High atop my perch I lay
And think of murder every day
I think of murder day and night
And when I see the cat who’s white
The humans deign to let him in
And cater to his every whim
They think he’s nice and icky sweet
I want to kick him with my feet
He comes inside and eats my food
Which I believe is very rude
When I see that mouse he’s caught,
REDRUM fills my every thought
My warning hiss he does ignore
And enjoys my catnip on the floor
He bites and plays with all my toys
His stupid bell jingles with noise
He sits and sleeps while in my spot
It think it is some kind of plot
I want to bite and claw his face
And send him into outer space
I wish he would just go away
And leave me here alone to play
I would like to tell him that
He shouldn’t mess with Murder Cat
Just as there are things that cannot be sufficiently described in words, there are sights that cannot be captured by a camera. Many of the hours between sunfall and sunrise, when the light is most distant from us, are like that.
We were beset by an eldritch fog the other night, a fog that may have lurked imperceptibly at the edges of our senses were it not for the dazzling brightness of a full moon just over the mountain. Absent illumination, we may have felt that the air was just a little thicker than normal, that the sounds of the night were just a little closer, but just another dark night save for a creepiness we could not quite place. The night’s strange echoes and odd ticks may have been attributed to our own over-active imaginations.
But the moon’s light shew us the true source of our unease, a fog so thick you could grasp it in your fist. The moon hung pale and cold like a distant sun over an alien planet. This was the stuff of werewolves and zombie apocalypses. The very air glowed with a phosphorescence that is hard to describe, let alone photograph.
If you look at that picture and don’t immediately think our house is about to be devoured by Cthulhu, I just don’t know what to say to you.
Not only does the camera fail to capture the depth, but nothing can convey the eerie sound. The fog makes noises feel closer, like you’re in a cave. The effect is just surreal. Like you’ve wandered into another world, and you better not wander past the orange glow of the windows of your house, lest you become so lost you can never be found again.
If only every Halloween could be like this
I got a new telescope, one that makes my old telescope look like one of those plastic magnifying glasses you find buried in a box of cracker jacks. It’s a Celestron reflector with a nice wide opening that lets lots of light in. If you’re shopping for a telescope, you really want to look for two big things: a sturdy tripod, and the biggest diameter you can afford. The diameter of the opening dictates how many photons the telescope can see. More photons = more light. More light = more of what you can see. Reflection power doesn’t mean crap. Go for diameter.
To give you an idea of the magnitude of the telescope, here is a picture of the trees on Matia Island, which is about 3 miles away from our house.
You can see woodpeckers if you look hard enough. Seriously, this telescope gets up close and personal. I can sort of fit my camera over the eyepiece to get pics like that. It’s not perfect but I think I can devise some way of fastening it securely and maybe find a fine-tune focus knob to get crisper images.
Now, here is a picture of the moon, which is 238,900 miles from our house.
I hope to get crisper images and once I can get the camera better secured to the telescope I can connect it all to the laptop and I’ll have my own little observatory right out on my front desk.
Being on the north slope of a mountain, most planets rise and set out of my view. And being on Orcas, clear nights are not very common. So I’ll have to be opportunistic to get some nice pics of planets and things up there. I’ve seen Jupiter’s moons through my camera’s zoom lens before, so I think I can do better once I get this new telescope fully set up.
A special and heartfelt thanks to Charlie, Judy and Mindy for conspiring to bequeath the telescope to me in the first place. I promise to be a worthy custodian, and when/if ever I take cool pics with it I’ll be sure to post them here. Thanks, guys. This telescope is a lot of fun up here.