(“We just hope it doesn’t end at 4:30 am.”)
I guess I know my place in the grand scheme of things.
Three stories from the Laurelville woods this week, starting off with the Geminids…
The Geminids are an annual meteor shower with a peak which unfortunately occurs in mid-December. Nevertheless, the Ordinary Family bundled up and stood on our back porch gazing up at the sky. We weren’t disappointed. All of us saw at least one meteor, and those of us who were more patient saw some extremely bright ones.
I was inspired to get my camera and try to capture some meteors with long-exposure images. Here was my prize for the night…
Alas – things are not as the seem. If you look closely, you’ll notice how the trail has periodic intense spots. This was an airplane.
By 9:30, I was sufficiently cold to quit watching, even though the peak of the shower wouldn’t come until after midnight…
If you missed this shower, you’ll have another chance soon. The Quadrantids are an equally prolific and bright shower that will occur just after the New Year. You may have to deal with some moon light then, however.
Also on Thursday, we had a visitor in our house…
(Photos by Ordinary Spouse!)
The last time this happened the cats decreed that the mouse should go. This time, they seemed more inclined to make friends. Eventually, Ordinary Spouse caught it and took it back outside.
Finally, here is a little creature we found crawling along our driveway today.
We think it’s a little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), although that’s mostly just an educated guess (since they’re the most common bats in Pennsylvania). We don’t have a good idea why it was crawling along mid-day. By late afternoon, it was gone.
This is Jack (short for Jackal). He is our first cat. He came to live with us when a friend moved and needed to give him up for adoption. He tends to get spooked easily. And he sleeps a lot.
This is Lexi (short for Alexis). She is our second cat. She joined the house when Jack needed a friend, and we adopted her from a shelter. She doesn’t get spooked by much of anything.
Around bedtime last night, Jack came trotting through our living room carrying a mouse. Yes, we live in a house with mice. Happily, our cats are skilled in mouse removal.
“Hmmm… Where did that come from?” I wondered.
I was horrified to discover that one of our outside doors was open. I quickly called Ordinary Spouse to help me look around the house for Lexi, even though it was already clear that Lexi was gone. She doesn’t pass up the opportunity of an open door (whereas Jack wouldn’t venture out). But neither of them is an outdoor cat.
After an hour and a half of searching outdoors without success, I gave up. I put some blankets and food by the doors so that she could keep herself warm and fed if she came back. And I went to bed with my stomach in knots about this dumb cat. You’d think it was one of my children lost in the cold. I’m such a softie.
I woke up twice in the night, and the second time I went to check at the doors. There she was, looking up at me from outside as if nothing was wrong – except that she wanted to use her litter box. There was no indication of where she had been or what she had been doing.
I was so relieved.
Tonight, every time I get near a door, she dashes over thinking I’m going to let her out again.
Now I’m sitting here trying to type and she’s taken up residence on my lap. I don’t even like cats. Humph.