Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Out in the country - Walking and stargazing

Walked into Chumlyak tonight. stopped at the store(s). Stopped at the first store for the first time in a while. One of the attendants recognized me, and I her. We swapped hellos, and how are yous. I asked for my beer, bread and pelmeni in Russian, then bought a glass bowl just pointing and saying "this", and a brush for my shoes in the same way. They have no dry red wine, so I visit the "new" store. Svetlana, one of the attendants, is there. We say hello and exchange greetings. My slightly expanded Russian is going over well. Here I get pelmini - the old store didn't have any, and dry red wine.
The walk is a good one, and helps to keep me in some fitness. The stars tonight are very bright - as the moon is rising late. They were magnificent last night too. I have picked out more than a few constellations. After I get back I have dinner, and then head back out onto the lake to identify as many constellations as I can. I can see Orion low in the south - I haven't seen him since I got here. In the opposite direction I see the swan, and Vega is bright. There is some fog, and a enough light pollution that I cannot see the constellation that Vega is in. I can find the Pleiades, and the V of Taurus with Aldebaran. If I'm looking at the chart, I can find Perseus, and the Charioteer, but I can't find them without the chart. It is an excellent night for stargazing. It is interesting though, which stars are clearly visible here, and others which are not. At home it seems like I can usually find the bull, but finding Pegasus and the Great Square is a real chore. Finding the swan is usually hard, but not here and not tonight.
I am out on the lake, and the night noises are spooky, and frightening. There is an occasional groan - sounding like a big seal, but there are no seals here. A coughing sound - like a large cat - but there are not supposed to be large cats around here. Although it is pitch dark because there is no moon, the latent libido from the snow still allows me to see, and the lake presents a clear view into a little ways off. After a while of finding constellations, I head back to camp. An excellent night to find the stars and constellations, but it is getting colder, and the noises are spooky.

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