One of the things Linda and I share with teachers is the magnificent capability of observing the heavens with the eyes alone. We speak of some of God’s meticulous creative ability as we explain how we see scenes with such speed and varying fields of view–able to capture and remember things better and quicker by exercising disciplined observing principles. We certainly enjoy observing the heavens with scopes and binoculars, but the eyes of a trained observer to see things in the heavens yields things they cannot capture. When this is coupled with simple recording techniques and notes, the observer locks something in memory with better detail and more meaning than a camera can capture.
Fall is upon us in Virginia but our streak of cloudy skies from a stationary front have stopped most traditional observing of the heavens. There is still much to see. The moon peaks out of clouds on occasion; the most prominent planets (Jupiter and Venus right now) will poke out of heavy morning fog in the early dawn; and the daytime views of a waning moon will start in a couple days where it only takes a break in the clouds to see it on the way to work or before school.
About 5 years ago (almost to the day) I captured the scene below. The same bush has its last blooms as I write and the waning moon will be almost in the same position in about a week if I wanted to capture a similar view. Of course, it’s all possible because we are able to see varying depths of field so rapidly. When I sketched this view, the bush was feet away, the moon a quarter million miles away, the aircraft was about 30000 feet. The signature of God in such a scene is blatant: a unique atmosphere and planet from which to observe, a periodic motion of a moon with unique characteristics, and His own image pressed on any human being that can see any similar scene and ponder the meaning of it all.
Can you take a minute in the morning to do the same thing in your own location with your own eyes? If you have time, make a quick sketch with some notes. You will not forget the scene because of this simple exercise.