Huge Winter Sky

I’ve written about this before, but some things just need mentioning, over and over again until I get it right…One of our regular readers who shall remain anonymous but will recognize this when she sees it, mentioned something tonight that struck a chord with me. She said, and I quote:

“Huge winter sky out there tonight! Just got home and stood out on the deck taking it all in…. the stars are popping out of the night sky…. bazillions of them twinkling away.”


I couldn’t have said it better myself, “Huge winter sky…” I love that description, “stars popping out of the night sky, bazillions…”

That’s why I stole that line, it’s perfect. Yup, that says it. Thanks Michele, Both for the line and for an idea for tonight’s scintillating Cottage Chronicles post. (Oops, so much for remaining anonymous, the cat’s outta the bag)

Counting Stars

I have, on occasion, tried counting the stars, which is no small task, I generally lose count when Wendy starts asking how many marshmallows I have roasted over the campfire. One night I did come close to the first “bazillion” before I lost count when Alleghany Al across the cove from us set off some fireworks.

After I read Michele’s comment I rushed right up stairs and out to the backyard to see the “huge winter sky” for myself, the bazillions of stars, popping, twinkling…but…there was not a star to be seen. I did notice that the streetlight on the corner is burned out and two guys stealing the rims off my neighbors new truck, but otherwise not much to see.

Now that could mean two things, one, Michele fell and hit her head and is “seeing stars” or, Michele is lucky enough to live outside the city, where the night sky is nothing like the typical night sky we city dwellers have grown accustomed to seeing.

That is, when we bother to look up, to look past the flashing neon lights of our own particular corner of Broadway. (I must admit, when I am hungry, those neon golden arches on the McDonalds down the street do call my name sometimes.)

There is undeniable magic in the night sky as seen from the country. There are, as Michele said, “bazillions of stars” a light show that even I, with my multitude of strategically placed solar lights at the camp, cannot come close to replicating.

Looking up at the night sky watching the universe reveal it’s mysteries, while at the same time not giving up any answers, is a humbling experience and one that makes you realize there is a lot more going on than you know. Unless of course you are an astronaut, astronomer, or perhaps a rocket scientist, which you are not, as we have very few rocket scientists reading the The Cottage Chronicles (one brain surgeon, a retired university professor, a duck-bander, a pro golfer, dog wrangler and a kid from New Brunswick with a telescope, but no rocket scientists or astronomers)

Now where was I…oh yes, the humbling experience of standing on the shore of a northern lake or other wild place and looking up at the winter night sky.

Happy Flyers

The constellations, if only I knew what they were, are there, as are shooting stars, far off planets, some satellites and a steady stream of Air Canada jets lugging a bunch of exhuberant Canadians to the Dominican Republic for a winter vacation. Happy flyers on their way to a week on a sandy beach drinking banana-mamas and delicious
all-you-can-eat-free-buffets in between applying sunscreen to parts of their bodies that have never seen the sun before.

Unhappy Flyers

Of course on the planes going the other direction there are a bunch of hung-over unhappy, depressed, half-sick Canadians leaving paradise in the Caribbean and returning to cars frozen in the ice and snow at the airport parking lot where they left them.

As those planes fly over you can almost hear the collective sighs as the passengers start to come back to reality while they apply generous amounts of Calamine Lotion and Solarcaine to parts of their bodies that had never seen the sun before.

They know that tomorrow they will be back at their desk wondering how they are going to free up enough credit on the thread bare Visa Card to go back to the Dominican….

But I am really digressing. If you are lucky enough to get to the cottage in winter, minimize The Cottage Chronicles on your laptop, shut off the television, slip on a parka and warm boots and go outside on a clear, crisp, (who am I kidding, crisp? it’s friggin’ cold) night and look up, way up….

The wilderness night sky, particularly over water, in winter, is a spectacular thing to see, a sight cottagers, campers and country dwellers sometimes take for granted and city folks don’t even know exists.

Look beyond the flashing lights of Air Canada and watch for a shooting star, make a wish and then look around you, you will realize it has already come true.
Photo of starry night sky:Wilkipedia Creative Commons-Matt Wier

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