Friday, August 29, 2008

blog #140 >> Camping is Dirty
aka Bonding with dust

I'm finally home, and I'm finally feeling sort of clean. After camping for five days with my parents and nephews, I realized, "Hey, I'm really dirty." An absence of plumbing, scads of fish guts and a dry-dusty wind really makes for a messy trip. Although despite the mess I had a wonderful relaxing week away from work. We caught fifteen fish, not counting the bass (which we didn't keep) the ones that were too small, and of course the ones that got away. I should also add somewhere that there was lots of pirate jargon on the boat as well as the singing of Captain Bogg and Salty's, Scurvy. I was ship navigator until I got demoted due to my poor sense of direction to cook's assistant. Will kept calling me Captain anyhow.

I have to admit I hardly got any reading accomplished. Wherever I'd open my book (Jane Austin's Mansfield Park) one of the boys would be right there, "What are you reading?" "Mansfield Park? What's that about?" "Ah! It sound's mushy and awful! How can you be reading that?!?" "You're crazy! How can you like that, and ketchup." "You need to come find a cow." "Find a cow?!?" I'd ask. My youngest nephew decided it was his life ambition to find a cow in the wild. (There were several cow pies around the campsite.) I tried to explain that the cows weren't wild and the best thing to do would be not to search for the cow, but let the cow search for you. Well, we went cow searching anyhow. And to make a long story short, we didn't find one. So to make up for it, whenever we'd pass a cow on the way home I'd shout, "COW!!!" very loudly and point out the window.

We did find lots of fire-ant hills though, and other strange bugs. One night by oldest nephew found the strangest cricket. They found it at night and it was huge ugly and creepy, it was stepped on instinctively and immediately. However the next morning we were talking about it and I looked down to were it was buried... and long behold, "It's alive!" It was trying to dig it's way out. So we were able to get a better look at it during the day. It was some type of cricket, so we put it in a cup and left in on the ice chest. By afternoon, it had crawled away.
That's one hardy bug.

I'm also happy to say it was perfect telescope weather, clear with no moon. I've been trying to take it out all summer, but it's hard in the apartment. You can't really see the stars though all the city lights, and the neighbors always think your spying on them, and then all the kids come out and want to use it. Last time I drove it up to my parents house I was so certain it was going to be a clear night. And when I finally got up there, it was cloudy. CLOUDY! Stinkin' clouds. However, it was absolutely beautiful up at the reservoir. I tried to take a picture of the star field, but failed. We got to see Jupiter with it's rings and big red spot, and four of it's moons: Io, Ganymede, Europa, and Castillo. We also saw, The ET Cluster, The Beehive Cluster, The Lagoon Nebula, The Triffid Nebula, and countless stars, constellations, The Milky Way, and the best meteor I've ever seen. It had a double trailing tail that covered nearly a third of the sky. I had forgotten how much I love doing that. It's such a joy to spend time hunting for little jewels in the sky. It's kinda like thrift shopping but costs less money.

Anyhow, it was a great trip.


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