Thursday, June 20, 2002

Summer's here. Leaving Costco with an oversized receipt, I suddenly remembered how much I used to enjoy fluttering paper in the wind. I would tie strands of crepe to my bike, or pull a length of printer tape behind me on a string. I remember a kite contest. We climbed near the cemetery on the west hill overlooking town, where the wind blew strongly, a little dusty, with the sagebrush clumping beside the road. Was it one of those competitions where everyone ends with a prize? I only remember the judge's skeptical look as my very small diamond twisted its string following my fingers in circles, the wind on my skin, and long streamers fluttering.

Sunday, June 16, 2002

June 14, 2002. Can you believe it? I’m staying at a friend’s house, and he doesn’t have internet access at home. So, I’m typing to a document for later cut and paste.

My watch the skies policy paid off handsomely last night. Driving west across the cascades, we saw the crescent moon with the limned disc in her arms, turning her back to petitioning Jupiter, all perfectly framed between two peaks. A little later, an opening between trees framed it again. At one point, heavy raindrops fell thick and hard enough to bounce on the asphalt, while the moon and planet still shone clearly ahead. Later, haze and city glow abbreviated the crescent to a short vertical segment. Fewer clouds and fewer trees leave more sky to be seen east of the Cascades.

Bend has also adopted measures to reduce light pollution. Outdoor lighting must shine down and only onto one’s own property. It gives Bend archetecture a subtle, modest and enticing look by night, and helps protect the nearby observatory’s seeing. I enjoy the more velvety and restful nights, and would like to see more cities adopt similar measures.