Are the Stars Out Tonight?

Are the stars out tonight
I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright
I only have eyes for you dear
– The Flamingos

Star of Asia Sapphire

Star of Asia Sapphire

We have endured a week of rain, culminating with the depressing arrival of tropical depression Bill. Flooding is occurring everywhere, most particularly at our house. The sump pump is running about every ten minutes, but still can’t keep up with the weeping water coming through every crack in the concrete floor. One of our two skylights is dripping water and will need to be fixed.

When I went out to get the paper this morning, in the rain, there was a puddle in the middle of the parking strip. Anne calls these impromptu puddles bonus ponds, but this one didn’t have any ducks floating in it. I picked up the paper and only realized when I was back inside that there was a slug adhered to its plastic wrapper, when it fell to the floor. I had to clean that up. Yuck!

Bill is leaving town tonight and the rain should end with his exit. No rain is in tomorrow’s forecast and little rain is expected next week. We should be able to get a bike ride in, if we can find a place that is not flooded. I’m not kidding, most of the bike trails are in the flood plains. I might also be able to finally mow the lawn too. Tonight’s graphic is the Star of Asia Sapphire, which is at the Smithsonian. Here is their write-up on this gem:

Renowned for its impressive size, intense color and sharp star, the Star of Asia, which weighs 330 carats, is one of the world’s finest star sapphires. Sapphires and rubies are gem varieties of the mineral corundum. The star forms when titanium atoms are trapped within the growing corundum crystal. As the crystal cools, the titanium forms needle like crystals of the mineral rutile, which orient themselves in three directions. When properly cut, light reflecting off the three sets of needles produces the six-rayed star. The Star of Asia is from Burma and is said to have belonged to India’s Maharajah of Jodhpur.

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