Amish Country Journal

Reports and musings from Indiantree Farm, in Holmes County, Ohio -- the largest Amish community in the world. See more about author Larry D. Miller and Amish Country at

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Crystal Clear Sky Memories

          Last night was a "Look Up – Look Back" night.
          Nola and I spent an early morning hour huddled in warm clothes and blankets, sitting on lawn chairs while watching the lunar eclipse.
          It was an impressive show, with the bright, white crescent moon slowly shrinking away to be replaced by a dim, red-orange full moon ringed in slightly brighter orange.
          The main show lasted a bit more than an hour and brought back memories of other nights spent under the stars, watching some sort of celestial (or combination of human/celestial) happening.
          We stood in the grass near the old apple tree north of the guest house to watch a fast-moving speck that was our first glimpse of the space station, more than 10 years ago.
           Then, not too many years later, we migrated to the same spot (it's unobstructed and away from annoying lights) to watch the twin specks of the space station with the shuttle undocked but following closely.
          The most memorable mid-night campout however, occurred in Texas.
          That was 13 or 14 years ago and we were staying in a remote ranch house, miles from neighbors (actually, miles from ANYone) and we dragged chairs out into an open area past snoozing armadillos and near a herd of tiny barking deer, to watch another lunar eclipse.
          Like last night, we huddled in that cold Texas darkness with cups of cooling hot chocolate and "ooh – aah'd" our way through the rare alignment of stars, planets and moons.
          In both cases, the veteran photographer fired off a few shots but they were substandard.  The old professional equipment was far, far away and forgotten until too late in the eclipse sequence. 
          But that's ok.  The memories are sharp, focused and crystal clear.


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