Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bunny Alley, spider eyes, and one HUGE FIREBALL!

So Tuesday night, I got to go for a nice ride, as mentioned in the prior post. But what I didn't get around to mentioning, was my nightly trips down Bunny Alley. Bunny Alley is a short stretch of sidewalk/MUP that runs behind the library and an apartment complex, and next to an undeveloped field. This provides a lovely habitat for the local cottontail population to do, well, what rabbits do best!

Every night I ride the sidewalk there, I see at least 4-6 rabbits per pass. The big ones tend to stay out of the way, but the young ones are dumb enough to sprint across the sidewalk in front of me. So far, I have managed to avoid hitting any of them.

But Tuesday, there was a harbinger of summer in the alley...eyes! Eyes all over the's kind of creepy, especially once you learn whose eyes they are! You see, we ride with LED lights on the bikes, and they have a great tendency to pick up eye-reflections especially at a low on-the-ground low. What is out there that would fill the grass with eyes, you ask? Well, 'round here, the answer is SPIDERS!!! Big ones, little ones, fast ones, hairy ones....all kinds of spiders! So many sets of eyes, that it looks like dew drops in the grass...except they MOVE!

Now last night was Dave's ride night, and the kids, Cody & I went for a walk. As we walked down to the north pond on the MUP, I looked up at the sky only to see a huge fireball streak across the sky over town, west to east! It was highly colored--silverwhite in the center of the firetail, transitioning to yellow, then orange, and finally a beautiful green on the outer edges of the trail. Then it began to break up some, like trailing sparks.

I've only seen one other meteor like it in my life, and that was the night Carl Sagan died. This one also brought to mind the horrific videos I remember from the day the Space Shuttle Columbia and all aboard her died, Feb.1, 2003.

I remember that day-alone and pregnant with our son, as Dave flew to Oklahoma to pick up a used truck. I dropped Dave off at KCI and drove home, only to get a message from my Dad that the shuttle had crashed. Had we been in Texas at that time, I likely would have seen the shuttle accident...I'm kind of glad we were not there yet. The debris cloud passed near here, mostly landing east of DFW and around Nachadoches and Tyler. Last summer's drought dried up the lakes enough that they found several large pieces of Columbia, 8 years after the fact.

Remember them....

And watch out for the spider-eyes in the grass!

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