Tag: saturn

July Fly-by

We started the month celebrating a somber 4th of July. Why did it feel more like a funeral than Independence Day? Could it be that here in California we’re all basically under house arrest? Except for our convicted criminals. They’re being let out of jail by the thousands. Anyway, I thought Titus’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner fit the mood. Here’s the link.

Joel and Nathan got to take a road trip with their Opa up to Idaho to visit cousins. Besides an amazing show of hospitality by Tom’s middle brother and his family, Joel finally got some good catfish-ing under his now 15-year-old belt.

My IG Birthday greeting to this remarkable boy read like this:

“Happy Birthday to my fish catching, game hunting, piano playing, fly tying, snowcave sleeping, omelette flipping, anything high climbing, board shredding, highest peak in the lower 48 summiting, Gospel sharing, bike jumping, poker winning, truth loving, schoolwork dodging, gun toting, arrow sending, Bible thumping, trouble making, thrill seeking, wilderness surviving, double daring, son Joel. And that just describes the first 2 years of your teens. I can’t imagine what God has in store for you in the years to come. He obviously custom made you for adventure.”

Unfortunately, he and Titus have been unemployed since March. Tom, thankfully still has a job, but the camp being shut down for 5 months has obviously been a hardship. Keeping a houseful of 3 teenage boys, and 2 that might as well be, busy and in order with no work, no school, no camps, and limited interaction with friends has been a challenge to say the least. Mainly they’ve just been running wild in the woods all spring and summer. But honing those wilderness survival skills isn’t such a bad idea given our current political climate.

I was able to reign them in briefly to do some night-sky gazing recently. Jupiter and Saturn have been stunning this month. Our telescope was able to give us the first clear view of Saturn’s rings we’ve ever had. And of course, there was the Neowise comet. I think there might be one or two nights left to catch a glimpse of this 3-mile wide space rock orbiting our sun. You can find it right below the Big Dipper. I’m reposting some illustrations the boys did back in 2019 of the various kinds of space rocks and a poem to help you remember each kind.

“Dirty snowball out in space

with smudgy tail making chase


Ice melts off and leaves behind

Dirt and rocks that sometimes find


Their way through Earth’s thick atmosphere

But burn all up before getting here


Except for sometimes they crash on through

And hopefully don’t land on you!”


The End.

Titus wasn’t interested in our childish bit of poetic nonsense so here are some more accurate definitions from him.img_3536

Anyway, hope your July has been star-spangled and that August will still find us all fighting for the land of the free and the home of the brave.


Friday’s Factoid Week 18

Next week is a snow-week for our little star-gazers so while we’re hitting the ski-slopes you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on missed readings or to click around on some of these links .

For starters here’s a Flashback with a fun activity you will definitely want to try at home!

Secondly, click here, here, here and here for a sneak peak at the topic we’re going to be covering when we get back. The links are to posts on the constellations unit we did 6 years ago. Since that time I’ve modified my position somewhat, although I still don’t rule out the possibility that God placed the stars in such a way as to proclaim eternal truths about His Son, Jesus Christ. Psalm 119:89 does say, “Forever O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.”

You’ll have to weigh the evidence for yourselves. A lot of Christians I respect very much stand on either side of the issue. It’s soooo important to give grace to grow in these areas of our faith.  I’ve heard godly pastors like John Piper who have spent decades faithfully preaching God’s sovereign work in creation, called an “evolutionist” by other Christians because of a comment made years ago in an interview hinting at an old-earth creation.  So while I may have been adamant 6 years ago that the “Gospel in the Stars” theory was fact, give me grace to grow!  I’m still learning!  In the mean time enjoy the links. Or better yet, bundle up, step outside and look up at those stars!