Winter Solstice Alerts

Such anticipation!

For several weeks everywhere I turned, more emphasis on the coming conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. This grabbed me – association with once rescuing 2 kittens only days apart – Jupiter first, then Saturn. Jupiter indeed the brighter hued being equally black and white; Saturn just black except for a few stray white hairs. They came from different parts of Austin, “conjuncting” in my elaborate cat enclosure (now history). My sky-watcher husband invested in a new camera lens and we arranged to be camping in a dark-skies area on Solstice, focused upward at the rare view of planets Jupiter and Saturn crossing paths (conjunction).

Plans played out well until Solstice was upon us and things began shifting. Clouding up. As uncontrollable as everything else in 2020! At end of evening, I reflected on the day’s unveiling, concluding the elusive armadillo more relevant than planet maneuvers. Here comes 2021, bringing more hype about all matter of things! No doubt more clouding as well.

Clouds did part briefly for a couple of very boring images of planets nowhere near predicted overlap as viewed from South Llano River State Park, central Texas.

Wishing all open minds and access to safe hide-a-ways when our minds need a break.

15 thoughts on “Winter Solstice Alerts

  1. Yes, Virginia, live armadillos do exist!
    Interesting post Jazz. The kitties names being a cool coincidence…and I understand your frustration at the clouds obscuring the sky during this 2020 conjunction. I would have had to drive outside my own neighborhood to be able to see that part of sky and didn’t try because of the clouding over…I like your words “no doubt more clouding as well” in your intro and your final “we below best brace for more.”

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    1. Thanks, Betty, for acknowledging the armadillos! That’s an iPhone happenstance photo, which stands in for the missed potential images my husband (the pursuing photographer) never got. In theory, his new lens would have yielded far better details. But its bulk did not keep up with the dillo’s rapid maneuvers, alas. (My mantra for 2021 is curiosity, curiosity, curiosity!)

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  2. Wonderful about the kitty names but the clouds were unfortunate . . . love the poem and the armadillo pic! I didn’t see the two planets until Christmas Day when it was way too cold to be out for more than an instant.

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    1. Thank you, Leah. When feline Jupiter and Saturn came to me, I was not really into astronomy or astrology. I no longer recall how Jupiter got his name, but I believe for the planet, likely suggested by one of my then-teenagers. Saturn was named for the vehicle she was hiding under in a parking lot after dark – meowing her head off but unwilling to emerge. Eventually only 3 cars remained on the lot – mine next to the Saturn and another one quite a ways off. A man came out to that distant car and heard the commotion – came to assist – crawled under the Saturn and retrieved the tiny black noise-maker. She immediately snuggled into purrs – not feral as anticipated, just terrified (and eager to eat when we got to the house!)

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    1. Thank you! A telescope would have brought it “closer” but no way “together” – the “single star” connotation just did not materialize in my geography. Armadillos proved far more fun to watch – seemed to suggest we should focus on the ground surrounding our feet.

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  3. We saw them the day before conjunction, but Saturn was so tiny by comparison that it’s hard to see how putting it right on top of Jupiter would make any real difference. On the actual day it was too cloudy here too. Trying to remember what it was you and I saw in Monahans–I think a near conjunction of Venus and Jupiter? Venus and something, anyway. This was nowhere near as good as that, even though much rarer, due to J and S both being so far from earth.

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    1. I Googled … it was Venus and Jupiter near conjunction we watched in Monahans, October 2015 – the only picture in my files is a couple days before the conjunction. I love looking at the stars and planets … and intriguing to read about the multiple paths and changing relative positions … but for photos, give me the moon!

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  4. What a good metaphor for life – planets aligning while clouds block our view. Things will shift again in the New Year – a given, and we will be ready (lens or other) to embrace it. Great shot of the armadillo!

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    1. Thanks, VJ – I feel relatively insignificant in the big scheme of things – yet I pay attention in hopes my tiny influence can make a tiny difference … like the armadillo’s tiny contribution to my overall awareness.

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  5. We had clouds, too, Jazz, and still do! I never got to see the Great Conjunction though I looked for many many nights. I’ve only caught a glimpse of the moon once or twice in two or three weeks, though I look. (I often think of you as I search for sight of the moon, knowing how much you are a moon-watcher, too!)

    I do so love how you made a metaphor of the clouds. Yes the clouds have covered us lately. Maybe they always do this time of year, but at the end of 2020, using clouds as a metaphor for the lack of forward-thinking approach to life does seem to have us covered in gloom.

    January 20 is coming. 🙂 I am watching Congress’s confirmation process closely this year.

    I hope you had a wonderful New Year. Let’s see the hope now, even if it’s cloudy until the skies clear.

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    1. LuAnne, thank you – I think politically we are seeing a LOT of puffy thunder clouds that aim to block real views … but they seem to be self-destructing … I am stubbornly optimistic that sanity will prevail eventually. Moon consistency (visible or not) reassures me that politics are NOT the ultimate guiding force of our lives! (But yes, I’m watching closely also – Jan 20, hurry up!)

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