Stalking the Lyrid meteor showers…

and having a great adventure, all in the name of science.

meteor and milky way
meteor and milky way

Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.

Edwin Powell Hubble

If my mother had told me when I was a teenager that one day I would be obsessed with science and biology and that I would voluntarily go outside after dark by myself I would have thought that she should be placed in a hospital where wrap around sleeves and not well groomed poodles make the biggest fashion statement.

I will confess to going to bed early and getting up in the middle of the night for the better part of a week now all in the name of science. Always in search of new subject matter I have found the night sky to be a vast, exciting source of material for the photographer who doesn’t mind losing a few hours of sleep. For that somewhat minor sacrifice, I have been so blessed with having clear, dark skies during these showers that occur each year when Earth passes through the dusty tail of Comet Thatcher.

So here are some things that you might encounter if you choose to go down this path…

  • lectures from your spouse, family and friends about how crazy and dangerous this is
  • getting chilled (depending on your location and time of year)
  • loss of sleep
  • stiff neck from staring upwards
  • being a little freaked out by the sounds of coyotes howling

For me though, all of those things were countered by the experiences that I had each night. I not only saw but was able to capture several meteors as they shot through the night sky; some of them landing so perfectly in my images that I could not have placed them better myself. I learned more about the constellations and how to find them in the night sky. Along with the coyotes howling I heard owls hooting and the haunting call of the loon. I saw a porcupine, his quills swaying as he waddled past and I could smell spring in the night air. I discovered that spending time under the night sky puts things in perspective for me. It slows down a world that has a way of becoming too fast and too busy and provides quiet time for reflection.

Was it worth the lectures?

Without a doubt

3 thoughts on “Stalking the Lyrid meteor showers…”

  1. This is such a beautiful picture! I appreciate seeing the results of your loss of sleep and chilly nights, as well as your knowledge and skill of photography, and the dedication it takes to be at the right spot at the right time. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You’re coming around to my viewpoint: that the dead of night to the dark before dawn is pure magic. It is a pity that we are not really nocturnal creatures. Fabulous photo!

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