, and what was really "out there" which led to my blog, "unfeatheredangels" now well on its way to being published as a book.
This particular meteor shower is caused by earth passing through the tail of the comet "SWIFT-TUTTLE" which leaves particles of dust and debris in its wake as it travels speedily ever onward in its orbit so far away from us, but will return next year to amaze us all again.
I was fortunate to witness many of natures wonderful sights when I was at sea, like fantastic, romantic sunsets where silver and amber beams shone through clouds of gold,above an island that appeared to rise out of the sea on the distant horizon.
(With no one to share them with, except a motley crew of men. Ahhhhh)
Beautiful sunrises, shining deep red behind pink fluffy clouds, reflecting varying shades of lilac on the slight ripples stirred on the sea by the warm breeze whispering across it on a summer morning.
The fishing had its good points, and even on stormy days or nights, mother nature could still dish up some extraordinary visions in the sky, although we might not have appreciated it then, our attention most likely being focused on survival at the time, battling against the more formidable side of mother nature and only realizing what we had seen afterwards.
I have these visions in my memory, to treasure all my life, and tonight when I watch the stars shooting across the sky, my thoughts will return to the night I first saw them whizzing overhead in the darkness high above The Irish Sea.