Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Who is ready for a night under the stars with S'mores

Who is in the mood for s'mores? I must be hungry because that word is really resonating with my brain right now.
The Friends of O.S. Gray will also be making s'mores, hot chocolate and roasting hot dogs. Feel free to bring lawn chairs, flashlights and blankets, coats and gloves to keep warm! Come out and join the Star Party in the Park.

So what is going on here?

There is a star gazing party this weekend- Saturday evening, the 24th of January, if the weather is willing- the alt plan is detailed below... Every intrepid soul is to gather at
WHAT: Star Party in the Park
WHEN: Jan. 24, 2015 from 6:30-8:30 PM
WHERE: O.S. Gray Natural Area | 2021 W. Abram Street, Arlington TX

You will not see the Orion constellation in January in
Texas. Come back this summer.

The attractions, besides the food bits, are the wild woods in the dark with nymphs and fairies and your friends. And some story telling astronomers from the Fort Worth Astronomy Club. According to the author of Naturally Fun - Gary Packan, you get to chat with brilliant astronomers and they will let you look at stars through their telescopes.

There will be a line for the scopes and there is always a line hog. Feel free to bring your own binoculars and telescopes and be ready to hear titilatting stories about constellations and stars and such.

Don't let them get started talking about astrophysics and dark matter and big bang theories... stories about Galileo and Copernicus and Kepler and Plutarch's arcs would be cool though...

I bet they are spellbinding folks. I recommend this event with high excitement. Still have s'mores on my mind... and roast weenies.

Here is how Gary Packan presents the offer

 Join us and enjoy some stargazing with The Friends of O.S. Gray Natural Area. Come and try out a variety of telescopes, look at visible planets, constellations, stars and chat with brilliant astronomers from Fort Worth Astronomical Society about astronomy and their equipment.

While we like modern amenities, we have lost our access to darkness at night. Urban lights wash out  our view of the stars. A trip into the deep woods is the more perfect place to find the darkness for best star gazing. In fact, you might be shocked at the number of stars you see; being too used to your filtered view of the heavens.

A note or two about the O S Gray Natural Area...

Here is a glimpse. Image swiped 
from Green Source DFW

O.S. Gray was a guy obsessed with Pecan Trees. We are blessed by people driven by passion who create for the ages. The nursery that he operated for more than 50 years was saved from concrete and progress; and today, we are blessed with a 20 acre patch of the natural world ensconced right in the urban landscape of Arlington, TX. I am sure there are lots of Pecan trees here and I am sure there is a large community of fat squirrels who live here.

Gary Packan has a great description of the O S Gray natural area here. 

So come on out. Get a bit to eat; bring some friends, make some new friends, and enjoy a night out in the quiet of the woods with nothing louder than the hushed voices of other travelers to the stars.
Dress warm.

More info wanted?


What if the weather does not cooperate?

OK,  here is the alternate plan if the weather does not work- clouds don't work, so rain is out of the question... The event will be postponed. The event will be rescheduled at a time announced on Friends of O S Gray Star Gazing Event  Facebook page.  Join the event and keep in touch or you will miss the stars and s'mores, the  fairies and the nymphs, the astronomers and fellow voyagers.

S'mores in an emergency - a post script

Now, here is how to make s'mores in an emergency. Find your emergency stock of fat marshmallows, find your box of graham crackers and remember your safe word for your human partner, who keeps you out of the supply of emergency chocolate stocks.

Collect all the necessary ingredients and then find your fire source. You need to plan your fire source will ahead. Things can get a bit iffy, if you are desperate for fire when the time for emergency s'mores arrives.

Open barbecues work, gas ranges work, electric stove top burners work...

If you have to build a fire on the back deck- make sure it is concrete. make sure you are aware that it will leave a burn mark, and that you need a variety of kindling and firewood to construct a fire.

Make sure have proper tooling for heating marshmallows; 2nd grade forks work, but you need something to grip the fork and allow you to extend your distance from the fire source, or at least from the heat transferred through the fork handle.

You will want to avoid forks with plastic handles- the smell will not be pretty and the melted plastic will be unsightly in the future.

You are set. You are ready for any s'more construction emergency. Let me know how it goes.

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