Sunday, October 5, 2008

Night & Strange Orbs of Light

Last evening after the sun set, I walked out into the yard to admire the night sky - crystal clear and of that azure blue that promises a cold morning. With the corn newly-cut. the open vistas draw me out again and again, to see old sights that seem new again.

In this picture above, taken from our back porch, you can see a mercury vapor light in the distance (far left). That's something we won't have. When we moved here, we had the barn lot lit with one of those but I found the security not half so pleasing as the dark. So I cut the line, added a switch and have let it turned off for ten years at least. I was never happy with the violet glow it gave to the sky nor the shadows it cast in the house. Give me a night that is dark!

In the foreground of the picture (look closely!) is the silhouette of the satellite dish (slightly left of center) which allows for something that passes for entertainment even here in the country. I wouldn't pay for it but for the fact that my father is nearly housebound and it passes the evening hours with some enjoyment.

The satellite dish is pointing just about where the moon is in this picture, way down in the southwestern sky. It's just picking out a point 90% closer than the moon.

Walking into the front yard and standing beside our main flower bed, I looked west at the north side of the house. The sun has long set but the orange glow hasn't yet faded from the sky. Our maple, at the edge of the kitchen, spreads its limbs far and wide. It's just beginning to turn and soon there will be nothing more than thin branches overhead.

At night, Pinehaven takes on an almost-spooky look. In my two decades here, I do not remember taking a nighttime photograph of the house before. Each evening we light two "candle lamps" in the front living room windows and leave them on until bedtime. Those two lower windows encompass the length of the living room, all twenty-five feet of it. When the house was built - about 1891 - there was a door where the fireplace chimney is and the living room was then two rooms.

I noticed upon taking this shot that there were odd circles of light floating about the scene. Above the house, even in this reduced shot, you can see two - one on either side of the chimney. What are they? The sky was perfectly clear and I saw nothing as I stood there. Could it be insects reflected in the flash?

Here are full-resolution views of these "orbs" - the shot below show what are actually two on the right and the last gives a full-res look at the one on the left (the edge of the roof is visible in that cropped image as well):

So, what have we here? We've known the Milkman (read the book!) prowls inside the house at night but what is this above the roof?

As we approach Halloween, I suppose it's the right time to make a discovery of this sort.