Oddly, for two weeks in a row we’ve had clear skies. It’s more likely for it to be snowy, cold, and crappy this time of year. So, color us all surprised…
Mid eighties graced us until… well, today. Again, highly unusual to have a straight week of hot weather before mid July. I didn’t have to wear my long johns or thermal socks. I left my winter boots in the closet, and my down coat.
I took my lighter winter coat instead, keeping my mittens, hat, and scarf in my pack, knowing I’d want them before leaving the summit, knowing the world at 6400 feet can be vastly different than the Earth at 3300 feet. I also put my fleece in the car. Layering is always wise, and I never regret having too many warm things up there. I have regretted not having enough.
The gangsta cows haven’t yet returned to Millican Valley. The para gliders left their peak bare this week, too. The sky didn’t have one cloud. Not one. Not even over the Cascades to the west.
We set up the scopes, then went into the big telescope to view Venus and Mercury.
The wind kicked up, churning the air into turbulence, laughing at our clear skies. The sometimes shaky views didn’t daunt us. All the telescopes danced all over the sky. We praised the cloudless conditions, searching out objects we’ve never discovered on our own, viewing starry expanses usually hidden by clouds and crap weather. Glorious.
I made use of the new 10” Dobsonian again. I dubbed it Zumi. It has its quirks, but I learned to work around them. I viewed M81 and 82, the pair of galaxies off the Big Dipper again. Wow, are those nice. Alton taught Gary and I how to find the Sombrero galaxy. The first time to discover on our own for both of us. Nice.
I panned through Scorpius and Sagittarius, Cygnus and Hercules. I explored Leo and the arm of the Milky Way. Stunning, addictive. I can’t get enough. I want more and more and more. The beauty makes me gasp, no matter how many times I see M13, the planets, the Lagoon Nebula, and the others. The owl cluster rose over the summit, so I nabbed him in my eyepiece, too.
The planets: Mercury, Venus, and Saturn. The first two were taken through the big telescope. Saturn was taken through Zumi. All shot by moi.
A late night, I stumbled up to bed. Husband Unit thoughtfully had turned off the A/C, knowing I turn into a human refrigerator up at the summit. I snuggled under the comforter, the cats snuggled, too. I dreamed of stars until the sun was well up, gracing me with the sight of the star closest to us.
Zelfar: The Discovery
By Ruth Colter
A big hurrah for Ruth and the release of her first novel! She’s part of the Word Herd, my local critique group. Also part of the lunch crew I meet with once a month, and an all around fun gal. Glad she joined our herd.
In a perfect world, infants are dying.
Zelfar is a haven, an ideal world where technology flourishes. However, a world-shaking crisis can occur in even the most perfect and advanced community.
“But we’ve lost the last six babies! Zophie, you have to save this one!”
Zophie’s serum isn’t working. In her search for answers, she uncovers dangerous secrets that include a portal to another dimension, the world of her great-grandfather, Earth. Will her quest take her on a journey into the unknown? Will she risk everything to save her perfect world?
Available in paperback, Kindle, and other ebook formats.
RUTH COLTER begins a sweeping trilogy, journeying between an alternate paradise and the historical Pacific Northwest with Zelfar, The Discovery, her paradox suspense fantasy debut. She lives in Central Oregon. Visit the author at www.ruthcolter.com