Pareidolia and the scorpion galaxy

This weekend Doug and I headed up to Lake Cuyamaca for a few days to camp, fish, birdwatch, walk and stargaze. We camped at Chambers Park where we had access to water, electric and basic bathrooms.  No we didn’t pitch a tent – we stuffed the 5′ inflatable bed into the 4′ between the wheelwells of the same truck I do shows in. Squeak, crunch.

On Friday and Saturday afternoon we watched thunderclouds grow over the mountains surrounding us.  On Saturday we watched a couple lightning strikes, then decided to put everything back in the cab of the truck or under it just in case…. the lightning and thunder grew closer… then indeed we were sent scrambling to enjoy a reminder of what a cloud really is – a fragile bag of water – when it burst.

The skies cleared though by sunset and we watched shooting stars from beside the lake.  The Milky Way is clearly visible away from the lights; I’ve always thought it looks like a scorpion with two long front pincers.  I’ve never seen a photograph of quite what my naked eye gives me.  I figure the longer exposures necessary end up capturing so much more beauty, why stop at what we can see if we just look up. So I painted it.

I love stargazing, but know few constellations.  Between events from the Perseid Meteor shower, we played with pareidolia – the ability to see faces etc in patterns – such as the shapes of constellations.  We found a puppy and a tulip, and I pointed out an old favorite of mine, the inside out umbrella.


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