A little more than a month ago, on the ides of April, one of the early spring thunderstorms took out the streetlight that graced the corner of my yard. At the time, I jumped for joy at the prospect of stargazing with less light pollution than ‘normal’ in my over-illuminated urban area. Ironically, except for a handful of nights, the sky remained overcast for the past six weeks. I began to wonder if I’d been transported against my will to the Pacific Northwest. I’ve completely missed the pre-dawn planetary line-up (Mercury, Mars, Venus and Jupiter), even on ‘clear’ mornings thanks to haze, humidity and wispy clouds just thick enough to obscure the eastern atmosphere.
This week, the power company installed the new streetlight pole and rewired it to the leaning pole in the southwest corner of my yard. That’s the pole they really should have replaced as with the current thunderstorm activity, I predict it will be the next victim. Either the City of Lansing or the power company opted to continue over-illuminating the neighborhood by installing a standard cobra drop-lens fixture instead of the flat-lens cobra luminaire, which is a full-cutoff fixture, is very effective in reducing light pollution, ensuring that light is only directed below the horizontal, rather than directing light outwards and upwards. Not only are the nights getting shorter (and more humid), I now get to look forward to seeing less stars, constellations, planets, galaxies and nebulae. At least the moon has some chance of competing for a few days each month.
I snapped a couple other photos of the state of that corner of the yard, mainly the huge pile of dirt around the base of the new streetlight:
I wonder what type of grass seed the City chose for the patch of yard the snow plow scraped off earlier this year:
I’ll leave you with my final photo of the evening, a bit of flowery brightness to lighten the mood: