Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Gunpowder, treason - and a balloon

There was nothing in the trap last night for the first time in weeks, but there had been plenty of flying objects earlier on. Snap, crackle, boom! It was Guy Fawkes' night and we had lots of rockets and whizzbangs in our neck of the woods.

That must explain this first-time observation, I think: soot on the metal collar of the trap's mercury vapour bulb. I have never seen that before and cannot account for it otherwise.

Another first: here is the corpse of one of the Chinese Flying Lanterns which are all the rage in the UK. We've often seen them glide past, soft and beautiful lamps in the sky, but none has made landfall before. I like them and worry about them in equal measure, probably because I learned about Sir Francis Drake's fireships at Cadiz (when he singed the King of Spain's beard).  These are little aerial fireships and I'm afraid it's only a matter of time before one causes a tragedy. A committee is looking into them at the moment and I predict a ban.

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