This summer was extraordinarily hot and dry. Officially the government has said that Summer 2011 in Texas was the hottest driest summer in United States history. We have also had to contend with one of the worst outbreaks of wildfires in the history of the state. If all that wasn’t enough we’ve had to deal with all sorts of desert critters which were displaced by fire and drought moving into town looking for food, water,and a cooler place to rest their bones.
Needless to say I haven’t spent much time outside this summer. This saddens me. I like outdoors.
When I finally got home this evening the wind had died down a lot and the temperature is very nice. I noticed that the moon was high in the windswept sky, glowing alone almost in defiance of the Sun’s hasty departure from the land of blowing sand.
I decided to pull out my birdwatching binoculars and take a look at the moon. It has been a long time since I have done this.
Almost hypnotised I focused the specs on the moon, counting the craters, noticing the sunlight on mountain peaks well behind the light line, and all the dark dehydrated seas on the lunar surface. It is mesmerising to watch the sky gradually get darker, or is it the moon actually getting brighter?
Of special interest this evening were the bright white spots. These must be impact point of huge space rocks hitting the surface. When we were kids playing war games we would take caliche rocks and throw the against the concrete, sides of buiildings, through windows, whatever. Caliche, or as the science geeks call it- limestone, is a soft rock and if a kid throws it hard enough against a hard surface the rock will explode into dust, leaving behind a chalky residue that looked like bullet impact points on those cheesy war movies of the 60s and 70s. The moon is covered in these impact points.
I bet the kid throwing rocks at the moon is huge.