A Night With Nature

by Andrea Z. Kilmer, 13 | Feb 1, 2022 | 0 comments

Photo © Dreamstime.com.

We poked our curious heads out the front door, breathing in the early morning air. It was a cool morning in December, thirty-five degrees. Shivering, we slipped into our sleeping bags and gazed up at the wide expanse of starry heavens. The moon had already set, so it proved to be a perfect morning for meteor gazing. Scarcely had we lain down when we began seeing pinpricks of light sailing across the dark sky. This was going to be exciting!

The front door creaked shut five or ten minutes later, and two shadowy figures moved across the dark yard to our chosen spot. “We already saw ten meteors!” I exclaimed to my newly arrived sisters.

Pretty soon two more of my siblings arrived, and we were all wide awake, watching, just waiting for more streaks of light. There wasn’t much waiting between meteors, though. They came falling thick and fast, anywhere and everywhere. There wasn’t really any way to tell where they came from because it seemed we saw them all over.

Since the ZHR for the Geminid Meteor Shower is 120, we had decided that I would run inside to check the time once our count had reached that number. “One hundred twenty!” someone shouted.

“Run, check the time!” exclaimed my oldest sister.

I dashed to the living room window and peered in. “6:02,” I hollered. We had seen 120 meteors in about 52 minutes! This was the most fruitful meteor shower we had ever experienced!

Whenever we are out in the yard, whether it is around a campfire, at the grill, or meteor watching, our dog is always present. This morning was no exception. Not long after we were settled, one of my younger sisters exclaimed, “Skippy’s over here!”

We laughed and tried to persuade him to leave, but it didn’t work very well. Finally he left. I guess he got the message that we didn’t exactly relish having a dog stick his slimy nose into our faces.

“There’s a bright one! Over behind the pine trees!”

“There!” I yelled at the same time as my sister. “It just looked like one of those stars over there dropped down!”

“Yeah, it just dropped down behind the silo.”

“No, it didn’t either! It was between the locust—I mean maple tree—and that other tree over there!”

“We must’ve seen two different ones at the same time!”

Though a lot of them were faint, we saw several impressively big and bright meteors. In all, we saw approximately two hundred six meteors in an hour and a half.

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