Washington column for Aug. 1

A show in the sky

A reminder for all of you night sky observers: This is the month when we can take a peek into the summer Milky Way and the heart of our galaxy. The Perseid meteor shower provides great viewing opportunities; the moon sets before midnight on the peak viewing nights. In fact, the Northern Hemisphere is located in the peak viewing spot for “shooting stars.” From now through August, most people will have lots of chances to view meteors.

Peak viewing times for the Perseid meteor shower is Aug. 11-12, after midnight, when the moon has set. However, if you do not want to wait a couple of weeks to see shooting stars, you’re in luck, because several minor viewing events are visible between now and then.

Each night after midnight, you will have a good chance of seeing several meteors per hour, especially when the sky is clear. Among the viewing options over the next few weeks are the Delta Aquarids, the Alpha Capricornids and the Kappa Cygnids.

Be sure to make some time over the coming weeks for nighttime viewing. You will likely be rewarded for your efforts with some beautiful shooting stars. Do not forget to go outside on the nights of Aug. 11-12 to view the Perseids, which are one of the year’s best meteor showers.

I can say that my eyes will be turned up. Let’s hope for clear skies.

Summer sale days

These gold-leafed teardrop tea light candle holders are among the deals to be found this week at R.H. Ballard Shop & Gallery. Photo by Joanie Ballard.
These gold-leafed teardrop tea light candle holders are among the deals to be found this week at R.H. Ballard Shop & Gallery. Photo by Joanie Ballard.

Though Sunday, it’s easy to support your local businesses — since R.H. Ballard Shop & Gallery (307 Main Street, Washington) continues its amazing sale, where everything in the shop is 10  to 60 percent off. The sale is in-store only — not on their rhballard.com website, well-stocked as it is —  and includes all rugs, tabletop items, table linens, glassware, dinnerware, purses, scarves, jewelry, books, soaps and a lot of new products. The sale ends this Sunday (Aug. 4), at which point there will be only 141 days until Christmas (www.xmasclock.com), making it the perfect time to find unique Christmas gifts. The shop is open 10 to 6 every day.

Birthday greetings

Birthday wishes go out to Lisa Dodson, deputy treasurer at the Rappahannock County Treasurer’s Office. She celebrates her special day on Sunday, Aug. 4.

Thought for the day

I would like to pass on this saying, from thoughtfortheday.com, to all our readers:

Be patient. Breathe more deeply. There is a season for everything and nothing can be rushed. Make allowances for the fact that other people have different rhythms than you. Your patience will reduce your anxiety, and you will enjoy each day more.

Have a great week!

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