We set out on our walk in the evening a few days ago, walking down the street where I live, talking as usual, in the dark. Part way down I saw a dark thing in the road and thought maybe it was a cat. It went to the other side, came back, scampered into someone’s yard. As we got closer I saw it again, but it seemed quite a bit larger than a cat this time. Then it sort of snorted and I thought, it has to be a dog, but what a weird noise for a dog….and then it took off through the yards back the direction we came from. But not just one; we counted them, there were seven, five adults and two babies, and they were javalina, a whole herd of them. First time I’ve seen a herd anywhere not in a zoo, especially in my own neighborhood. Someone’s cactus or flowers or garbage got eaten that night. And I was glad we were talking since javalina can be dangerous. They do not see well, startle easily, run amock basically when startled, and have huge tusks that can do a lot of damage if you are in their way when they flee. I’m a whole lot more fearful of javalina than I am of rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes are shy, and if you keep your eyes open and don’t bother them, they are very happy to leave you alone.
Then at the end of the walk we were standing outside talking, and I saw a very bright greenish meteor, with a long trail, start at about 30 degrees above the north horizon; I exclaimed and pointed, and we both watched it as it continued to zenith and then burned out. Very bright, not quite the most spectacular I’ve seen but in second place. Even though it lasted several seconds, it was much too quick to get a picture unless you were pointed that way anyway. We wondered if it was an early Lyrid but it seems way too early, more likely copper-containing debris of some kind…..and got into a discussion of the meteor that exploded over Russia not that long ago and what effect it must have had on the people who saw it.
One of our more interesting walks.