Eye in the Sky

Jewel Box Water Lilies

“Let’s go surging now, everybody’s learning how, come on and Covid safari with me…”, this was Anne’s call and response to NPR’s latest pandemic news. We’ve been getting emails entitled, “Cooking Professionally.” Instead of a job offer, they turned out to be recipes, but this got me to thinking. I do most of the cooking around here and about the only reason that I’m not a professional chef is that I don’t get paid. I broached this topic to Anne. When I pressed further that I had made coffee this morning and that I should charge her 50¢ a cup, this elicited a face. She went to the coin jar and fetched two quarters and handed them to me. What, no tip? A hand gesture ensued.

Have you heard about the monolith? Found in the remote Utah desert. Could it be art? Could it be, shades of 2001, an alien artifact? We may never know, because as soon as it had appeared, it quickly disappeared. Not long afterwards though, a new artifact was announced. This one was in outer space and it was approaching the Earth. Last night it skimmed the Earth’s magnetosphere, before rocketing back into the void. First sighted in September, its trajectory marked it out as being not just your usual asteroid. Through clever sleuthing that involved tracing its orbit backwards in time, it was deduced that this artifact was not extraterrestrial, but is in fact terrestrial in origin. This object is believed to be the Centaur part of the Atlas-Centaur booster that way back in the sixties launched the moon lander Surveyor 2. It was lost in space. Hello world, I’m back!

Looking down from outer space or even just a hundred feet, often gives one a new perspective. Patterns appear that are invisible to the earthbound. The pictured water lilies were already past their prime when I overflew them. Even that was a while ago. When last we visited the Jewel Box, its reflecting ponds had been drained for the season. Next year, I’ll have to revisit this shot.

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