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Connecting With the Cosmos

Well, here I am again after a hiatus of a couple years -- back in a favorite camping area. The special attraction here is the 'alignment of the stars.' Just kidding.

'Sleeping under the stars' is both romantic and phony. How many times have you done it, literally? I did it once, as a lad, above tree-line in Colorado -- quite an adventure for a lad from the flatlands. But I was too uncomfortable to sleep much.

A camper could sleep out under the stars anytime he saw fit: a nice cot, air mattress, and sleeping bag should do the trick. A tent would ruin it. So why don't I do it? There are unpleasant practicalities, of course. Perhaps I don't really think the stars are all that interesting to look at. Maybe the shallowness of mere looking is the problem.

But let's return to the nightly spectacle of 'alignment' here. I love the alignment of the setting sun with a certain topographic feature, near the equinox. Currently it is about a month away from the equinox, so the alignment is not as good as the last time I was here.


The mountain peak on the right is Mt. Baboquivari, the noblest peak in this area. 


As you approach the equinox you can watch the setting sun approach the peak. You can hold up a couple fingers at arm's length, and measure the progress of the season. Or you could walk a certain distance along a transverse road to adjust the alignment a certain amount.

Day by day you look forward to perfect alignment. The immensity of the earth and solar system no longer seem so vast that they bore you. You have anthropomorphized them, and made them interesting.

Mt. "Babo" was supposed to be 'sacred to the native Americans.' That cliché usually makes me roll my eyes. But camping here, living here, and wrestling with it every night makes it quite plausible to see the mountain as a moody and mysterious god.

Comments

  1. Purddy pictures kaBLOOnie.

    The only time I took note of the equinox and any alignment was when I happen to be at the Equator for the fall equinox. If you are in such a place at such a time you can stand in you shadow i.e. you do not cast one.

    That will not be true at 31 degrees 51 minutes north however. I would have guessed that maybe you will cast your longest shadow on that day at that latitude but would have been wrong. You do that on the day of the winter solstice with the shortest shadow on the summer solstice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ed. One benefit of not putting many purdy pichers on this blog is that people think they are better than they really are, when I DO put some on.

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