The night sky is a mystery for most folks, it is the time for sleeping, except for that jerk down the road who thinks cutting the grass at two o’clock in the morning is an OK activity. Coming up next for the night sky on the twentieth, the Harvest moon will be full, big, and bright, it will be hard to miss. Two days later the Autumnal Equinox will take place and the summer of 2021 will be history. A full moon is appreciated by many, with the exception of a werewolf or two, the Harvest moon seldom disappoints those who love the light. The Robert Ferguson Observatory (RFO) sends updates and heads up notices of night sky observation opportunities to subscribers.
The RFO is on top of the ridge situated near Kenwood, then up the Adobe Canyon Road to Sugarloaf State Park where you pay the state $10 for using the parking lot, then follow the signs to RFO. The RFO speaker series next month features Alex Filippenko, Astrophysicist and Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley on Fri, Oct 15, 7 p.m. at Piner High School, 1700 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa. Dr. Filippenko will be speaking on the subject of dark energy, the mysterious force that physicists believe is accelerating the expansion of the universe. What might the exact nature and origin of this energy be? What are the implications of this on our understanding of the basic nature of gravity?
To learn more about the amazing space we live in, go to the RFO web site to explore what they have to offer and sign up for their email list. Subscription to the email list is free, without obligation look at insulting adverts. Reference: search Robert Ferguson Observatory and click through.
A more visceral sign of fall are the many pumpkin patches taking shape around us. Petaluma ‘sod buster’ Jim Groverman presides over one of the oldest pumpkin patches in the north bay. Jim laughs at the notion that he only works 31 days a year. He says, “I start working November 1 to take down and store things, then I begin plowing under all the vegetation and begin work on my support fields. If I only sold what I could grow on the patch, I would only be in business two days. Not a day goes by that I’m working on something or another to support the ‘patch.’ As soon as the fields dry up in the spring I am back on the tractor.” Who knew?
Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.