Sunday, May 13, 2012

Here Comes the Night

 The best stuff always happens after dark, at least that's my opinion. My oldest son was born during the Perseid Meteor Shower, and I suppose that's why he and I would always get up in the wee hours of the morning to watch the shuttle or space station pass overhead.

So I was very disappointed last Saturday evening when clouds and rain filled the sky on the night I was promised a super moon unlike anything I had seen before. I follow all this stuff even though I don't know a lot about astronomy - I just enjoy the beauty and wonder of it all. Remember the scalene triangle?

One of my greatest pleasures comes from painting at night. At first it was just a challenge I wanted to try. But soon it became a passion. I found I could use a clip-on booklight aimed directly at my paper, lessening the effects of the light on my eyes which had become accustomed to the darkness. There's something magical about working amidst the sounds and smells of darkness. And yes, occasionally the bugs are too much, even for me, and I am forced to paint inside while looking though a window. But most nights I can brave the elements.

So now as the nights become warmer, it's almost time to make some moth sugar and see what night visitors I can attract to my front deck.

Here's a recipe if you want to try it:

3 tablespoons sugar
jug for mixing
old paintbrush
apple juice (optional)

Fill the jug with water, stir in the sugar. "Paint" the mixture onto a rock, stump or fence post. Just after dark, go check and see if anyone has come to feast. If not, try adding a small amount of apple juice.

Tonight, when my eyes can no longer stay open, I will climb into bed and fall asleep to the musical offerings of my resident mockingbird who croons to the moon and stars each night.

"Most glorious night!
Thou wert not sent for slumber!"
                  - Lord Byron

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