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Evening Walk – Evening Sky #MFRWauthor #Mindfulness

Much of the year we take our daily walk in the daylight or early twilight. But southern Nevada June temps have driven us to wait until after nine in the evening – and even then sometimes it’s still over ninety degrees.

The upside? Getting reacquainted with the night sky. Our RV resort has an irregular shape, so as we walk its one-mile perimeter, we can take in the 360 degrees of the night sky from a range of viewing angles.

20150421 waxing crescent and venusTo the west as we begin our walk, Venus, Jupiter and Leo’s largest star, Regulus, hang suspended like brilliant spangles on the strand of a necklace. I can’t remember seeing Venus look so large or so bright, but it turns out this happens every eight years or so, a combination of when it is closest to earth, and when its angle to the sun illuminates the greatest portion of its surface, from earth’s point of view. Watch your night sky the next two or three nights to see the waxing crescent moon in the vicinity of this stunning necklace. Here’s a photo I took at dusk in April in southern Arizona, waxing crescent and Venus.

Our next turn takes us facing south. Arcturus is nearly overhead – but we’ve learned we can always find it in any season by following where the handle of the big dipper points. Dropping toward the horizon from there, we find Virgo’s largest star, Spica.

As we turn east, the Summer Triangle of Vega, Deneb and Altair (in Lyra, Cygnet and Aquila, or the Lyre, the Swan, and the Eagle) is just starting to rise. When we first bought our telescope and began to study the night sky, this landmark – or perhaps skymark – formed the anchor of our summer sky. In that season it sits directly overhead in the evening, is visible from dusk to dawn, and is a roadmap to the Milky Way.

And finally the north, with the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Cassiopeia, and the North Star, probably the most familiar part of the sky, Why? Because our night sky circulates around the North Star, and these constellations never set, though this week, here, Cassiopeia is lost in the haze close to the mountains on the northern horizon.

This doesn’t always happen, but last night as we gazed north, I suddenly experienced the sensation of being wrapped in splendor and flooded with gratitude.


A little dream #MFRWauthor #seizethemoment

In last night’s dream, I am traveling somewhere and it’s a beautiful day, but I need to get my morning Sudoku worked, and I don’t have a pencil. Whoever I’m traveling with (vague, in this dream) goes with me searching all over the city for the perfect pencil – not just any pencil will do. We finally find it, but we’ve missed seeing the beautiful sites we traveled to see.

The dream morphs (as dreams do) and now I’m on Dancing With The Stars, and it’s performance time, and I’ve completely missed the final rehearsal and don’t know my dance.
~ ~ ~
I don’t want to preach :)

So I’ll just say that this morning, before writing this post, I took my Sudoku and my perfectly ordinary pencil outside with my morning coffee and watched the sunrise light up the clouds over the mountains. I’m refreshed and ready for my day – I hope the same for you.

pahrump mountain sunrise


My Outdoor Office #MFRWauthor

1_Trichocereus Angelesii…so my last several blog posts may have sounded like all we ever do is vacation, go dancing, and work out – but we’re writers, and we work very hard at that, too.


5_Cane Cholla Opuntia SpinosiorToday I thought I’d give you a taste of our summer outdoor office.

The RV resort we’re staying in has a lovely cactus garden, with a pergola, tables, benches, and even electrical outlets.

4_the culprit - prickly pearIt’s a beautiful space to write while the mornings are still cool enough.

I took these cactus photos during the blooming season in April, but even now, in mid June, the mimosa is full of blossoms, and the air is sweet with it. Morning temps in the 80s, gentle breeze – can’t ask for much more.





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