In The Dark

☆ July 11, 2012

I’ve been sleeping outside because it’s been so hot
(I could sleep outside even if it weren’t this hot but sometimes we
need to be FORCED out of our routine) and last night
a strange thing happened.

I was lying there looking up at the stars and saw what I thought was a satellite gliding across the sky.
I hate satellites so I was glaring at it (no logic there)
and suddenly it flashed this HUGE bright light, much like a camera flash
but slightly slower, and then it disappeared!

Did Google photograph me scowling in the night?
Did I get implanted with temporarily-latent destructive coding via light ray?
Was it an alien ship beaming off to another galaxy?
Have any of you seen this??


43 Responses to “In The Dark”

  1. Beverly J Jackson
    July 11th, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    Well considering as isolated as you are, I would go with the aliens theory.

  2. MArissa
    July 11th, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    It’s a flare – when the satellite reflects the sun’s light. Perhaps it looked like it had disappeared because the satellite is tumbling/no longer under control.
    For flare info, check out:

  3. Mary Laiuppa
    July 11th, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    Well, I doubt it was taking a picture. No way a flash from that far away would help take a picture of earth.

    It was probably a satellite and turned in such a way that a shiny surface reflected the sun for a moment.

    It’s wonderful you can sleep outside without being eaten by bugs. I tried sleeping in a hammock one night when I lived in condo and eventually had to come inside.

    Congratulations on selling out on Star Beef. I look forward to buying twice as much as I did this time the next year you offer it to the west coast.

  4. Pat D.
    July 11th, 2012 @ 11:23 am

    Hmm… well, a sunlight flare off of a shiny satellite makes a whole lot more sense than my theory that Shreve DESTROYED it with the strength of her glare– but it’s not as much fun. :-)

  5. Gene Forsythe
    July 11th, 2012 @ 11:47 am

    The Iridium series of communication satellites, along with several others, are well known in amateur astrophotography circles for their nightly display of exactly what you saw. SO…..probably not an alien sighting (but then you never REALLY know).

  6. ~~Silk
    July 11th, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    Meteorite? Heated by the atmosphere until it exploded/flamed out?

  7. wyomama
    July 11th, 2012 @ 11:53 am

    I want a “like” button for Pat D’s comment. :)

  8. Veena
    July 11th, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    Why do you hate satellites?

  9. shreve
    July 11th, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    Hm. The real answer is such a BORING answer! But thanks for the info! It’s very “duh” now that I know.

    Pat ~ YES. LOVE!

    S ~ it wasn’t moving fast enough

    V ~ because… it’s like seeing an oil rig on the ocean horizon, or a cell tower in a forest.

  10. Barbara
    July 11th, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

    Aren’t you lucky that you can ask a question & lots of people quickly answer it.

  11. Leisa
    July 11th, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

    I’m just amazed that you can sleep outside! One, its too hot here in Alabama, and two, I would get eaten alive by mosquitos. They are horrible here! I wish I had a few bat houses to help cut down on the population of them. I really like being able to sleep with the windows open in the (too short) spring as I like to hear the frogs, the katydids, and the cicadas. And smell the honeysuckle…..

  12. Kelly
    July 11th, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    . . .or a drill rig in the red hills of Wyoming. Yeah, we use the technology, but we don’t have to love the constant reminders of our dependency. Wonder what the aliens make of us and all our shiny things?

  13. Marissa
    July 11th, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

    Sorry for the boring answer, you could always imagine it’s aliens I guess!
    I love star gazing, astronomy, and astrophysics. I don’t follow the math involved in some things, but that doesn’t make me stop looking up!

  14. Pat D.
    July 11th, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

    LOL. Glad you liked my comment!

    I just finished reading “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown– a fast-paced thriller which is also very thought-provoking.
    “It’s all comes down to mind over matter.” Maybe someday we’ll have the world we long for…

  15. juco
    July 11th, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

    Yep – iridium flare.

  16. Marg
    July 11th, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

    I’m positive it took your picture. A pretty blond that stokes bull balls is worth capturing lol. There are a lot of weird things down here on earth so why not out there as well. I would much rather go with the unreasonable than the “scientific explanation”, much more entertaining don’t you think. Next time take a picture of it Shreve. I would love to be able to capture a picture of the stars but I don’t know how. I did finally get some fireworks on my camera though. Anyone want to see them?

  17. Claire B.
    July 11th, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

    I agree with Marg on the picture taking. However it probably was an alien ship observing human behavior on how to treat wounded bulls. :)

  18. TT in MD
    July 11th, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

    Off topic, but thanks for the tweet link on Monsanto sneak attack. I signed. I must look at this organic association and join – look like good work. I belong to Beyond Pesticides – they do work for alternatives to pesticides and strongly support organic.

  19. wright1
    July 11th, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

    Sorry you don’t like satellites; to me, they’re nearly as wonderful as the stars beyond them. A lot less visually intrusive than the typical oil rig / cell tower too.

    Another +1 to Pat D. for her “Shreve anti-satellite glare” comment.

  20. shreve
    July 11th, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

    M ~ yes, share! shooting stars is pretty much the same as fireworks, just longer exposure time.

    C ~ ha

    TT ~ ugh M is evil. unfortunately they control the gov’t including the prez.

  21. jerri
    July 11th, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

    Hey, answer the question. Don’t or do you have bug that enjoy sucking the blood of humans in Wy?

  22. Heather
    July 12th, 2012 @ 12:49 am

    Probably just swamp gas. ;) I signed that Monsanto thing but it always seems so pointless to sign those. I feel like they never listen to us and will do whatever fits their agenda anyway. Our country has become so corrupt it’s past the point of saving. Oh well…I’ll keep signing and hanging onto the teeny bit of hope I have for this world.

