Sunday, October 10, 2010



Another bonus day as I toured around the beautiful Autumn countryside shuffling folks here & there with the mobility van.  Profusions of yellows, golds & crimsons are breaking out everywhere.   A great day & it was after dark when I got home tonight again.


ALL OF THE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN TODAY AROUND THE BEN MILLER INN.  Luckily I had to go right through Ben Miller between passenger stops & had enough time to pull over for a few pics


And it was well after dark by the time I finished my last mobility van run Saturday night as well.   I am reminded of something I have been missing so much these past few years.  The night sky!!  When we lived in the old farm house 10 years ago we had a clear view of the ebony velvet sky overhead with twinkling stars from horizon to horizon.  I would be outside with my telescope set up & my sky charts laid out illuminated by a soft red light.  I taught myself the night sky, it's stars & it's constellations.  Every night Max & I walked down the quiet country road out front of the old farm marveling at the the nocturnal beauty all around us.  Night time was by far my favorite part of the day. 



We are surrounded by pine trees now & it's rare for me to see the night sky anymore unless it's a small patch through the trees.  Saturday night, driving through the countryside I was once again reminded of a favorite part of my life I have been missing.  A glance out my side window showed me my old summer night constellation friends, Sagittarius & Scorpios, in all their starry beauty.  I would sooooooo much like to be living back out in the country again but I'm afraid it's probably not going to happen.  Things are just getting to late now.  


It is only while we are traveling 5 months of the year that I get to see & spend some time under nature's big dark canopy.  It's one of the many things I love so much about the American southwest with it's wide open spaces & diamond studded night skies.  And it's another reason I prefer to be well away from all sources of light pollution.  Towns, cities, campgrounds & RV Parks all have street lights, spot lights, security lights, headlights, etc.  Did you know there are people living in cities who have never seen the majesty of the night sky.  It's true. 


A cool desert night with millions of pin point stars shimmering overhead for as far as the eye can see, glowing embers in a campfire with the lonely wails of coyotes in the nearby hills is not most people's cup of tea, but it sure is mine.


Back here in Ontario I could get in the car each night & drive a few miles to resume my stargazing but it just isn't the same.  A car parked alongside a gravel road with a guy standing outside with his nose stuck up in the air with stars in his eyes always draws suspicion from passing cars & not only that, but vehicles with blazing headlights destroy the ambience of a beautiful darkened & serene world that most people never see or even take an interest in.  The beauty of the night is a whole different world altogether & I miss it sooooooo much.


GROANER'S CORNER:((   The American President was in the Oval Office when his telephone rang.  "Hallo, Mr. President " a heavily accented voice said. This is Archie, up'ere at the Harp Seal Pub in Badger's Cove, Newfoundland, Canada eh?  I am callin' to tells ya dat we are officially declaring war on you eh!"  "Well Archie," The President replied, "This is indeed important news! How big is your army?"  "Right now," said Archie, after a moments calculation "there is me, me cousin Harold, me next-door-neighbor Mick, and the whole dart team from the pub. That makes eight!" 
The President paused. "I must tell you Archie, that I have one million men in my army waiting to move on my command."  "Holy jeez," said Archie. "I'll have ta call ya back!"
Sure enough, the next day, Archie called again. "Mr. President, the war is still on! We have managed to acquire some infantry equipment!"  "And what equipment would that be Archie?", the President asked. "Well sir, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Harry's farm tractor."  The President sighed. "I must tell you Archie, that I have 16,000 tanks and 14,000 armoured personnel carriers. Also, I've increased my army to one and a half million since we last spoke."
"Lard T'underin' Jaysus, bye", said Archie, "I'll be getting back to ya"  Sure enough, Archie rang again the next day. "Mr. President, the war is still on! We have managed to git ourselves airborne! We up an' modified Harrigan's ultra-light wit a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four byes from the Legion have joined us as well!" 
The President was silent for a minute then cleared his throat. "I must tell you Archie that I have 10,000 bombers and 20,000 fighter planes. My military complex is surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I've increased my army to TWO MILLION!"  "Jeysus, Mary and Joseph," said Archie,"I'll have ta call youse back."  Sure enough, Archie called again the next day. "Mr President! I am sorry to have to tell you dat we have had to call off dis 'ere war."  "I'm sorry to hear that" said the American President. "Why the sudden change of heart?"
"Well, sir," said Archie, "we've all sat ourselves down and had a long chat over a bunch of pints, and come to realize dat dere's no way we can feed two million prisoners."


Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.

Until one has loved an Animal, part of their soul remains un-awakened.




The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.


  1. What the heck is that thing in the water in your first picture? It looks like a cheese cloth draped cross with itsy bitsy cheese cloth sails on twigs stuck in a not so pretty plant water catcher. :)

    I can find the big dipper and Casiopia (sp) but that's about it. Every time I have gone to a star gazing event, it has turned out overcast! Ugh!

  2. I miss the night sky also. I last saw it clearly when I lived in Ireland, 2000-2003. Here I'm lucky I can see the moon at night.

    The groaner sounds like something I'd hear in an Irish pub, and gave me a big laugh.

  3. I agree on the night sky. It is why we first went down to Tucson AZ. I love a sky full of stars and I miss the milkyway of my childhood. Perhaps the planet needs a night without power for lights. I have been in the middle of nowhere in Alaska and on a clear night your breath becomes a problem at -40 to -60 degrees. The stars are there, but it is not worth the trouble to see them. The South West is best for viewing.
    Hope you get to travel South soon.

  4. Al, I agree there is nothing like the clear night sky. A couple years ago we visited Hawaii and we did a bike ride from the top of Haleakala on Maui. They take you up in the middle of the night so you can watch the sunrise. The sunrise was beautiful but more beautiful to me was the night sky before that, the milky way was visible and such a stunning experience. We are headed toward the SW this winter and I too look forward to the night sky

  5. The night sky with those amazing stars is something to behold, for sure. When I was a Girl Scout leader we always took the girls tent camping twice a year (yuck, but we did). We usually went up into the mountains above Palm Springs and the stars put on quite a show. It was always fun to see the reaction of the girls when they caught the first full look at what was up there. I'll never forget those experiences.

    Beautiful pics of the fall beauty around you there in Bayfield.

  6. Light pollution? Now you're calling our RV Resorts 'polluters of the night'! Them's almost fightin' words, Al. But, not quite!

    Beautiful colors in your pictures today, very nice.

    I happen to like nights as well because of the quiet!

  7. I was lucky enough to have lived in the country for a short time, and we used to watch the satellites in the sky (as well as the stars) while we sat in the hot tub at night. None of that light pollution, it was so clear and bright.


    Nice pictures today!

  8. We used to live in the country and enjoy the stars, since we got in Al's words "megaloposized" no more stars, the City of O'Fallon down the road from us expanded so much it just about doesn't get dark in that direction,So much for progress, humbug,EH. Be safe out there, Sam & Donna..

  9. I enjoy the night sky,too, and especially enjoy watching the ISS go by from the link you posted on your blog awhile back! Thank you for that!
    Your fall colors must be peaking...they are gorgeous!

  10. Believe it or not, the first time I actually SAW the Milky Way was in 2003, camping in Oklahoma. I gotta say it, Al...get ready...AWESOME!!!! We never saw the stars in never got dark enough! But in Arizona, at Alamo Lake State Park, in March, with NO moon...they were FABULOUS!!!!

  11. In our mountain home in Montana we were surrounded for the most part by pine trees, but in front of the house was a two-or-three acre clearing, where we could see stars. Also from our upstairs balcony off our beroom we had a great view. No light pollution whatever up there. Now in our backyard in Benson there is a little light, but not a lot. You have us hankering to sit out at night this winter.