Perseid Meteors, 1 Raccoon, and 3 Cops

I don’t condone breaking the law in any circumstance, however, it was all in the name of science!

Just kidding! Last night, very spur of the moment (I am so not a spontaneous person, btw), I met up with a friend and her husband to do a little meteor site seeing.

Perseid Meteors 08-12-2009
Perseid Meteors 08-12-2009 - watercolor

Wanting to get away from the city, I suggested to meet at Moraine Valley in Palos Hills, IL. I knew they had a little nature observatory section and thought it would be perfect.

At first we were nervous, because it was really dark. The unknown always does that to a person. However, our love to study the skies took over, and we ventured into the unknown.
Hiking to the observatory deck, we encountered a sweet smell. So strong, it was as if you had stuck your nose right inside a flower. We looked around and only noticed Queen Anne’s Lace in the dark. Do they emit such a wonderful smell at night? Oh, how I will remember that sweet smell forever.

As soon as we made it to the observatory deck, we laid down our blankets. To lay under the sky and submit to nature is very powerful. We were instantly aware of our surrounding. We are so little. The crickets shouted, the frogs called, and a raccoon scared us half to death. He climbed on the deck and ignored our gasps of surprise. With one eye on us, he quietly walked away. I’m sure we were more startled then he.

Meteors sprayed across the sky. The reason why they are called Perseid Meteors is because they seem to shoot from the Perseus Constellation. Once we found the constellation, with much trouble, we agreed, the meteors did seem to shoot around the constellation. Many small ones we did witness, but two in particular were so large we almost mistaken it for a fire fly! A noticeable tail fell behind, almost leaving vapors at the end.

Can you see the Perseus Constellation in my painting? Hint: The stars of the constellation are white and outlined in black ink.

The meteors were in a irregular pattern. Most of the time they were sparce, but briefly right after midnight they were plentiful! After almost 2 hours, we decided to call it a night. The moment we stood up to gather our blankets (12:30am), we noticed car lights by our parked cars along the street.

Oh shoot, we are busted.

Quickly walking to the cars, we were greeted by three Palos Hills squad cars.

“We’re sorry! We’re sorry! We just wanted to watch the meteors!”, I said.

“You’re not suppose to be here after 11pm. Did you see any meteors?” the police officer asked.

“Why YES! Yes we did!” I said.

We apologized and left quickly. They were very nice to us, thank you!

“Perseid Meteors at Moraine Valley”
image: 6.5×4.5
white mat outside dimensions: 10×8
no frame

To purchase click here to visit the available watercolors page.

NOTE: If you look up into the dreamy skies and have ever wanted to talk to distant beings on other planets…here is your chance…
Hello from Earth is a site accepting short messages to be transmitted very shortly to planet: Gliese 581d, which has the best chance for sustainable life. Once transmitted your message will take 20 years. Add another 20 for a response! Even if you don’t leave a message, reading the posted ones is just hilarious!!!
Have fun!


  1. Unfortunately we were clouded out. The last time I caught the perseids, however, I was treated to the Northern Lights at the same time–a rare sight, even in Southern Ontario! Despite it being 4am, I had to rush home to wake mom to see it, too.
    Glad you weren’t arrested. 😉 Pretty painting.

  2. Lana: Yuck on the cloudy night, but way cool on the unexpected Northern Lights! Somehow, someday, before I take my last breath, I will find a way to see the Northern Lights…and go on a tornado sight seeing vacation, in Kansas or somewhere..two things I have to do!!! You are a good daughter to wake your mom up to see such a great sight!

  3. Darn..I missed them..too cloudy where I was..every night! I did happen to see a few still.
    I have missed allot on your blog so now I am catching up..between a vacation with the family and no internet connection while traveling west…I am so behind in my fav. blog reading.
    so here i am catching up!

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