There’s a gifted amaryllis in bloom on the kitchen window sill. A very considerate birthday present that required a light watering every day. The first bloom opened after eight weeks and the second bloom followed a couple of days later.
We’re still enjoying the massive blooms after a week in which their weight has required support. It was hard to stake them without damaging the roots of these remarkable bulbs that hoisted two huge flowers a metre into the air.
The day the twin opened, I saw a meteor as we drove towards the southwest, the sun setting behind the Dublin mountains. A so-called earthgrazer, the meteor travelled horizontally west to east. I could also see Saturn and Jupiter, conjoined like our amaryllis, off towards the northwest. All of these celestial objects were that bright I could see them while driving in the cloudless, early twilight.
Then, around midnight, I happened to see a second meteor. I knew the peak of the annual Geminids meteor shower was coming at 2 am and I was looking, with no expectations on a moonless night. We are rarely fortunate enough to have clear skies on the coast here in Dublin and for the skies to be clear without a moon and during a meteor shower made it worth a look, despite the city lights.
Come to think of it, Sunday, December 21st will be an ideal time to see the ‘great conjunction‘ of Saturn and Jupiter, their closest conjunction since 1623. Your next chance will be 2080 so don’t waste it, assuming your local weather is cooperative between sunset at 1608 and when they too set around 1830.
I posted these two pictures to Instagram. They were taken on an iPhone and I used Color Splash and Snapseed apps to remove the background colour and crop with a vignette. I’m showing them here because you’d have to follow links now that WordPress isn’t allowing me embed Instagram posts today. That’s an hour of my life in which I could have been writing so I’ll leave it here.