Poetry first: Issue Eight of Otoliths is now online featuring poems by Jill Chan, Michelle Leggott, Paul Hardacre and many others. Otoliths is a blog transformed into an ezine--well worth a visit.
I had a fun session star watching on Makara hill last night. I'm trying to learn some of the more obscure, fiddly constellations. Finding the small triangle in Monoceros (the Unicorn) wasn't difficult as its smack in the middle of a line between Sirius and Procyon but I couldn't make out the basic shape of the constellation. I had more success finding and learning the shape of Apus (the Bird of Paradise), a cute little four star constellation near Musca and the south celestial pole but I couldn't be sure if I was identifying Chamaelon correctly so I was looking at Taurus and trying to make out the shape of Perseus when I saw, at around 10.40 PM, the brightest meteor I have ever witnessed appear between The Hunter and The Bull shoot down below the Pleiades. Such a lovely long tail! It was probably a satellite burning up. And that's one reason I don't use binoculars or a scope: I like the big view of the sky so I can see the unexpected and besides I have so many rudimentary constellations to learn.
Back home, I finally finished The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons, the final (for now) hefty volume in his brilliant Hyperion cycle. I think I'll have a break from epic space opera for a while. . . maybe I'll read some short stories next time I feel like some SF.