oh my heavens

I look every single morning on my way to work at 5 – 5:30. Out my front door north across the field is the big dipper.


It stands precariously on the last star in the handle and balances near the horizon. It surely must have lost its precious contents at such an angle, but not to worry, the little dipper is near enough to scoop it up. Then I glance off to the east-northeast to check out Orion. I’m not sure exactly why, but I feel so much peace and security looking at the three perfectly aligned and slightly tilted stars together. Somehow, I feel that God is nearby when I look into the heavens and find the constellations that I love. As I drive to the end of my gravel road, Orion is on the left and I gaze at it as long as possible until I reach the highway. Then I steal glances for the two-mile stretch into town. But as I go up the hill, the road turns sharply to the left, and the big dipper has all my attention again. Right now [the end of September first of October] it’s nearly touching the ground!

Lately I’ve been searching for Cassiopeia. I know the directions to find it but have only done so a handful of times. We saw it clearly at Green River Lakes in July. Granddaughter, Andie, pointed it out as it hung low above the evergreens.

To find the constellation Cassiopeia, locate the second star in the handle of the “Big Dipper” and Polaris.  Connect a line through this star from Ursa Major through Polaris. This will point you through Polaris and on to a “W” or “M” shaped constellation.  This is “the queen,” Cassiopeia.  The stars of Cassiopeia are not excessively bright. This will make Cassiopeia a difficult constellation to locate.


The moon is a whole different situation. It’s by far my favorite heavenly fixture. On September 17th I saw the very last sliver of the moon in the predawn darkness, a mere fingernail clipping. Several nights ago [on Saturday] it was a perfect capital ‘D’, as it evolved out of its first quarter. I called the grandkids to show them how ‘D’elightful it looked. Three nights later I called to say how much it resembled the outline of an artists eye. This amazing website shows each day in September and tells the story much better than I can articulate.


Who, tell me, who in their right mind doesn’t find this absolutely fascinating?