Thursday, August 11, 2016

Perseid Vigil -- Thursday after moonset

Partly cloudy.

For a stargeek, this translates as a nearly irresistible lure, even knowing the high likelihood of failure.  So, no Perseids at midnight after moonset, at 2 am, or at 4 am as twilight began to glow in the east.

The stars shining through the cloud breaks were bright and beautiful, though.
A family from Holland strolled by the wooded section where I am camping, and stopped to chat.  They were startled by the uncleared woods surrounding the dozen or so sites, concerned about the safety of living so close to nature.  Are many American campsites so -- spread out -- they asked? 

The husband observed that camping styles say a lot about culture. American camping sprawls out into the land, he noted, while European sites are set next to each other in tight orderly rows, easily distinguishable by nationality.  Campers from Holland can be recognized by their sturdy brown canvas tents, for example, and Italians -- he grimaced -- by their cars. RV's, perhaps? 

What about bears? the wife asked nervously.

I responded from book knowledge and experience -- don't display food and don't threaten unless they do -- and told her that the tiny deer tick is the most dangerous animal in the eastern forests.

Well, excluding humans, of course, they're an invasive species.

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