Sunday, August 11, 2013
Orion the Hunter
This morning, after a horrible night's sleep, I decided that since I was up anyway I'd might as well enjoy the peace and solitude of my back porch. Citronella candles and mosquito incense lit, I sipped my coffee and pondered my mood. It was in that nebulous in-between state where you haven't quite decided how to feel. Lack of sleep would normally make me grumpy, but the atmosphere on the porch--candles burning, frogs chirping--was enough to keep that at bay. Then I looked up at the sky.
There he was--Orion. My first and favorite constellation. As a child, I would pick Orion out, though not knowing what it was called I named it the Bow Tie stars. In Greek mythology, Orion was the son of the nymph Euryale and the god Poseidon. A mighty hunter, Orion claimed that he would kill every animal on the planet, thus angering Gaia, goddess of the Earth. She sent a scorpion to kill him, only to be thwarted by Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, who saved Orion with an antidote. Consequently, the constellations Orion and Scorpius are never in the sky at the same time and the constellation Ophiuchus lies between the two.
Normally a daytime constellation during the summer (for the Northern Hemisphere crowd anyway), Orion becomes visible in the evenings in late autumn and winter around here. Just seeing him this morning gave me a nice little charge and the sense that autumn is approaching. While I hate to rush summer's end, this summer has seemed particularly long and loaded with change, and I am ready to move on. Thanks Orion, for the boost.
Posted by Mrs. Smith at 4:09 AM