Saturday, March 27, 2010

Early Spring Nights & Days

Last evening (03/26) at about 9 p.m., I took my camera outside and enjoyed the night sky. To the east, already high above the horizon, was a waxing gibbous moon, 84% illuminated, and shining its light across the fields which seemed to stretch forever. The patches of snow that were left from the storm the day before, fairly glowed in the moonlight. I could have imagined, there in the dark, that I was looking down upon scattered clouds.
While the sky was not perfectly clear, the moon was generally so brilliant as to command most of my attention and I clicked off shot after shot. A moon this close to full is not a good one for crater shots (they are lit more 'head on' rather that from the side which makes them seem to explode in relief) but still the craters near the terminator stand clearly apart from the mares.

What a night to stand there, clad in bathrobe and coat, and see the moon course silently overhead and the spring peepers, so much closer, carry on with their high-pitched trill. What do I know of the nature of their calls? Why one night is the woods alive with them, the next wholly silent? It does not seem the weather but something I cannot come to terms with.

Yet a day or two before, the squirrel which frequents the ground beneath our suet feeder for the birds, was doing his usual clean-up job as I was washing the dishes. I stopped scrubbing a pot and saw that he was observing me. He had stopped eating - at least momentarily - and was intent on the being on the other side of the glass. We both watched each other for a few minutes.
Finally I left to get my camera and coming back I began taking some pictures. He'd grab a seed or two and then look back up at me. Was it safe my being so close? Then, concluding that whatever I was pointing at him could not be safe, he flicked his tail a few times and made a hasty retreat.
It is spring at Pinehaven and the peepers fill the night. The squirrel has made it through another winter. The moon continues its orbit overhead. Down here we complain about health care. But once removed from human society, the world goes on as it always has.
There is hope that we'll yet again turn our interest there.