With the sky now clear in the evening, The Gardener has added a new name to his list of titles; he has become an astronomer. The Bombay Astronomer watches for the sighting of the International Space Station as it travels as a bright light in the night sky.
The Astronomer in our home has always been interested in the stars, sharing his knowledge as we have traveled or just looking skyward in our backyard. As the space age became a reality with space shuttles joining the stars in the night sky, his interest expanded including everything NASA related.
A few years ago (I believe in an astronomy magazine that is read faithfully!), our in-house Astronomer learned about a guide for locating and watching the Space Station. I registered online to receive the Spot the Space Station listings, which arrive in my inbox on a regular basis.
Each listing includes the exact time the Space Station appears in the sky and the coordinates for locating it. When it is snowing, raining or there is a cloud cover, obviously the Space Station cannot be seen.
Last week, the night sky was clear and our family Astronomer left the comfort of our living room to watch it cross the night sky. He shared his amazement at what a short time it takes to traverse the entire skyline. I was told the Space Station circles the Earth every 90 minutes.
The Space Station has been described as an “orbiting laboratory.” It also has been pointed out that the experiments conducted by the crew members benefit life on Earth as well as future space exploration.
The sightings occur only at dusk or dawn. No equipment is needed to watch the small bright light glide across the sky. It is fascinating to watch — even this columnist with absolutely no knowledge of scientific things enjoys watching, on a warm evening!
I hate to admit it, but standing outside to watch the space station in sub-zero weather holds no interest to me at all. Yes, our family Astronomer watches in sub-zero weather!
I would encourage you to find the listing for Spot the Space Station and take a moment to enjoy watching it cross the north country sky. It is an amazing sight — plus, there is absolutely no admission fee.
My thanks this week to Tom in the pharmacy at Walgreens. A needed purchase became difficult last week. This terrific gentleman was so patient and understanding.
He had suggestions on how my purchase could be completed and made sure we had the needed item that day. His kind assistance was greatly appreciated.
Isn’t it wonderful to live in the north country where a pharmacist takes time with each one at his counter? (I watched and, yes, Tom was kind and patient with each one at his window.) I certainly think so.
Last week, I mentioned my attempts at crafting or lack thereof. I also had shared that I had read some articles that told us crafting brought relaxation, a connection I personaly had not discovered yet.
A loyal column reader responded with an email after reading last week’s column. She shared that she was “addicted to adult coloring, which brings me hours of pleasure. So, so relaxing.” I was delighted to learn of this woman’s crafting and that she finds it relaxing.
I know there are many others who enjoy adult coloring. I have seen some of the beautiful coloring books — yes, for adults, in stores and online.
I even was given an adult coloring book recently that centered on music. A perfect subject matter!
I smiled as I thought about coloring this week. During my stay-at-home time this past year, I sorted bookshelves and boxes. I found a favorite childhood book of mine, “Winnie-the-Pooh.”
It had been read so many times the cover is completely gone. I know that this was my book because my name is written on the first page in my own elementary school writing, and I recognize the signature.
I have always loved the story of friendship in the “Winnie-the-Pooh” books so decided I would read it once again. I felt it was a perfect book to read right now — it was fun, uplifting and had so many fond memories. I still love the characters and the author A.A. Milne’s words.
It is great fun to read, but I was stricken with the illustrations. I had forgotten the coloring abilities of my two younger sisters.
As I turned the pages, I discovered the black-and-white images had been colored in. There were some beautifully colored pages and others with a small child’s scribbling across the entire page.
Yes, both of my sisters were addicted to coloring at a very young age. I will have to check this week to see if either has continued with adult coloring (one sister is now a skilled artist, so I guess her artistic crafting that began in my “Winnie-the-Pooh” book has continued).
Spring officially arrived Saturday. The weather this past week has been absolutely spectacular. The crocus has now appeared in our front flower bed, and on Monday cut pussy willows from our yard were presented to me.
Both are marvelous signs of warmer, coatless days ahead. And news in NNY360 on Monday declared that the St. Lawrence Seaway is open for shipping.
What wonderful news that is — we enjoy watching the ships in the channel and going through Eisenhower Locks. How grateful I am for seasons, especially this year for the hope in the season of spring.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“Spring adds new life and new joy to all that is.”
— Jessica Harrelson