Sketch of the Week: Geminids Meteor

One of the singular aspects of living in New Mexico is doubtlessly the sky. Robert H. Goddard was attracted to its openness for his rocketry, and numerous artists and other individuals have been been awed by its fantastic, colorful sunsets. At night, when you drive far enough out of town to escape the light pollution that accompanies modern living, you need only to tilt your head back to see into the universe itself.

Such was what I did last Sunday morning, during the Geminid meteor shower. After driving out to Bottomless Lakes a couple of hours before dawn, I huddled down my layers of jackets and blankets to watch the meteors dart across the sky. I don't know how many I saw; I lost count. Equally startling was the soundscape, which was a sonic tapestry of howling coyotes, chattering geese, and other wildlife. Eventually the sun rose to drench the my surroundings in golden light and welcoming heat.

After I got home, I painted out this scene of the dawn just as it was breaking, when a sliver of salmon pink began to rise up beneath the indigo surrounding it. The meteor activity had slowed down by this point, but there was still an occasional specimen punctuating the sky, as is seen here.

If you haven't experienced the Geminids, I highly recommend it. It's always important to remember your humility, and nothing puts you in your place faster than spending time with the night sky.