Astronomy Learning and Research / Beginning Astronomy / Observational Astronomy

That Darn Dog

Have you ever had one of those days when the cards just seem to be stacked against you?  That’s the kind of day I had last week Saturday.

It rained all week last week and I couldn’t put a dot on my analemma. Saturday rolled around and was showing promise for a sunny twelve bells. I had a few errands to run and was waffling about trying to get that dot on that day, or putting it off until Sunday.  At 11:40, I’m across town. I was unable to find the bank I was heading for so I was 0 and 1 already. The sky is clear and I need that dot. Maybe I can get one thing accomplished today! I turn the car towards home, hoping the traffic lights are on my side. 11:45

At 11:56 I pull into the driveway. Great! I have plenty of time! I rush into the house, grab my setup, pen and watch. It only takes a few seconds to line up the frame. Ah – I made it with only seconds to spare. As I’m crouched over the paper I’m suddenly aware of a very large black dog running around my front yard.

Watcha Doing?

She was so excited to see someone at eye level that she came right up to me wagging that tail and sticking her nose in my face as if to say “hey – whatcha doing?” I never even looked up! It’s now 11:59:40 and ticking and after a week of clouds and rain I have a 60 pound black lab casting a shadow on my analemma. I couldn’t believe it! Still staring at my paper I mumble “You’ve got to be kidding me!”  I reached out and pushed her out of the way.

She of course took this as a sign that I wanted to play – 11:59:55 – and came back for another playful sniff. 11:59:59 – beep beep beep, my watch alarm went off – noooooooooo, I gave her another push just in time to get that dot on the paper.  Whew!

Afterwards I found out that my hubby was watching all of this unfold. I was so focused on my dot that I didn’t notice him trying to get the dog out of my face. He marveled at the fact that I never looked up, even while I was trying to push Shadow (my name for her) out of the way. What can I say, I really wanted make some progress on my project.

Oh – by the way, I looked up some of the calculations I’m going to have to make. I was right, it’s going to be fun! Yes – that’s what I said, fun!

Whew – 62 dots down, 38 to go!


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