A friend posted a Message on Facebook about a meteor shower that was going to take place the night of the 11th. I wanted to go but the torrential rain and window-rattling thunder and clouds that would linger afterwards made me question whether it would be possible to see the streaking debris that would be passing in only a few hours. Friends of mine drove out from Tampa, meeting in my town and then we continued out into the rural east, away from the city lights.
We had an address and a GPS device but it wouldn’t work so I led us down a one lane back road with cows grazing in a field on one side. there were only a few lights from a handful of houses but it was 10 times darker out there than back in the city.
Summers in Florida are notoriously humid, so humid that dry clothes become damp, not from sweat but simply the moisture in the air; this was the case with my shirt. I am scared to bring my camera out in this type of weather but did so anyways hoping to catch a few cool shots or a video of a meteor.
The other summer nuisance is the ever-growing mosquito population, which can only be thwarted by constant movement, making what should be a relaxing event into a cardio workout, stepping swatting, spinning, ducking, kicking. this makes setting up a shot, looking through the camera next to impossible.
At a certain point I gave up on pictures, though I continued hoping by chance something turned out, and just stared at the sky. Just then out of the corner of my eye a streak of white light. Though it was about 1am I couldn’t hold back and like a little kid, yelled out, “Woah! I saw one”.
I saw a NASA video that explained that the crescent moon would start out above both visible planets Jupitert and Venus in what I now know is the eastern sky, where the majority of the Meteors were supposed to pass through. the moon was supposed to make its appearance around 130am so all night I was questioning where it was so I could find the planets.
Each time, instead of getting less excited I grew more amazed and yelled a little louder. An hour or so later we realized it was really late and
we I was being too noisy so we packed up and went around the corner where there were no houses and not a single light. just when I parked and got out of the car a sheriff pulled up and asked us what we were doing.
I tried to be friendly and told him if he looks he will most likely see one in a few minutes, trying to make some small talk while waiting. He was a total robot. He didn’t want any small talk and watched the sky skeptical for a few minutes while simultaneously running our licences plates. of course there wouldn’t be one meteor the whole time he was looking making our story seem a little skeptical. Eventually he got back in his car and left us alone to stare into the absolutely star-filled sky to see a few last meteors. Even without the meteors that sky really put you in your place, making you feel as small and insignificant as we really are… but in a good way.
We got in our cars and headed out but just as I pulled away I saw something bright in the gap between two distant trees. It was glowing and had a misty haze hanging around it as it sat not far off of the horizon. THE MOON! so I was able to locate Jupiter and Venus before ending the night with only a few hours before i had to be up for the next days adventure.