Monday, December 7, 2015

South Taurids

Okay. it's Monday. Back to work, or in my case back to bed. The last thing you need is a wimpy Existing In BFE post but that's what you are getting this morning. My apologies. I do the thing, but sometimes the thing isn't what I was hoping. The fact that I am doing the thing should thrill you, not the eventual result. Are we clear?

Last week I went to the Causeway between Clearwater and Tampa to take pictures of the North Taurids. Didn't capture any on film but I did get that pretty neat planetary conjugation.

This time I went back for the South Taurids. They call them the Taurids because they emanate from the constellation Taurus. Tonight, again, nothing. I had my camera aimed in the wrong spot of the sky. The sky is so big and my camera lens is so small.   

While I still enjoyed my adventure I was disappointed in the results. The real story here were the three kids who got out of their truck about the same time I got out of my car. By kids I am talking about maybe lower twenties.

We are talking about 2:30 in the morning. This is the time of day most people should be in bed, not piling out of a truck. But any apprehensions faded away when they all grabbed their fishing poles and tackle.

As they started walking across the street toward the bike/walk path started across as well, and kind of awkwardly joined them.  They saw my camera and immediately started talking about this being a peak night for the meteor showers.  They all started talking over themselves like kids do and seemed excited FOR me.  I commented on their fishing gear and asked what they were going for tonight.  They all answered at the same time so didn't catch it but they took their flashlight and shone it down into he water.  They talked about how you can see their eyes reflecting the light.  I saw what they were talking about.  I asked how long they would be here and they said till sunup.  We both wished each other luck.  

I continued on up toward the walkway which keeps getting higher over the water, probably 40 feet or so.  I made my base a ways away from the fishermen.  In my trying to catch a meteor, as I've explained before, is timed exposures one after another.  I don't use the bulb setting - I simply click my remote one long exposure after another in hopes that my lens will be pointed in the right direction.  Not rocket science, and pretty damn lucky if I get one.  

Every once in a while I'd glance down at the guys and I'd see a flicker of their flashlight.  Actually I was comforted by their presence.  I come alone quite often to the Causeway at weird early morning hours and this is the City, after all.  Never had a problem, but it would be a pretty easy place to cause mayhem for those so inclined. 

After a couple of hours and almost 300 pictures, I decided that the peak hours had passed and was probably time to go home.  As I approached the boys I asked if they had any luck - and they said that one cooler had been filled with over a 100 pounds and they were working on another.  They asked if I had any luck and I replied that I wouldn't know until I put the memory card in my computer.  The space below is where I would place the meteor pictures, if I'd gotten one.  You will immediately notice that there are no pictures.  

The moral of the story, on this Monday, is that, one, a group of kids does not always signal trouble.  And two, perhaps I should ask Santa for a rod and reel and go fishing on the Causeway - that looks far more worthwhile than chasing fireballs in the sky. And tastier too.        

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