Saturday, January 28, 2012

Orion on the Horizon

As I was walking back to the house the other evening from depositing the garbage container at the street, I noticed Orion hanging in the early evening sky moving lower on the horizon.

The hunter and harbinger of winter and cold weather, I have watched Orion since August transition from the early morning sky and now into the early evening sky, is beginning to loose his grip on the planet and allow the warmer days to return.

We have finally crawled over ten hours of daylight per day--I noticed that last evening as I was outside after 5pm--and there was light.

My drive to work remains in darkness--but at least I can begin to imagine being outside during the unseasonably warm weather we have been having. I need to remove the neighbors garbage from my yard where it has blown in since they can't seem to secure their trash containers to prevent the critters from enjoys a mid-winter meal at my expense.

Despite my well know lack of appreciation for winter, Orion is my favorite constellation. It is far more complex than the Big Dipper or Cassiopeia, and I associate Orion's arrivals and departures with the changing seasons. It is a love hate relationship. I love Orion's return from his travels and summer sojourn as one of my friends in the sky, but I hate what that means--dark and cold.

Soon, I expect, my old friend of the sky will head off on his annual vacation and I will be left looking for his return during August or September.

But I have a lot of things to do before I am ready for his return.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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