Since there are no streetlights along my road, on this cold clear early January night the only illumination comes from my single string of Christmas lights and the twinkling stars. This is one of my favorite months of the year to stargaze, with three of my most-loved constellations clearly visible – Orion the Hunter, followed by the faithful dog star, Sirius, the Great Bear, and the ancient queen, Cassiopeia.
As the three old friend s rise over the empty fields across the road, behind me the crescent moon bends low to shine a few pale rays on the frozen lake. The silence is almost absolute, only the occasional snap of the ice pack shifting or a leftover autumn leaf rustling on the crust on snow.
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