I Saw Another UFO Last Night

| 1/19/2011 12:58:08 PM

There seems to be no limit to the things that surprise, delight, mystify and terrorize me, living in the woods. I blame movies for causing much of my terror. So often I’ll be lost in contemplation while I’m weeding or working in the garden when I suddenly realize that I’m not alone. I’ll hear a sound coming from the corn and immediately imagine either nice people, like the baseball players emerging from the cornfield in “Field of Dreams” (I guess I built it so they came), or nasty aliens from M. Night Shyamalan’s movie “Signs” with Mel Gibson. I can usually handle whatever I imagine coming out of the corn, but I can’t handle it when Michelle sneaks up on me. I saw a movie called “The Woman in Black” (most of which I didn’t watch because I had my hands over my eyes) in which a pale-skinned woman dressed in black (no surprise there) appears out of nowhere and bad things happen. (Watch a clip here, if you dare)

Any time that Michelle (or anyone else, for that matter) suddenly appears in the garden or the guesthouse while I am distracted, my mind immediately envisions the woman in black. I’ve warned Michelle that she’s going to cause me to have a heart attack some day if she insists on sneaking up on me. Peripheral vision can be a scary thing when you daydream.

I see some of the coolest sights at night. We are about an hour’s drive away from the nearest city so it is very dark here. I love just standing and staring into the sky. After your eyes acclimatize to the darkness, the number of stars is mind-boggling. Despite my ignorance about constellations and what I’m looking at, I love stargazing.

Night Sky

Photo by Roberto Mura (Own work) or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Depending on the conditions there can be a glow to the south from the lights of Kingston or to the east from Ottawa, which is two hours away. One night I’m sure there was an alien spacecraft in the woods behind our house. I looked out back and the pond behind our place was all lit up. It was winter and I could see the light through the trees. Michelle saw it too, so I know I’m not crazy. I walked out towards it and wondered how a bunch of vehicles with bright lights could be in that area of the woods, which is pretty much inaccessible by vehicle. I expected to see a crew fueling an alien spacecraft like in a Steven Spielberg movie. I must say, I felt a fair amount of trepidation, even with Morgan the Wonder Dog leading the way. When I made my way through the woods to the clearing of the pond I realized that the light no longer appeared to be coming from that spot but now it seemed to be coming from the next pond. I walked through the woods to the next pond and once again the source of the light seemed to move further into the woods.

Eventually I figured out it that it wasn’t an alien landing craft or a band of Mad Max marauders. It seemed that light from a long way off was being refracted close to the ground so it looked like something was bright and low even though nothing was there. It was cool and freaky. I think it’s similar to the effect called St. Elmo's fire, which Wikipedia describes as an “electrical weather phenomenon in which luminous plasma is created by a coronal discharge originating from a grounded object in an atmospheric electric field.” And here I thought St. Elmo’s Fire was just a cheesy 80s movie with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore.

1/19/2011 8:53:52 PM

It's the cougar you don't hear that you should be worried about.

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