  23. Andy
    July 12th, 2012 @ 2:34 am

    Shreve, you should try to find a satellite ham operator near you, and spent some time listening to the satellites. They have a life and sound, and even a message, of their own, just like when you listen to nature.

  24. shreve
    July 12th, 2012 @ 6:29 am

    J~ hey, chill. they’re not bad here.

  25. cassie
    July 12th, 2012 @ 7:18 am

    Well this has been a fun read while sipping my coffee! I vote for the alien theory.

    Can any of the local wildlife come into your outside bedroom? My friend in Colorado has a black bear showing up at night in her backyard.

  26. Colleen G
    July 12th, 2012 @ 7:26 am

    I think it is very cool that you sleep outside. My only worry out where you live would be that a snake, scorpion or some type of creepy spider would decide to join you *o* I had Chinese lanterns floating in my woods last summer and it totally freaked me out until I realized what they were.

  27. Keitha
    July 12th, 2012 @ 9:02 am

    To all the ones who want to sleep outside with the skeeters. All you need is a mosquito net.

  28. Keitha
    July 12th, 2012 @ 9:06 am

    Oh Forgot to say something about the new look at Daily Coyote! But no tweets on the page. Is it in progress?
    I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the word burial and the Charlie pic, before I read the whole thing.

  29. Catherine
    July 12th, 2012 @ 10:30 am

    Beautiful celestial sight this week-end…three of the brightest celestial bodies group together in the eastern sky at dawn to create a stunning sight for eye and camera. Astronomers at Hubble have spotted a new moon around distant Pluto, bringing the known count to 5. I live in the darkest place on the coast and we see EVERYTHING ! You would’nt believe what goes on at night up there !!!!! It’s party central !

  30. Marg
    July 12th, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    Finally I got the Fireworks pictures on my blog to share. By now everyone has moved on lol. For those latecomers the address is

  31. Scotty
    July 13th, 2012 @ 12:13 am

    i heard that if you cover your nads with aluminum foil then they cannot implant latent thingies. but for girls i dunno.

  32. Lesley
    July 13th, 2012 @ 1:27 am

    I am so envious you have a sky filled with stars. City girl here…nothing up there to see except the moon and a few of the brighter stars.

  33. christine
    July 13th, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    It was the great Coyote god taking your picture to show the little coyotes.

  34. Aleta
    July 13th, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

    Probably Iridium flare. There are several web sites that track these things and tell you when the next one will be. I am sorry you don’t like satellites (does the Moon count?) because they are so very beneficial. And Lesley, you can see Iridium flares even in New York City: they are that bright. :-)

  35. Aleta
    July 13th, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

    Oops, I accidentally hit submit before I finished. The flare comes from sunlight reelecting off the satellite’s solar panels. Iridium satellites are especially beneficial because they provide phone service to people who are so remote even cell phones are useless. One of the original ideas for Iridium phones was for doctors in very remote areas: they could directly connect with colleges or labs anywhere in the world.

  36. Cathy
    July 13th, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

    I don’t care about logic. I like the alien theory.

  37. Gabi
    July 14th, 2012 @ 4:05 am

    You are not alone……not in the alien sense but in the sense that I too see the satellites late in the evening when I take Piper out for her final walk. We are about 20 minutes inland from the coast of San Diego, CA and the marine layer doesn’t reach us very often, so the nights are warm and clear and as I sit or lay on the grass and look up I can usually spot one or two.

    Do you know how many satellites are currently in orbit? I didn’t either so looked it up and found a few different answers. One site state; the U.S. has 442, China has 86, Russia has 103. Another site states the following: The most up-to-date data comes from CelesTrak which is funded by the Center for Space Standards and Innovation, located in Colorado Springs. As of writing there are over 13,000 satellites in orbit and over 20,500 satellites have decayed since 1957. Looking carefully at the data it appears that there are just under 3,500 satellites that are both functioning and in their correct orbit compared to nearly 10,000 that are classed as debris but haven’t yet decayed. So 75% of the satellites orbiting the Earth are junk!

    The second article sends chills up my spine but in any case I came to the conclusion that there’s a lot of stuff floating around out there.

    I wonder what we will do to clean it up???

  38. Gabi
    July 14th, 2012 @ 4:13 am

    PS. How is Baby’s hoof? Did the charcoal paste draw out all of the infection or did your vet have to make a trip out to look Baby over? Either way I hope with all my heart Baby is 100% and up and around and doing his bull thing.

  39. wagga
    July 14th, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

    We had a little fun with this on the WhitneyZone forum. Thanks, Shreve!

  40. Jackie
    July 14th, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

    One of my earliest memories is of standing out in our yard in rural NE TX and watching the Sputnik satellite orbit the earth. I wish I could remember the conversation the adults were having but all I remember is that they knew it was a big deal and it was kind of scary. We were involved in the Cold War and Sputnik meant that the Russians had the upper hand. That’s what started the race to the moon.

  41. Marg
    July 15th, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    Wagga thanks for the iridium post, I thought that was fascinating.

    July 17th, 2012 @ 11:42 pm

    Very interesting conversation going here… I remember watching for satellites when hiking as a kid. That was a lot of years ago. Marg, I enjoyed the fireworks and even more the window at the dam and other funky textural pics. Thanks!

  43. Frannie Kriss
    July 18th, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania and my husband and I saw the exact same thing a few months ago! We couldn’t figure out what it was, but were certain it was too far to be a plane and too close to be a satellite. Just like that it seemed to get brighter and then vanished into thin air. A mere 2 seconds later, my husband saw another one (I was looking at my dogs at the time). CRAZY! Glad to know we weren’t seeing things…but it’s totally disconcerting.

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