Cosmic Turtles, Part Four

Although Turtle is a trickster of the highest order, it is true also that Turtle may be tricked.   When this happens €”when the trickster’s trickster is tricked €”you may be sure the world has tipped out of balance.

Every year along the southeastern and gulf state coastlands of the U.S., females of several sea turtle species such as the loggerhead turtle, the green sea turtle, Ridley’s turtle, and the leatherback, their bellies full of eggs, approach land from the Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean, flapping through the water like short-billed birds.   Migrations begin in March and, one species following another, last through September (1). Continue reading “Cosmic Turtles, Part Four”


Cool stargazing project

The Salt Lake Tribune reports an annual event to document magnitudes of light pollution across the planet.   This project  invites  public participation.  

Every year, Globe at Night asks teachers and students, parents and their  children, and stargazers located internationally  to observe the constellation Orion, specifically his belt.    The website linked above provides all the tools and information needed, although people will need to employ whatever means they have at their disposal to find their latitude and longitude (Globe provides instructions).

The project runs March 16-28.   Orion appears in the east about an hour after sunset and maintains stellar prominence for several hours until he  does a belly flop  into the western horizon  around midnight.    

When I lived in Payson, UT, Orion and the Big Dipper were the only constellations that had  the  umph to shine through the Utah Valley light pollution and  haze with any consistency.     Where I live now, the Milky Way runs in a flood of shimmer on moonless nights—a beautiful, mind-bending swath of other places, times, and events visible from our front and back yards.   Can’t wait to get out there with the kids and see how our drop-dead gorgeous night sky compares with Globe’s magnitude charts.

Ooo, yeah.    We’ve got dark skies here that go on forever.   Very aesthetically and spiritually exciting.     Anybody not having a similarly  clear  window onto the rest of the galaxy—I’m sorry, but  you’re losing the only view that goes on forever that you don’t have to pay for, the one everybody  got  for free up until the dawning of the last century’s light craze.   Now we’re paying for not having  that view.

My best advice:  Do what’s necessary to get  back what you can of the night sky as well as  reduce your electric bill and possibly even sleep better at night.   For good and workable  ideas about why and how, go here.

I’ve also written here  about light pollution and its effects.