Last night was the Perseids meteor shower. It was a very cold night but that made for perfectly beautiful skies...except for one thing: the moon. It was so, so bright and lit up the entire night sky. It's not even a full moon yet but I couldn't believe how bright it was.
Here in the mountains you can see so many more stars than most anywhere else I know. There are street lights that mar some of the viewing, but there's still plenty of dark sky to be had if you know where to go and how to do it.
Kevin and I went out to the yard with our blankets and pillows and laid down on the grass behind my mom's house to view the show. And it was awesome! We were only out there for about 45 minutes but during that time we saw at least 10 meteors and some of them streaked across the entire sky! Kevin said, "I'll never forget this." I just smiled. We also saw at least 10 planes, one of which I believe was a military jet, it was so low and so fast. We saw about 5 satellites (tiny moving points of faint white light that make no noise and have no blinking lights), and a few bats flying around. We heard a screech owl and a hoot owl, but the most incredible thing was the moon. It competed with the meteor shower for the most brilliant sight in the sky. You didn't even need a flashlight to see your way in the dark, it was so bright.
I've never been able to take a picture of the moon before. But I thought I'd give it a shot since it was soooooo bright. I got my tripod and set it up in the edge of the yard where no trees blocked the view. Then I used my self-timer to release the shutter to prevent any external movement to the camera. I used manual setting and fiddled around with the shutter and aperture settings until I could see the moon pretty clearly in the LCD. I kept the ISO on 80 to cut down on noise, although there is still noise in the pics. (That's one of the main reasons I want a DSLR, so I can shoot in low light with a higher ISO for less noise.) After it was all set up I gave it a shot and was thrilled with the results! I still want a DSLR so I can get an even better shot, but I think I did pretty good for this camera! (Anyone care to contribute to my DSLR fund?? Go to my shop where I'm having a sale!! :) )
After Kevin saw the pictures, he told me "you should be proud, mommy!" I asked him why. He said, "you can see all the craters on the moon." I thought that was cool, but he's easily impressed! He's getting into photography too and I'm really glad he is. It's teaching him to see the world in a different way which I believe can only be a good thing. He looks for the unusual and different things now. He's appreciating little things and seeing things that others don't always notice, like bumble bees sleeping on the flowers at dusk, or toads that are camoflauged in gravel, and the tiniest little insects that might otherwise get stepped on. Instead, we take a picture of them and then let them be.
We've shared and done a lot together while being in the mountains this summer. The meteor shower was really fun and I'm glad I could share it with him. We did it last year and the before, but this year I think he'll remember it (I hope). We lay there together under the blanket on the cold, cold ground, looking up at the stars and saying "Wow, did you see that one?!"
It's the little things....
Until next time....