Heading towards done, I was checking the last few things when I noticed the slenderest of crescent moons in the ruddy twilight. I slipped into the house just long enough to grab binoculars. Then it was out past the strawberry patch and the apple trees to a clear view west across the clover field. A quick scan lead me to Venus, very low and just a few minutes away from following the Sun below the horizon. The Moon was just a little higher up and tooth pick thin, but still impressive through the glasses. Then a real "Yes!" moment when I spotted Mercury a little above and to the right of the Moon. I love catching a glimpse of the hot little speedster who never gets too far from the Sun. Always brings a smile.
Finally I swung from celestial to terrestrial. Mt. McGregor, the Lake George mountains and Equinox were all out there in the fading twilight. These are the landmarks that tell me where I am on the home planet.
The evening was starting to feel like a round of speed dating. My final score: the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, all in less than 30 minutes. Doesn't take long to catch up with a bunch of old friends and clean up after some friendly but high maintenance cows.
Sky and Telescope illustration
Long Bad Day
Later that evening I spent a few minutes on-line and made the mistake of Goggling "Log Bay Day". I, like perhaps too many others, love the Lake George shoreline down at the end of Shelving Rock Road. Lots of memories here - taking kids for picnic/swims, bringing the X-C team up for some trail running followed by snacks and a swim, the delicious shock of the ice cold lake after sweaty-gritty rock climbing, skinny dipping in the "just right" moonlight. This is our Lake George, forest preserve open to all to freely enjoy. But what does that mean, what responsibilities does it entail? I'm no puritan but this Log Bay thing makes me feel sad and ashamed. Lake George is sacred ground to many of us, not a place to be trashed with drunken orgies, turned into a dump and a sewer. The kids think they're celebrating freedom while they actually appear to be caught in the shackles of the alcohol industry, handed the keys to Daddy's big boat and let off the leash way before they're ready.
Authorities say they can't do anything. I wonder if it's because some of those at the party are the sons and daughters of the rich, the powerful and the politically connected? Do freedom loving Americans want someone telling them how to enjoy our shared public places? Hell no. Have we abused these places and other people's rights to them? Watch the Log Bay Day videos and decide for yourself.
The Good - Lake George serene
The Bad - Log Bay Day
The Ugly - Fuel for disaster
Thanks for allowing me my rant. I do hope you enjoy the rest of the summer (quietly, safely) including our lovely lakes and the glories of the night sky. Saw a couple of Perseids last night! Lots of fun and no beer required.