Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Orionids

The earth is passing through the ribbons of detritus that Haley’s comet leaves strewn along its orbit – so the Orionid meteor shower was on.  At 10:30 Orion is somewhere behind the oaks, but a meteor streaked up between the Milky Way and the Pleiades, just above the trees, so I chose there to look.  I sat in the yard with the black cat companionably beside me and as I gazed at the sky we listened to the leaves upon the ground.  They rustle as each one curls up in passage from autumn gold to brown leaf litter. 

Though I could see my breath even against the starlight, tree frogs were still croaking from their barky redoubts.  Thin, checkerboard clouds rose insistently from the southwest.  An owl hooted excitedly to the east.  A pack of coyotes yowed and yipped in the distance.  The black cat paid them a momentary attention.  Before the clouds swallowed up the Pleiades completely I was rewarded with a great arcing meteor, just trimming the tops of the trees across the northeast.  It left an afterimage upon my eyes and I went in to bed.