We found a good spot by the rural edge of town for star-gazing. The elevation is higher, there's unobstructed views, and is in a relatively safe area with a small sub-division nearby. Distant without being secluded. The community centre and library are closed until next year (the city is out of money from Covid) so we set up in the empty parking area on clear evenings. There's a restored prairie and marsh nearby, and most nights we can hear a barn owl with its distinctive call sounding like canvas being ripped apart. One evening we saw it, in shadow at sunset swooping into the field for dinner.
We finally saw comet Neowise, though it continues to fade each night. There's a smaller comet, Lemon that looks like little more than a fleck through our Orion binoculars, but it is nice knowing we were able to locate it, impressive or not. What we saw that was impressive was a meteor streaking low across the sky and fading out in a pop of light. I've only ever seen that sort of brightness from space-junk re-entering (which is a somewhat terrifying thing to observe until you realise what it is). We were in the right place, at the right time, and what a thrill to have experienced it.
I suspect Dan is just happy to get out of the house at this point, but he's been excellent company on these clear-night adventures. Like the barn owl, he sleeps until 3 or 4, has dinner, and is then up all night. Something you can easily see in the night sky is the ISS. You may go HERE for the times when viewing is best in your area. You can even wave to it as it passes if you want to, just to embarrass any nearby teenagers ;)
The light pollution from Omaha isn't bad at all once you get a bit out from the heart of the city. It always surprises me just how much I can see from my own backyard, and how just a few miles to our west it is possible to look up and see the Milky Way. Obviously not as well as we could see it on the farm, but we were miles away from city lights, and the nearest city, Lincoln is quite small.
I'm running again. I got tired of waiting for an appointment with a cardiologist who will more than likely shrug, and charge me a small fortune for advice to keep doing what I'm doing. Honestly, going to a doctor right now is more dangerous than anything running is likely to do to me. It is going OK. The first few days were hard, but I did 17 miles yesterday (I won't tell you how long it took but I'm in my 50s and have arthritis so you do the maths :). That's fine-I'm not trying for any times that would qualify me for any respectable marathons. I prefer running alone anyway. I'm slow, but have excellent long distance endurance.
Omaha at long last has a mask mandate starting in August. It took reaching widespread, uncontrolled transmission before the board of health worked up the nerve to defy the governor, but finally, we can do something sensible. Because of their time wasting nonsense, schools will be unable to open as planned and are working out 50% capacity plans and remote learning. Dan is already signed up to stay home and attend by Zoom video, but it must be hell for parents of younger kids that need to work and figure out childcare. I'm sure at the rate we are going it will be all remote by the time school starts in two weeks. I feel especially bad for the teachers.
Our 20 year old tumble dryer broke last week, and although I do have a drying rack, we figured it was probably worth having repaired. A new one isn't that expensive, but I doubt it would be built like our old Kenmore. We called the repair service we've used for other household fixes and they sent out a technician wearing a mask, and observing all good safety standards. Our old dryer is back in service, and while the repairman was in there, he went ahead and replaced a seal that was drying out from age. I don't know if we'll get another 20 years from it, but I was pleased to avoid the ordeal of shopping to replace it. Obviously can't just pop down to Sears for a new one any longer.
I’ll leave you with a photo of our Nebraska state flower, goldenrod. It is beautiful but invasive so plant with caution.
Next time I will post some outfits. Until then.