Thursday, November 12, 2015

November Night Skies

It is the time of year when there is a lot of night. The darkness settles in almost before the evening news and it seems like time to go to bed before supper. But November night skies offer their brilliance as well. Being in Central Iowa offers a unique perspective on the skies. Although not visible from our house, out on the roads the horizon is dotted with blinking red lights to the northeast, along the south, and to the west. A sign of the times of renewable energy. Each blinking red light represents a powerful wind energy generator. These wind farms have only recently become part of our skyline, relatively speaking that is, most within the past five years.

The lights warn airplanes not to fly too low as the wind towers stand high in the sky, reduced only to the blinking red lights at night. The northeast flashers are the most recent, I believe; located in the Green Mountain area while the southern lights are located in the Laurel area of Marshall County. The western lights come from wind turbines located in eastern Story County. It is an interesting sight when they all surround you on the roads.

November nights also bring out another common sighting: deer. Now that the farm fields are mostly barren and the hunting season is on, the deer are in constant movement, seeking food, shelter, and escape from the hunters waiting in the woods. The Iowa River runs through Marshall County and along it are acres and acres of wooded ground where the deer make their home. I have only hit one deer with a car but our family has racked up four collisions in all over the years. I am all too aware of their presence - cautiously searching the ditches for shiny eyes that reflect the car lights; scanning the fields for signs of movement. Last night there were two sightings. One doe loped across the road a few hundred feet ahead of me, and one buck remained posed at attention in the ditch as I drove by.

In the darkness of night it becomes evident what a rural area I live in. Just a spattering of white lights dots the landscape until you approach a town. Yet the sky is aglow with the constellations. Who but God could create such beauty. Thank you, Lord.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world" (Psalm 19:1-4 NIV).

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