We're in the reign of the new moon now on top of LeConte. I appreciate the way the full moon rises near High Top and makes all of camp glow. When the full moon first begins to top the mountain, it illuminates all the dead trees still holding on near the summit of LeConte--looking like beard stubble on top of venerable old Smoky.
However, I'm becoming an equal fan of the beautiful dark sky offered up by the new moon. Mt. LeConte on a clear night is a wonderful place to contemplate the Milky Way. The galaxy was on full display Wednesday night.
Last night after chores were completed, I laid out on one of the picnic tables at the lodge and just looked up to take it all in before I called it a day. One of the first things I noticed was that although I was done for the day, the bats were working overtime scouring the skies for a decreasing number of insects as cooler weather approaches.
Looking a bit beyond, if you squint just right, you can see satellites zipping across the night sky. I always wonder what their assignment might be--spying on one of our neighbors or maybe the important business of beaming "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" into televisions across the land.
My favorite night scene from yesterday was tracking two shooting stars across the sky. One was headed north, the other headed west, but neither using Interstate 75 or 40. I hope you get a chance to enjoy a beautiful night sky during this new moon. Happy trails.