On missing the cover of a dark night sky

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, November 3, 2016

“What use to learn the lessons taught by time.

If a star at any time may tell us: Now.”

~ Howard Nemerov,
excerpt from“The Consent”

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November brings in clear nights spangled by dancing stars above. I’m bringing out these words on light pollution/night sky written a few years back, since a number of folks have revisited the light pollution issue lately in the Bulletin. Some things just bear repeating.

When do we say too much is too much, instead of just wanting and demanding more? It is innate human nature to always want more than we have? Yet, what is wrong with being happy in the moment, being content? When do we learn to do with a bit less?

At night, when you fly over the United States, the cities and urban sprawl areas glow with light. Florida has become one big light, in the night darkness of space. It’s as if we are determined to pave, to light up every inch of wildness, to develop and dominate every forest, every natural scene. It becomes harder and harder to really get away from it all.

Gas stations install brighter lights, blinding. Streetlights are often too harsh, too prevalent. Most people don’t seem to think about light control around this area. But forward-thinking areas of Southern California, as well as other areas in the U.S., have developed light ordinances, to conserve energy and to protect the night sky view. In some towns, you really can see stars! A great way of thinking! 

Along with numerous other night creatures, the world’s firefly populations have become endangered from artificial light sources. Fireflies thrive on natural dark. Their magic can’t be replaced. Nor can that of being outside on a dark November night, surrounded by galaxies of twinkling stars to watch, dream on.

Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday with dinner served from 5:30-7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All are welcome; donations accepted.

Keep in mind that Saluda Community Land Trust would love to have you volunteer or be a member. Learn more about SCLT by visiting saludaclt.org or calling 828-749-1560. Also, Saluda Center would be glad to have your help, too, whether Meals On Wheels, or another project. And Saluda School can always use tutors and volunteers of all kinds, just inquire. Volunteers make the world go round—hats off to those who volunteer!

Saluda Station Depot Day is Nov. 5, 12-4 p.m. at the Saluda Historic Depot’s parking lot.

The annual Saluda United Methodist Church’s Turkey Dinner is Nov. 12 at Saluda School cafeteria, 5-7 p.m. Church members serve roast turkey, homemade gravy (my favorite) and all the fixings including dessert (my favorite, too!). It’s a great evening to see hometown folks.

Saluda’s Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration’s Second Annual Holiday Bazaar will be Nov. 19, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the parish hall, 72 Charles Street.

Saluda get well wishes go to Karen Johnson.

Garden notes: It’s time to turn over summer gardens, divide plants, plant shrubs or trees, add compost to the soil, and clean bluebird houses. Fall leaves make fine additions to compost, or rake into a pile at the side of your yard and let them decompose; no need to burn them.

Happy birthday to Rich and Rita Igoe, Karen Johnson, Nancy Barnett, Dawn Pearson, Charles Pearson, Dusty Jespersen, Gwen Garren, Stoney Lamar, Jim Boyle, Tom Ellwood, Wendy McEntire, Aaron Burdett, Donna Potruski and Jane Thompson. 

Thank you, dear readers for reading this column! It’s my goal to make you feel as if you were enjoying a visit on the porch swing on a sunny fall afternoon, gold and scarlet leaves painting the ground in rich shades. Please feel free to contact me at bbardos@gmail.com or 749-1153. You may also visit bonniebardosart.com for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.