Friday, April 22, 2016

A-Z Blog Challenge: S is for Stars

I don't mean the Hollywood 'stars'. I mean those twinkling little specks in the sky. They've always fascinated me and I'm old enough to have lived in a world when the lights weren't on all night. Here in Perth the street lights went out at 1:00 AM and in the summer in particular the sky would be ablaze with stars.

I remember lying out on the grass with my brothers and staring up at the sky. The lack of artificial light meant we could see stars with a clarity that these days is only experienced out in the bush as far as possible away from human habitation. We would look for the familiar constellations while Dad explained what they were. By the time my children were old enough to do the same the ambient light had cut the number of stars visible to the naked eye dramatically. Sad though this is, we can't live in a past and more trusting time, one when people left a key under the door mat and we didn't need the lighting we do now. An ever growing city, the population and crime that comes with it and possibly the proliferation of fast, modern vehicles, means we need lighting to act as prevention and protection.

Still, living as we do in an isolated city, far distant from other major centres of population means that we don't have to go far out of town to be able to see stars. My family includes an enthusiastic stargazer and she regularly goes to one of the national parks on the outskirts of the city armed with a telescope to indulge her interest. I do have to wonder, though, how much longer this will be possible. Perth is still growing rapidly and although efforts are being made to encourage smaller building lots, the majority of the population still prefer a house and garden and this inevitably leads to urban sprawl - and just as inevitably that means the stars will continue to be less visible.


Jo said...

I know what you mean Helen but on the other hand we had to drive home, last night, along country roads when it was raining and dark. It was something of a relief when we reached the city lights.

However, for star gazing they ruin the view.

Helen V. said...

I agree that we're a lot safer now with all night street lighting, Jo. It's just a pity that we humans seem to be losing our connection to Nature in so many ways and this is one of them.