First, thank you for your comments! It's good to hear from you! Some follow-ups:
Thomas: I am feeding the birds. They seem to like the scratch we give the chickens, so that will tide them over until the weather decides they have natural food once again. And until I can grow sunflowers again!
And, I really enjoyed your commentary and your "take" on light pollution and especially your own experience with circadian rhythms. With respect to those dusk-to-dawn lights, we did the same thing when we first bought our farm. We had it turned off. We should have taken the pole down, but didn't, and that light was turned back on practically the minute we sold that side of the road, by the new "city" owner.
Elora (the OTHER Elora) from A Canadian in Italy: Yes, exactly right on the telescope opportunities that seem to be declining. And it's really sad. Instead, kids see stars on the computer. Right? Not! I was surprised that Genoa has fallen into the light trap, Elora. Somehow "old world" or "lovely old world" just doesn't conjur up light pollution for me! Maybe Vancouver is actually getting a handle on it...you think?
Ruta: I'm going to suggest that everyone jump over to your website and have a look at the beautiful pictures "of your corner or the world." Go to:
Her pictures from yesterday show a pristine landscape. If you go back several postings you'll be enchanted as I am. You'll immediately see what an unspoiled sky Ruta must have! It rather reminds me of West Virginia, but aside from the clouds (I used to live in Washington State, so I know what you mean, Ruta, about cloudy vistas!), it must be a glorious view!
Everyone: You know, I accidentally came across an ad by a company that makes wind turbines. Perhaps you've heard of Vestas? It's a Danish company. Their ad for wind power showed a horribly light-polluted large city, somewhere, with all kinds of sky glow and mega-lights everywhere. The ad claimed that windpower could deliver the same amount of energy, needed to run cities, and that it was non-polluting. Well, I got upset and emailed them. It was NOT non-polluting. Not expecting a reply, I then came across that same picture but in this case, it was used by the International Dark Sky Association of an example of the worst of the worst in light-wasting behavior on the part of municipalities. I contacted Vestas and showed them the IDA photo. By serendipity, at the same time, National Geographic's cover article in November 2008 was entitled Our Vanishing Night. It had the same picture as well (casting it in a bad light!) Between IDA and National Geographic and me...we managed to get Vestas to thinking about their responsibilities with respect to light pollution, not just coal-fired plants. And you know what? They dumped that ad within a month. So, it pays to complain.
Again, thank you! Your comments make my day!